The morning after the storm

This past weekend, I witnessed the most fascinating storm I’ve seen yet outside of the Philippines. It started Friday evening, when the wind suddenly started blowing so strongly that it sounded like there was a freight train chugging along our street. It was so loud, it drowned out the hungry grumblings of my tummy. And that’s saying a lot.

Saturday morning, I woke and was startled by strange movement outside my bedroom window. When my eyes finally managed to focus, I realized it was our bamboo patch flailing wildly in the wind. Sort of the way my hair does when I’m shooting a shampoo commercial. (Okay, it might be a Head and Shoulders commercial, but still.)

Keep in mind that bamboo is very pliable. (Think Jackie Chan in Rush Hour 2: “Don’t worry—Chinese bamboo, very strong!”) If you don’t believe me, here’s a photo of our bamboo patch during one particularly heavy snow and ice storm.


bamboo in winter

See? It bends, but doesn’t break. So the sight of the bamboo swaying violently to and fro was quite a sight. It would bend to the right, almost down to the ground, then whip up and bend to the left, again almost to the ground. I couldn’t believe the force of the winds that were causing our patch of 20- to 30-foot high bamboo to move like strands of fur being blown by a hair dryer.

Then we started hearing loud noises from outside, and a resounding crash that seemed a bit too close for comfort. A rush outside armed with flashlights confirmed what we suspected: a huge tree fell on the side of the house. A quick run upstairs to check for broken windows fortunately came up empty, and since it was dark, there wasn’t much we could do.

The next morning, there was finally enough daylight to assess the damage. This is what I saw from the upstairs window.


2010 wind storm - view from window

Impressed, I headed downstairs to check out the damage. First, I had to get past some debris that was blocking the door leading to the deck.


I couldn’t believe the wind was actually strong enough to snap the bamboo. Snap it! I’ve got to tell Jackie Chan all about it.


2010 wind storm - the deck

Outside, our recycling bins (we’re responsible like that) were thrown clear across the yard and deposited underneath a tree, and there was paper strewn all over the grass (okay, that part wasn’t so responsible).


2010 wind storm - recycling

Oh, and look who was kind enough to help hold up the house.


2010 wind storm - tree on house

I wish I could regale you with the extent of my knowledge of botanical nomenclature, and tell you exactly what kind of tree that is. But I figured if I threw around the name Douglasish firkindathingi, you’d catch on. Sadly, any former mastery of scientific names lasted only long enough to get me through those college exams, and not an hour more than necessary.

As bad as that seemed (the fallen tree, not the demise of my memory of biological classifications), we still were better off than some of our neighbors. For example, this could have happened to us.


2010 wind storm - downed wires

2010 wind storm - snapped pole

To make matters worse, that’s a low-lying area, which means that in addition to those downed wires, they may have to deal with minor flooding as well. And if you ask me, mixing minor flooding with this:


2010 wind storm - downed wires 3

… is far worse than snapped bamboo, paper trash, or even a felled tree leaning against your house. Even if it’s a Toyotus sequoius.

Hope everyone in this area stays safe and dry!

6 thoughts on “The morning after the storm”

    1. Aww. Thanks, Melanie. Here’s hoping we don’t get more rain before the rivers subside. This has definitely been a winter to remember.

  1. Very glad that your house didn’t get damaged. Good luck with the cleanup. If I lived closer I’d drag the family over to help. Of course, the kids would wind up chasing each other with bamboo sticks and would be no help at all, but it’s the thought that counts, right? ;)
    “See” you tonight at the Peachpit.

    1. I’m used to “kids” (mine’s a bit older, but still) chasing each other around with bamboo sticks. Come on over!

  2. I waited all winter for the kind of storm that forces you to stay in and do nothing but read. Alas it seems the east coast got our share as well as a few extra!
    Glad to hear you’re all well and no severe damage done. I hope it looks worse than it is and that your neighbours are ok too!
    Oh how I am itching for a bit of green grass,like you’ve got there but we’ve got another month or so before we are in the clear for spring.

    1. Crystal, this has been some weird weather pattern. Today was in the 70s! The flood waters are finally subsiding, but slooooowly.

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