We were warned Sunday night that there would be hurricane force winds overnight and into the early morning. I got out of bed at 3:30 a.m. to start the coffee earlier than usual in case we lost power. I went to my utility’s outage report website and saw that there were 50k customers without power, then 65k, and it kept rising every time I hit refresh. Next I went out into the sunroom and looked outside into the darkness in my backyard. I was able to see the faint silhouette of the trees in our woods violently swaying back and forth, in particular one very tall white pine. The “soundtrack” to the scene was very unnerving, like a menacing and sustained roar. I went inside and what I heard next was what no one wants to hear.
Then I noticed that the top halves of that swaying white pine was gone! But where were they?! It was too dark and dangerous to go outside and see where they made landfall.
We had to wait.
Before I continue, here is a photo I took earlier this year that offers perspective:
Wayne and I had a HUGE white pine taken down because it was too close to our house, and unbeknownst to us until it was down, had rotted at the core! The white arrow is pointing to the tree that snapped yesterday. See how the left half is leaning right over our shed?
Those winds snapped off both top limbs, just like that!
As it got lighter outside but darker inside when we lost power, we were able to see from the sunroom that our shed, which houses our generator, snowblower and lawnmower, appeared to be miraculously unscathed! As daylight pushed out the mysterious doom the winds slowed down and we were able to go outside and survey the damage.
Wayne pointed out that the limbs could have fallen across the front of the shed and we wouldn’t have been able to access the generator.
We are amazed and so grateful that both limbs landed into the woods and not on our shed…our house!
The break of a snapped pine limb is interesting and smells good, too.
We walked around our neighborhood to see how others fared. I met the owner of this home for the first time who was very kind and he had power, still. He told us we could come over any time we needed anything. That pickup actually belongs to another neighbor who parked it there overnight thinking it was safer. Well, it was safe but blocked in, obviously!
Another neighbor’s weeping willow is down.
This is a pretty top to something. Hopefully the owner will find it.
The Mercedes dealership has a lot of damaged fencing.
The number of people without power rose to over half a million just in Maine! The forecast was for temps to drop into the 30s and estimates for restoration was days. The number of power outages exceeded those of the Ice Storm of 1998. Because we have a generator we knew we’d keep warm.
We went out for dinner which was a bit challenging since many local restaurants were closed due to the power outages. The places that were open, mostly chains, were packed with “powerless” people. We ended up at Red Robin which was filled with screaming cranky kids, and the little boy at the table next to ours was so loud that a little girl sitting many tables away from him looked over, pouted and covered her ears with both of her little hands which gave us a much needed laugh.
We settled in for a truly quiet faux candlelit night and tried to figure out the best time to wake up to turn on the generator since it’s not designed to be running non-stop. Just then we heard a really weird sound outside and I peeked out the window.
This is a glorious sight! I know it looks like a flash of light in the darkness, but maybe you can see the bucket at the power lines. Minutes later the power turned on!
This is a really tough time for a lot of people and I’m thankful we fared as well as we did. We’re not happy about having to spend hundreds of dollars to have the remainder of the tree removed, but compared to the damage others have sustained and what could have happened, and having our power back so soon when others might go without for days, we appreciate how lucky we are!