Hurricane Ike

Posted on Sept 26th 2008

Who would have thought that being 1000 miles from the shore, we would be hit by a hurricane. Yet, we were. In fact, we got hammered! No rain, but 70+ mph winds. It was really creepy. We lost power around noon on Sunday, Sept 14th 2008, and did not get it (or water) back for four days. Below are some images of our little adventure and the aftermath.

The first thing we noticed, was that a maple had broken in half and crashed through Kathy's new greenhouse. We ran out there during the thick of it, and began clearing the limbs, with me running the chainsaw.
An hour or so later, from our bedroom window, I noticed that there was a huge limb stuck on our roof. Again, we went out and began cutting what we could reach. Once we had done all we could, I got my duece 1/2, backed it up under the limb, and continued cutting from the bed. As I would cut, Kathy would pull and clear. That's me in the center of the picture standing in the back of my truck.
One of our gutters took some serious damage, but I was unable to get the majority of the limb. It was simply way too high.

To make things even more interesting, we were scheduled to have a party for our elder son on Saturday. Great! Fortunately, Kathy's folks came up a few days early with a big chainsaw, a small chainsaw on an extention pole, and other assorted implements of destruction.

On Thursday, we again used the truck under the limb, but this time, I was using a ladder plus the chainsaw on the pole. While not as good a cutter as a regular saw, it allowed me to get at the smaller limbs that needed to be removed before we could deal with the big stuff.
Here I am again with Kathy's dad in the back of the truck. Even using the chainsaw on the pole, I was unable to reach the really big stuff.
Here is where the limb was stuck against the house. There is a lot more that is out of sight, beyond the edge, upon the roof itself.
Here is the culprit, the broken limb itself. Note that it is still attached to the tree. Even if we could reach it, cutting it would be rather dangerous to both us and the house itself.
Here's Kathy's dad taking a break in the back of the truck.
Here I am playing Robin Hood. We used duct tape to attach a heavy string to the arrow, then I used the compound bow (that Kathy's dad gave me) to thread the string through a notch in the tree. We then attached my old climbing rope to the string, and pulled the rope up and over the notch.
We then tied a knot in it, and cinched it up to to the trunk of the tree. We actually did this with 2 ropes, my red rappelling rope and my green, military climbing rope. The ropes were then taken out into the field allong the path we wanted the trees to be felled. We then secured the ropes to the duece 1/2 and pulled until they were snug.
Kathy's dad would then make the initial cut in the tree on the side we wanted it to fall. This cut would be about half way through the tree. Note that you can see both trees. They are sisters, but both had to come down. The first tree did not have the fallen limb, but had to go so we could safely drop the problem tree. He then went to work on the other side with a big chainsaw, several wedges and a sledgehammer. I would slowly take up any slack with my truck. While he was cutting, and I was manning the truck, Kathy was communicating between us (the truck was too loud for me to hear her dad). Sorry, no pictures of the tree during the cutting. It was too dangerous for Kathy to take the pictures because she was our communications link. This finished off Thursday, and we called it a night.
The prior day's steps were then repeated on the 2nd tree the following day. Here is the first tree down and laying in the field.
Note the height of the tree (the tallest one) to which the ropes are attached. That is the same size of the one we already dropped.
Here are both trees, down on the ground. Please note that we dropped the 2nd tree on top of the first tree. We only lost a few small branches on the smaller trees in the area. Not a single sapling was lost! What was lost was our privacy. We now have a hole in our tree line.
You can see the ropes connecting the 2nd tree to the back of the truck. I do not know what I would have done without it.
Thanks Ken (you know who you are)!
Here is another shot of the two felled trees. Notice how close they are!

Here we are, winding down. Note the piece of the tree I am holding. That is the diameter of each tree. They were each about 60 feet tall.
Getting a little help from my son.