Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Demon Wind

December 1st 2011, probably one of the worst Davis County East winds in my memory. Up all night waiting for one of the trees in the yard to fall. Hearing cracking and crushing sounds all night and debris smashing into the house. The house rumbling when each 90mph plus gust hit. Twice the back door opened despite being securely shut and locked, filling the basement with leaves. Ten hours of category 2 hurricane gusting winds (one gust measured 102mph). As daylight gradually revealed the new scenery, the real damage began to become apparent, a tree down in the neighbor's yard. The other neighbor's tree in our yard. More trees down as we watched. Helpless to even watch the news on TV without setting up an indoor antenna. During the storm I kept imagining our satellite dish hovering somewhere over Wendover, Utah, people pointing and taking pictures of the UFO.
Finally at about 12 noon the wind suddenly stopped.

East winds in Davis County Utah are not uncommon. The first recorded was in 1855. The monster winds occurring on the average of about once every 2 years, some years 3 or 4 incidents and gaps of up to about 10 years. My mother told me that my grandfather used to walk the floor all night waiting for the East winds to cease. This specific storm tattered his old 150 year old barn like a bombed out World War II cathedral.

Right after the wind quit, we assessed the damage: one pine tree nearly stripped of all it's branches, three neighbor's trees hanging over our fences, the old TV antenna sheared off and no where in sight, the satellite dish pointing to that new Hades station, about seven lost shingles, a pile of debris 10 feet around and 5 feet high and a 2 foot hole under the corner eve big enough to let that obnoxious raccoon into the attic.
We fared good compared to some of our neighbors. The back yard neighbor lost 7 or 8 trees, some had their cars and houses crushed by trees. Most of the trees that fell were evergreens, beautiful spruces and trees that were 30 years old. Fences ripped up and carried a half mile away and shingles everywhere.
I spent the rest of the day fixing the roof.

December 2nd, 2011, I wandered the neighborhood like a zombie, looking for my missing house parts, to no avail. But, I did meet some interesting people.

Saturday, December 3rd, did some clean-up work, fixed antennas and cut wood.

Sunday, December 4th was amazing. Many churches let out early, and tons of wonderful people went house to house collecting debris. An empty truck and trailer would show up and five minutes later it would be full. Approximately 50 people in this group that I found myself magnetically drawn into, neighbors that I hadn't seen in years and many from blocks away. My next door neighbor, RJ, wore out at least two chains on his saw. Some ladies brought a van with hot chocolate, cookies and rice crispy squares. That chocolate warmed me up and got me to a house a quarter mile away.
Very good people that day. Humanity at its best.

‘I’d jump up in the wind, do a somersault and spin,’ -Bob Dylan