Saturday, June 19, 2010

recovering from the storms

Those storms last night were a vivid reminder of the power of Mother Nature. I went for a short bike ride after the earlier storm had passed. Within a 3 block radius, there were at least a dozen trees that were completely destroyed and many others with significant damage. I saw trees fallen on house and garage roofs, crushed cars, and lots of blocked streets.

In the course of an hour, central Beverly was turned into a maze by all the blocked streets. The huge maple tree at 97th & Winchester had snapped at the base. Half a block west on 97th, another huge maple fell across the street and took down a power line. Many houses and a section of 95th St. were in the dark overnight. Our neighbors across the street were in the dark last night, but they got their power back this morning. The Beverly library is closed today, because their power was out, too.

The 9700 block of Hoyne was especially hard hit. Three large trees were either completely or mostly destroyed, one car crushed, a few houses hit. Calls to 311 were not getting any response, as the backlog was too big. Calling 911 was almost as futile. The system was completely overwhelmed. Instead of enjoying the usual dinner hour, neighbors on the 9700 block of Hoyne banded together and started working with chainsaws and other tools to clear the blockage. This morning they were out there again, and the piles of tree trunk and branch pieces lined the curbs for most of the block. Now that's an example of neighborly teamwork.

I hope that everyone gets their power back soon. I'm posting this from a library location outside Beverly, because our cable service is out and I can't get online from home. Trying to call Comcast was futile, because they seemed to have a huge backlog, too.

I went for another bike this morning and saw crews out working all over the neighborhood - from the city, Com Ed, Comcast, and various tree services. Those guys will be busy for a while.

It was truly heartbreaking to see so many huge old trees destroyed. We can rebuild houses and replace cars fairly quickly, but trees that big take a long time to build. An hour of furious wind will leave its mark on the neighborhood for years to come.

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