Sunday, September 11, 2011

Storm damage

I was just starting to watch Torchwood Saturday night at about 5:45, when the dogs started to freak.  I kept hearing something ting against the window.  So I stepped outside and it was hailing!  And hitting the windows under an 8 foot patio cover.  Very strange. 

I went back inside and sat on the couch between the dogs to comfort then and watched the hail.  I saw the wind pick up and the patio furniture start to slide across the concrete.  One chair tipped over and slid several feet.  The glass patio table stayed upright, thankfully. And nothing came through the picture window.

The wind started blowing right through the doggy door, the magnet clattering as the flap swayed back and forth, twigs and leaves scattering across the tile floor.  Then the acacia came crashing down from south to north.  It missed the patio cover, but lay across the grass, which I was glad I had just cut.  No idea why that mattered, but it seemed like it would be a while before I would have the chance again.

The worst is over I thought.  But the wind picked up ferociously.  I heard loud noises, but nothing definable.  Then suddenly, the wind was gone. 

I went outside and checked out the tree.  Completely laid over, but the roots aren’t exposed.  I have no idea whether it can be stood back up, and whether it would survive. 

I walked to the west side of the house and saw the double gate was wide open.  Fortunately, the hasp was fine, the unlatched lock had given way.  There were pieces of roof tile laying on the ground.  I walked out front and saw more tile in the yard and on the driveway.  I looked up at the roof from the driveway and it seemed fine. 

I returned to the back yard and noticed a section of asphalt roofing from the patio cover laying in the garden.  It was crushing my flowers, so tossed it onto the rocks and looked up to see where it had come from. 

The roof.  The tile roof.  It was a shambles.  Tile was tipped up on end instead of laying flat. 

I hurried inside to call the insurance company and file a claim.  The adjuster would call me in one or two business days.  What was I to do until then?  Was the roof leaking?  Well no, it’s not raining.  I hung up with a number to call if I needed more information.

I went back outside.  Terri hollered at me from over the fence.  They had lost 2 large evergreens and some tile and wondered if I was okay.  They have flat tile and although some was disturbed, their roof was in much better condition than mine. Although part of one tree is now laying in their pool.

My tile is the humped kind.  The wind got right under it and lifted it off the roof.  I looked more closely and could see some of the flashing sticking up and some of the wood lathing where the tile is attached.  The western corner piece dangled precariously.  Ron, who does construction, advised me to get someone out to tarp the roof before it rained.

So I called the insurance company back and got the numbers of a couple places that do emergency work. I called at 6:40.  They got here at 8.  It started raining at 7:15.  I haven’t had any appreciable rain since April.  The day I lose my roof it rains.

The guys spent 2 hours tarping the roof.  The first 20 minutes it was pouring down rain.  I stood outside and watched.  The next hour the wind was blowing in intermittent gusts, grabbing  the tarp and flapping it.  At one point the step ladder on the patio cover roof fell over while they were both on the main roof.  I climbed up, righted it and held it for quite a while as it shuddered in the wind.

Later, the wind seemed to have died down and I was concerned about the dogs, so I climbed back down to check on them.  I hadn’t yet climbed back up when a gust of wind toppled the stepladder off the roof onto the ground.

While they were working, although it was dark, I noticed the chinaberry tree looked odd.  I went over to examine it, got a flash light and reexamined it.  Major branches had split. After splitting, one fell onto another branch and broke it.  It is horrible mangled.

That disturbed me more than anything so far.  I am sicker about the trees than I am about the house.  A house can be repaired.  Trees die.

As I was standing outside listening to the guys working on the roof, I looked up and saw the beautiful full moon and listened to the frogs croak in a nearby pond.  It was peaceful and soothing and I am grateful that the damage was as limited as it was.

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