Gardenweed

pixie_louNovember 7, 2011

I just read this on the Wintersowing Forum. Apparently our good friend Gardenweed was hit pretty bad by this storm. I'm sure we are all keeping her in our thoughs and prayers.

"I received a letter from gardenweed today. she has not had electric since 10/29, damage is epic trees and branches continue to fall. roads are blocked no crews will come up to help because power company will not pay them. she says more then 2 dozen trees are down in her garden. tree branch went thru her garage roof, dogwood tree trunks snapped in half, apple trees are destroyed. Electric power lines snapped off her house and laying on the ground she says they hoping to have power back up by thanksgiving week. She has had an awful time I know! I dont know when this letter was mailed, she didnt date it and I couldn't read when it was mailed on the enveloupe. I assume it was the last few days. at least she has wood and a stove

Our prayers are with her

Tom"

Here is a link that might be useful: link to thread

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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

"hoping to have power back up by thanksgiving week." ????????? This is Connecticut, not some outback in a developing country! I certainly hope she's OK and can get food and water and doesn't have any medical issues.

At least it's not the dead of winter and the weather isn't too cold now. Clean-up is probably going to extend into next spring.

Aargh, Gardenweed, all my sympathy is with you.

Claire

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 8:36PM
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drippy(7bAL)

Agreed, Claire - Thanksgiving week? When we had the tornado damage down here, we were among the late ones getting it back - and that was nine days, not four weeks. What is happening with NStar? They used to be so good when I lived in MA.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 10:08PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Connecticut Power and Light is the utility in CT.

This is the current Outage Map

Claire

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 9:51AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I couldn't link to the image directly so this is a screen shot of the current Outage Map (I just learned how to take and post screen shots).

Claire

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 10:08AM
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deanna_in_nh(5a/4b)

I wonder if the issue is the fact that lines are down so badly in her yard. I thought that any line down in your yard was your responsibility and the power company won't help. They only work on lines at the road. Is that the case? What terrible damage to her house and garden.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 8:24PM
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gardenweed_z6a

Hi everyone - I finally have power again but that orange town at the top of Claire's image is Somers, CT and I live 2 miles from the MA state line smack in the middle. We were told at a special town meeting that Somers was the "epicenter" of the storm. My daughter lives in Stafford just to the east and they took a catastrophic hit as well.

I took my first hot shower at home yesterday after 10 days with no lights & no running water (I have a well). Apparently the estimated restoration date became a hot button issue between the governor and CL&P because within a matter of hours the utility company had revised the estimate to just a matter of days.

My Internet is still unreliable so I can't promise to post photos yet awhile but I took what would have been several rolls of film on an old 35 MM camera. There's a thread on the Winter Sowing forum where I posted some storm damage details from my work computer. Thank you all for thinking of me--it has been one of the most stressful episodes of my life.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 1:24PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Gardenweed: So relieved you're OK with power on! "10 days with no lights & no running water" is appalling - it puts a lot of other normal problems in a whole new perspective.

I hope things will be mostly in order so that you can enjoy the holidays.

Claire

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 4:50PM
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diggingthedirt

Wow! You really got hit badly, I don't think we've EVER had that kind of outage, although after hurricane Bob we might have been without power for a week - that was long enough!

Glad you're back on line, and we'll all be looking forward to photos.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 10:12PM
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gardenweed_z6a

These will give you an idea of the damage to my little green acre. The snow melted fast thanks to the warm temps after the storm and I'm very glad it stayed warm for folks without any source of heat. I have a woodstove thanks to a 1970's ice storm--my father had it installed. Wood hoops, wheelbarrow & kindling buckets were filled to capacity well in advance of the storm.

Looking east through my breezeway--thats my driveway and what was between me and the road

Looking south at the front lawn & Crabapple Corner bed. Those snow humps are downed branches that crushed the perennials flat.

The branch from the neighbor's tree that punctured my garage roof

Looking south down my street

Looking south across the front half of my little green acre

Off the back of the breezeway, behind the garage

Looking west from the road once the snow melted & after we'd cut & dragged debris off the driveway

The front lawn & what's left of my crabapple tree

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 2:10AM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Oh my goodness, what a mess, and what a huge amount of work to clean it all up!! I'm glad that the power is now back on for you as well as that it wasn't too cold during the outage. I hope that most of your plants will recover, though looking at the number of branches on the ground, it looks like some of the trees may be in tough shape.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 7:29AM
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spedigrees z4VT

What a terrible ordeal you've been through, Gardenweed! So glad you have power again at last. Your photos are astonishing, such destruction from such an untimely storm! I'm so sorry this happened to you.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 12:46PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Glad to hear you made it safely through this crazy storm and that your power finally made it back on. Thank goodness you prepared. I don't think anyone ever expects to have such incredible damage. I guess if a tree has to fall, better on the garage than on the house. Still stinks.

I can't even believe the photos looking across your buried driveway and the view down the road. I'm really sorry to hear about your old oaks and the magnolias and everything else you possibly lost. Hang in there. Glad you're safe.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 8:17AM
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gardenweed_z6a

I'm very fortunate the migrant workers from a local horse farm offered to help with clean-up--they've been here several times and used my truck to haul the branches down back and also cut, split & stack the wood from the downed limbs. My wallet is shrinking but the work has to be done before winter really gets down to business. My son can't help because he has just as much damage to take care of at his house.

Yesterday was windy and branches that are snapped off but still caught in the trees started falling. The power flickered once in the afternoon--I was down cellar like lightning, dug the ashes out of the woodstove and built a fire in it. Ashes inside the stove were 8" deep. I don't normally keep a fire going longer than 5-6 days running but thanks to the storm, I needed to warm the house for a full 11 days.

Once again, thanks to everyone for the good wishes and encouragement. It really does help.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 1:49PM
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ravenh2001

Our power co works on restoring power by the numbers. 1000 people down to one. I live at the end of a 1/2 mile drive and am the only house on that circut. If my power go's out I walk my line and check the breaker on the main road. If the breaker is tripped I clear my line before calling Hydro. Sometimes trucks will still go by 2 or 3 days before they will stop and reset the breaker. I am prepared to go without power. gardenweed I know how you feel and good luck. Are you making any changes for the next time? I seem to think of one or 2 each time.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 3:21PM
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gardenweed_z6a

ravenh2001 - thanks for the good luck wishes. CL&P operates the same way--restore power to the most people first and work from there. It makes sense but it's tough being the last person to get power. My problem was the power lines were ripped completely off my house--homes either side of me had power. At first they said I was responsible for having them reattached to the mast on my house. Like the average homeowner has that capability--not. There wasn't an electrician to be found who had any parts to work with. I know--I came up behind one on the road who lives near me & followed him to his house to ask. My neighbor climbed on a ladder and put the weather cap back on the mast--it popped off when the wires were yanked out. A couple days later CL&P agreed to do all necessary pole-to-house repairs given the severity of the damage + they'd done NO tree trimming near the wires in donkey's years.

Changes for next time? Yeah, I'm figuring smarter ways to deal with the no water problem, positioning additional electric torches where they're closer to hand when needed, harvesting lots more kindling, altho' I never ran out of it. Might as well gather up all the storm damage to use when the next storm hits. I generally never let my car or truck gas tank get below a half so unlike many folks I wasn't in a world of hurt when there were no open gas stations within a 50-mile radius. Reading by flashlight in the dark, I went through/ran out of AA batteries pretty fast.

And I learned that soup heats up r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y on the top of a woodstove.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 1:37AM
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deanna_in_nh(5a/4b)

gardenweed, we got two solar powered flashlights at Costco. They stay in the windows everyday and get used at night to make sure all the chickens made it to the coop. They are fantastic, especially during power outages! I highly recommend trying to find one or two so you don't have to go through batteries. Also, batteries get old, but the solar flashlight just needs some sun. The flashlights also allow you to use batteries as a back-up. If you've stuck it in a drawer you can use the batteries until the next day. It charges on cloudy days, as well, although direct sunlight naturally is best.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 7:16PM
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