Derecho! Take cover!

Written July 11, 2012

On June 29th, Fort Wayne experienced what I now know to be called a derecho – high winds that travel a long distance. Ours were 91 miles per hour and went all the way to the east coast. It was a devastating storm knocking out power to half the city for several days and completely upending 500 trees. Coupled with the 100+ degree temps it was miserable for so many.

Our heating and air conditioning guru, Doug, called from the house right after the storm to let us know all was OK there, meaning no trees had fallen on us and only the power had been knocked out. He, however, was headed home to a huge tree mess to clean up. Power returned to us four days later. Since tapers and mudders don’t really need power to work, they continued on during that time, sweating it out in the extreme heat. And the weekly neighborhood porch party marched on that evening at our neighbors’ house with the aid of candles and a bonfire with everyone walking home with flashlights in the blackness. Considering the state of the neighborhood, it was an amazing thing for everyone to get together.

Here is a photo of a tree that fell and completely blocked the adjacent street, Rockhill. If you look really closely you’ll see that there is a pickup truck underneath it that got completely smushed. Sadly, that was a very familiar sight around town. On July 4th – the holiday – those hired by the city to help clean up the tree mess were in our neighborhood. I approached one to ask where we should put our limbs for pickup. He so graciously answered, but his face showed he was exhausted (it was 105 degrees) and all I wished was that I could give him a respite of any kind. 

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We have since learned that most of our sub-contractors have had an increase in work – mostly emergency – due to the storm. The electricians ran around firing up generators for some. The HVAC gang were frantic with air conditioning needs. Our framing folks are super busy with repairs after trees are removed. These are the unmentioned people who work long after the storm coverage is over trying to put everyone back together again. THANK YOU!!!


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