Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The October Nor'easter

On October 29th of this year, a nor'easter hit the northeastern US causing destruction in its path. They called it Snow-tober. Snow fell at unprecedented rates felling trees left and right which had not yet lost their leaves. Several million were without power. It was a storm causing more damage and outages than Hurricane Irene's path through the area in August of this same year.  We lost power for about 8 hours. Some areas were still without power five days later.

My area, Schuylkill County, received between 8 and 16 inches of heavy wet snow. Some areas had snow drifts of 2 feet!  By the time it was over, my yard had several trees down with at least as many bushes destroyed.  In my front yard are two large silver maple trees which lost all of the top branches from the weight of the snow on the leaves. A good 15 - 20 feet were snapped off the top of each one. In the middle of the yard, a beautiful cherry blossom tree fell over. We are going to attempted to replant it with 5 friends.

All of the butterfly bushes were destroyed. The nor'easter finished off what Hurricane Irene began. The rose bush is gone.  Forsythias were ravaged. The dogwood, lost one of three main branches off of its trunk. It had already lost two from Irene. I would estimate that 75% of the trees had some sort of damage.

This one-two punch culminates a bad year weather wise for the area. We went through a bad drought this summer followed by Hurricane Irene and then literally two weeks of heavy rains. The rains caused the flooding of almost every river and stream in Pennsylvania causing death and widespread destruction. And now, October 2011 ended with one of the earliest snow storms on record.
My focus is now just cleaning up the yard for the winter. The temperatures are back up in the 50's. The snow has melted and it will be mild for the rest of the week.

I count my blessings. No branches hit the house or deck. Sure, the yard destruction is not covered by insurance, but most will grow back or be replanted. The trees bear the scars of this storm.  A huge branch fell where my car is normally parked. I had traveled down to Philly for the night to my sisters for a Halloween party.  Granted it's a crappy car, but no one wants the headache of their car being destroyed.

Life goes on and the cleanup continues.

Followup:  With the help of three of my neighbors, John and I were able to replant the cherry tree!  It will need to be staked for the next year. Fingers crossed that it survives. At least we were able to save it for now!

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