Great Power Outage of 2012

  In June 2012, a big Derecho Storm came through our area. It was a swirly storm with no swirls, so no funnels. No rain either. That's good. But it did bring these flat sheets of wind. A linear storm its called. Power went off about 9:12pm on Friday night. It was off all Saturday while we simmered at about 98 degrees. We cleaned up lots of the trees on Saturday while powerless. Then went to the movies that night. Power came back on Sunday morning at about 6:30am, right before the police visited us to check our alarm.

  White Pines and locusts laying across the driveway block access to the road. This was probably the most critical since if we were driving on the driveway during the storm (which I wanted to do cause I was hungry and wanted to go to El Peurto), the tree limbs could have fallen on the car and bonked it on the roof. But, we didn't and that was probably good. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image I also didn't walk along the back yard where this locust would have come down and bonked me on the head. It missed the fence and that's good.

  Here is what caused the power outage. A giant oak tree to the right of this pole lost a branch (like its arm) which fell over one of the three phase power wires. The wire was laying across the tree and in a lake. While it looked pretty hard to repair, it probably was. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here are the things I use to repair the downed trees. First I cut up all the trees into three types of debris and then move them in three phases. Phase 1 picks up the leaves and branches, up to about three or four inches (depending on the kind of wood). Phase 2 is for the sticks between three or four inches up to about eight inches. Phase 3 is for anything over eight inches.

  Here's a Phase 1 trip in the Dump Truck - moving the small limbs and branches from the driveway. Phase 1 is the longest phase because I get the least (by weight) on the truck. That's because branches and leaves don't pack down too well. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Phase 1 debris goes here. This is about six loads. After they sit and dry out for a while, I'll bring the Tractor with the Bushhog and drive over this pile about 20 times to grind it into dust and wood splinters. I lean way down on the tractor and keep my arms in tight lest I catch a flying wood splinter.

  This is the result of Phase 2. This is the Chipper Pile. Every few years, I rent a big ole chipper that eats these things and turns them into chips (hence the name). The pile is spreading horizontally instead of vertically since I've been using the Dump Truck instead of the hay wagon, from which I chuck the limbs one by one on top of each other. I'll probably go down with the EF-3 and adjust the pile one day. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Phase 3 is the most fun. First, there is less of it. Second, there is very little manual labor. The EF-3 picks up the logs with the pallet forks and dumps them in the Dump Truck. They get dumped next to the wood pile for additional sawing and spliting.

  This is the Dump Truck getting a dump calibration. This is what I do after the dump bed goes up and down when the truck is on uneven ground. See, uneven ground makes the dump bed come down uneven also. So I calibrate it by raising and lowering it on even ground. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here is the Dump Truck all finished with its work. It sure is nice to have this machine. It is a real Sport Utility Vehicle, though most would not call what I use it for "sport." I guess if there was a competition for throwing and transporting branches, sticks and logs following tree-downing storms, it could earn the name. So maybe I will just call it a Utility Vehicle.

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