While in the midst of the storm, it’s scary as you stare out the available peep holes in your home to see the wind and flying objects careen by. But the worst is the sound of the screaming winds and the sound of cracking limbs and trees falling, you hope not through your roof. When we built our home, we made sure there were not dangerous trees within range of the home, especially the vulnerable water oaks that notoriously fall when the winds and rain take their toll on the weak roots. We had our builder construct our two story home with concrete block on both levels to protect against major wind damage. We also had working shutters installed that made that preparation simple. Even still you could feel the wind pressure and howl on the windows and doors. We did lose several roof shingles but nothing that can’t be easily replaced. I kept thinking we’d have more trees down but only one that fell away from the barn, thankfully.
After the storm, oh brother, the clean-up and exhausting work of reconstructing your yard, removing boards from windows, raking the debris, hauling it off and if you don’t have power, the heat and humidity are brutal. Living on some farm acreage we have a tractor with an attachable rake in the back to clean up the major limbs and debris. I was so looking forward to getting on the John Deere and laughing at the mess with the easy job of tractor work. We cranked her up and it ran a minute or two and then sputtered and puffed a big cloud of blue smoke as it expired and the engine quit. Upon further investigation, I discovered that in my haste to fill the fuel tank before the storm, I forgot to put the cap back on and the approximate seven inches of rain poured in, contaminating the diesel fuel. Several hours later and with the help of my long-time friend Jeff’s mechanical skills, we got the beast running again. With the tractor, the kids and I were able to assist neighbors with their clean up and boy were they grateful! We learned some lessons from this one and hope we don’t have an eastern shore direct hit ever!