Natale Fallen Tree December 2006
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The great Natale Fallen Tree incident of December 2006. No people or cars were harmed in this incident, the garage roof and the power lines took a direct hit, though.

At approximately 1:05am on the morning of December 15th, 2006 a large tree behind the Natale household was overcome by the effects of a local windstorm and very wet/soggy ground from weeks of previous rainstorms. It fell on the front corner of the garage, over top of the cars, and onto the power lines at the front of the house. A quick nighttime inspection - and headcount of all household members - revealed everyone was shaken but safe, and that the chainsaw would be getting a serious workout in the following days.

A further inspection the following morning was followed by donations of ladders, chainsaws, and help from various neighbors. We determined the power was off in our area, was likely to be off for some time, and that the tree had snapped the main power line on both sides of the strike location, leaving the section of power lines that the tree remained on isolated from the nearby power feeds. With electrocution out of the picture, we got to work lightening the load on the house and wires, and getting the cars free. After about 5 hours of work, the cars were out, we had removed the end of the tree that was past the power lines, and we had limbed the tree completely to remove weight. Miraculously, the cars survived with barely a scratch and were extracted within an hour. In the end, the tree was resting too much on the wires to remove it safely without tools we didn't have access to - the weight of the tree was pulling down on the remaining wires enough to bend the two neighboring poles towards each other. Suddenly removing that weight could be very risky, and we decided to wait for Puget Power to come and do that bit of work for us.

Kevin had also taken some video of the wind storm the afternoon before the tree fell. Check out the trees behind their house moving around in the wind - it's pretty scary to think how far the tops of those 100+ft tall trees are moving in the wind...

 

Pictures

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Page last updated 01/02/2009 01:51:39 PM