Freak Mother Nature

We took Hurricane Irene seriously.

Fortunately, her aftermath was less severe than it could’ve been. But the damage was still real, with downed trees and power lines everywhere. It made walking the sidewalks of our neighborhood in Pelham, New York truly hazardous.

Last weekend we — and the rest of the Northeast — encountered the Freak Storm of October 2011. With everyone’s guard down, this one caused as much havoc as Irene in some areas. As of this writing, it’s been responsible for 22 deaths.

In a way, it was a perfect storm: heavy, slushy snow that fell and froze on unsuspecting tree limbs full of leaves. For 100-year-old oak trees, which are abundant in Pelham, the weight was unbearable. While there were fewer downed trees than with Irene, this storm took down far more branches. I’m talking branches that weigh hundreds or thousands of pounds. Downed branches and power lines forced the town to close our street for two days.

Unfortunately, one of those branches took a nose dive through the roof of our car. Nobody was hurt, but it’s been a huge inconvenience. Our insurance adjuster said this storm took everyone by surprise, and has overwhelmed their ability to efficiently process claims.

And I’m not sure if there was any causation, but this storm coincided precisely with the clogging of our home’s sewer drainage. This caused a not-so-pleasant flood in our basement, and a huge bill from the local plumber to clear the blockage. Ever hear the saying “up to my elbows in !@$%”? That was me. Enough said.

Let the winter begin.

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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