Along the Lakeshore: June 5

Thunderstorm wreaks havoc on trees

This past week was a wild and woolly one. On Tuesday, Bill and I went to Bedford, Mass. to attend our major supplier’s new product sales meeting. We planned to arrive early enough (5:30 p.m.) for Bill to sail with his brother Curt on his new C&C 32. As we drove east, we saw evidence that the weather was closing in and eventually, at about 6:45 p.m., the Rhode Island Yacht Club called off the race. When returned from the water, we got a call from Victoria, Bill’s youngest, that “the trees were falling and the wind and water were flying all around” in Skaneateles.

Apparently there was a narrow band of straight-line wind that swooped down over Weitzman’s house where it stripped an ancient willow tree then crossed the lake and knocked down three or four big old willows (24 to 40 inches in diameter) at the Wiles’ Pump House. The fallen trees destroyed three picnic tables, broke up one half of the ground-level sitting deck, and nicked the edge of the roof. We were asked by the owner to check for interior water damage, as I was here and had the key. The macho blast then knocked over a large old maple on the corner of Jim Moore’s front lawn on the east side of East Lake Road.

By the time Bill and I returned on Wednesday, the insurance adjusters were out and about. Thursday there was a chipper-and-chainsaw symphony, as many folks around Fire Lanes B through G had damages that needed cleaning up. The wind sure trimmed out anything that had a weakness, perhaps not realized by casual observation. For instance, one of the large willows on Bobbitt Lane was hollow. One thing to be grateful for is how much luck there was. A few feet one way or the other could have caused really expensive structural damage. On the other hand, without a bit of structural damage to your home, you might not get help from your insurance company with the cost of cleanup.

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