Wind howled, tall tree broke in half

The top part of a poplar toppled by the wind near the house.
The top part of a poplar toppled by the wind near the house.
Where it broke about 45 feet off the ground.
Where it broke about 45 feet off the ground.

A loud crash shook our house Wednesday night while I was out on assignment and Amy said it scared the hell out of her.

“It was loud and felt like it struck the house,” she said.

With spotlight in hand I circled the house, starting at the northeast corner where she though the crash sound originated.  No apparent signs of damage on the sides or what I could see of the roof.  A lot of limbs on the ground.

After circling the house, I focused the light towards the woods close to the northeast side.  There appeared to be a large tree on the ground.  It looked about 70-75 feet high but the base did not contain any roots.  Shining the light around did not reveal any evidence of a toppled tree until I looked higher and found the top of one poplar sheared off about 40 feet up.

The chunk tree, fortunately, fell away from the house but sheared off a number of limbs on other trees and itself when it crashed down and some of those limbs lay on the ground near the corner of the house.

At daylight, I went back out and got a better look at the damage.  No marks, scuffs or broken spots on the house and all the shingles, replaced in 2013, weren’t damaged and none missing.

Looks like we got off easy.  If that large chunk of tree had fallen the other way the corner of our house could be laying in shambles with the chunks of broken timber all around.

Winds arrived with the hard rain on Wednesday and a wind alert remains in place until 7 a.m. and the National Weather Service is also predicting light snow showers for about and hour or so, starting at 5:15 p.m. Thursday.

Several hundred customers of Appalachian Power in Floyd County lost power during the day Thursday and while the county customers appear to be back with electricity, more than 4,000 customers from Bedford westward remain in the dark.

Floyd County, for the most part, got off light.  Storms elswhere, including tornadoes, struck in other parts of the Old Dominion, killing at least four and inflicting undetermined amounts of damage.  A tornado struck Waverly around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in Appomattox County left at least one dead and seven people injured.

Virginia State Police said the tornado cut an eight to ten mile path through the county.

The house near the broken tree (on the right).
The house near the broken tree (on the right).

 

5 Responses to Wind howled, tall tree broke in half

  1. Hey Doug, I’m pretty sure that’s a scarlet oak. I’m glad you escaped damage, and on the bright side now you’ve got some great firewood close by.

    • Thanks for the info Matt. I don’t recall any acorns falling from it though. We’ve got a large oak on the other side of the house and the squirrels there like to bean UPS delivery guys with. 🙂

  2. In the last picture facing the house with the broken tree on the right, the other tree on the left in the foreground is also a scarlet oak, the bark is distinctive as are the persistent dead limbs such as the large one hanging off the left side of the broken tree just below where it snapped off. I can see poplar trees across your yard, they have much lighter bark and a different crown shape. Scarlet oak is in the red oak family and produces a heavy acorn crop every 3-5 years on average. Sorry to be such a tree nerd!

    • Hmmm. I consulted with flora and fauna nerd Fred First of Fragments of Floyd and he thought the tree looked more like a Maple. As I told him, I may be a country boy but my interests in my younger days were fast cars and faster girls. Didn’t take much interest in frees. Oh well. 🙂