Home > Tree down, no power

Tree down, no power

July 16th, 2017 at 12:20 pm

I lost power for over 12 hours yesterday.

I was lying in bed at 6 a.m. when I heard the telltale sound of ripping wood. There was an interval of 3 or 4 seconds during which time I wondered where the tree was falling before I heard a resounding crash.

I got up, looked out the window but nothing seemed amiss in my yard. It was a large white pine, one of many fronting the road, and it had pulled the lines down with it.

I went to my office and rifled through my desk to find the emergency number for the utility company so I could report it. Our local hook and ladder company was there almost immediately; I'd say may be 5 or 10 minutes time. I got dressed and walked down my driveway to see if I could see where the tree came down. There was a volunteer fireman standing there; he had already blocked off the road with some yellow tape, one end tied to my mailbox post, and a neighbor of mine, too lazy to walk an eighth of a mile, was there also in his pick-up to see what's what.

I looked to my left and there you could see a very large white pine down across the road. I didn't take pix until this morning, after they cut up all the branches blocking the road.

This is my property, although technically, the state owns about 10 feet in from the road. I was a little annoyed they left this massive trunk just sitting there on the edge; no doubt they had a lot of work to do. Maybe the town will come by later and cut some of it up.

Interestingly, despite the racket caused by chainsaws, the doe that is so fond of fallen apples from my tree still came down that morning, as is her habit, to find the little green gems.

I don't know why it doesn't look as impressive in the photos as it does in person; maybe you don't get a sense of scale in the photos, but I can tell you, it was one monster-sized tree!

I called my neighbor behind me to see if they had lost power. They did. I went out to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, then came back home. Later I called the utility company to see when I could expect the power back on, and they said 1 p.m. Well, that time came and went. If I had known it was going to be longer, I would have bought ice for the fridge. I called later in the afternoon and they said 5 p.m. Well that time came and went also.

I left the house at 5:30 p.m. to meet my dad for dinner and when I came came around 8:30, I finally had power.

The last time I talked to the utility company, I asked him what I was going to do about all the ruined food in my fridge, not really expecting any kind of answer. He said I might be able to file a claim for it on Monday. I have never heard of this before.

Being vegan, I have no meat, cheese, dairy or eggs to spoil. The stuff in freezer should be ok. What's in the fridge is mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, an uncut whole watermelon, a few bottles of beer and condiments. I'm unsure if I can drink the soy milk.

The thing I worry about most is other trees crashing down in the future. In a way we were lucky this didn't happen in January. There are probably 6 other white pines in the same area along the road, just as large, and of course the power lines are directly underneath them.

What's alarming to me is that this tree was shorn off close to its base and it was NOT at all windy and there was no storm. We did have a lot of rain during the past week or so but that appears not to have been a factor since this tree just ripped away from the trunk about a foot or two high. I don't even see any rot. It appears the sheer weight of the tree pulled it down. It's scary.

If other trees closer to my house were also shorn off close to their base, they could easily hit my house. These trees are technically on property owned by the state (they own a certain frontage from the road), but while they will prune branches away from the power lines and come cut them up when they fall across a road, they and the town only take down dead trees or trees already fallen. To me they pose a hazard. I've talked to the tree warden about it before and that's what he told me. I'm not sure I'd even have the legal authority to have them cut down at my own expense.

4 Responses to “Tree down, no power”

  1. Butterscotch Says:

    Regarding your neighbor, I wouldn't have wanted to be walking around looking for the source of a power outage either. Downed power lines are so dangerous! The rubber tires in on the truck prevent any chance on electrocution.

    You can make a claim to your homeowners insurance for the food going bad, but they might raise you rates. If not much has spoiled I would just eat the cost (no pun intended!).

  2. patientsaver Says:

    That's a good point about the safety issue and the downed wires, Butterscotch. I won't be filing any claims for the lost food and I definitely agree it would not be worth it to file a claim with my homeowners insurance.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    Sorry about the tree. I thought it looked massive from your photos. Years and years ago we had what we thought was a tornado go through (the weather folks refused to confirm it) but it look an apple tree down across the two lane highway. I was impressed with the highway folks who blocked the road, moved the tree, and later cut it into pieces. It took a few days for them to remove it, but overall, we thought they did a great job. Of course this was in the 70s. Glad you weren't hurt and your house wasn't hit. I can understand your concern about the other trees.

  4. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    That is a big tree.

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