And the road goes on forever...

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Horrific Wind Storm


The morning dawned with just a touch of lake fog scooting across the water, creating a momentary and mesmerizing shimmer of pink. I had never caught the lake exactly like that before. 

As it neared bedtime, I had read about and seen a severe weather alert for Wausau but nothing for Price County. I fell asleep only to be awoken around midnight by thunder and lightning moving in. Then it got much closer and louder with a little rain starting and the winds starting to pick up. Our weather mostly seems to arrive across the lake from the north. This places our RV broadside to arriving weather with a band of trees providing somewhat of a shelter. Winds have always been a fear here due to how many old and rotted trees we have on the property which are thin and very tall. I’ve shown you video recently before. 

It wasn’t long before it felt as though the trailer was literally dancing, the rain was coming down in torrents lashing against the windows so hard I felt as though a fire hose had let lose. Then, for what seemed like half an hour (but was probably a shorter time period) the winds became in the category of “banshee”. The big, bad wolf was definitely huffing and puffing to blow this house down as I started fearing for my life! I started crying and tried calling Marc (in Waupaca) but of course, he was sleeping and didn’t answer. I must have wanted to say goodbye; I can’t really think of why I called him at that point. The trailer rocked, the winds so ferocious I thought all the windows would blow right out as I ran from the bedroom to hide under our flimsy RV table. The storm was so severe at this point I couldn’t make it into the garage. The power went out. 

During bursts of lightning, which lasted for a good two hours, I could see trees coming down and was hoping like mad my last sound wouldn’t be one crashing through my tin can, destroying me and the RV.

Finally, with a last whimper of distant thunder and sheet lightning, the storm moved off farther east and south. I gratefully fell asleep but was awakened not long after by the sound of chain saws buzzing in the distance. 

So, of course, I was up at dawn to start surveying the damage and to call Marc. I finally reached him around 5:30 a.m. where I relayed what had gone on and as I stepped outside to take pictures to send him, it was just jaw-dropping how many trees were down. By this time, the chain saws and equipment sounds were much closer so I figured the crews were out on our boat landing road, which our driveway leads off from. They told me there was quite a bit of wind damage throughout town; power out to thousands; a roof blown off a restaurant, but no one had been hurt.


All in all, I am still in shock that we managed to escape with no real damage to any structure or the Suburu. I had it parked under the RV shelter, but that is open on the sides and I know sticks and branches were flying yet it seems to have remained unscathed with no scratches or dents. My imagining a wild ride in the RV was indeed, true—apparently, the wind lifted the rear of the RV off the jacks and knocked those metal jacks stands out from under it. Our screen tent looked done in, but quickly gained its shape back once the pooled water on the roof was removed. One of the trees Marc had it tied to was bent and loosened, so that will have to come down.

A conservative estimate is that we likely have around 50 trees down and there are a handful more that are now leaning precariously and will need to also be brought down. Our work is cut out for us for next two weeks Marc figures. A sad part of the aftermath is that the behavior of many of the birds here is off. The loons are nesting this time of year and overall quieter than usual but they forlornly started calling out all day. I am fearful, since their nest is on the small river which empties from our lake, that either their eggs or their small chicks may have blown out of the nest and been lost. We also have a dove here which has done nothing but call and call as if it can’t find its mate. 

A quick trip into town for gas caught more of the devastation along our road. These pines were just one after one, totally uprooted. Today will be another day of making piles and also we’ll start our first bonfire burn to start getting rid of as much as possible. One thing totally noticeable is how losing the trees opened up our views of the lake. It has changed the character of the property, but maybe not for worse.