Sunday, April 24, 2011

Disaster Strikes

I must have really angered the gods yesterday when I wrote that there was nothing new at the farm.  They targeted us with a vengeance last night.  There were thunderstorm watches and warnings all evening, but the worst of the storms had already passed and I think we weren't even under a warning condition.  It was very windy all night, but it's always windy here.  I've gotten to a point that if I don't hear the wind chimes, I figure the wind has blown them down.

About 9:30 we were sitting on the couch watching TV and the local CBS station was breaking in during commercials to give updates.  Nothing serious in our area at all.  It was mostly south of us and the storm was moving more to the east toward Dallas than north to Ft Worth.  We heard a bang, I saw something flash past our window that faces the backyard and the lights went out all at the same time.  My fear was that one of our light poles in the pasture had been blown over.

We walked outside and saw something laying across the front of our barn doors.  Upon closer inspection we found that it was a portion of the tin roof from the south side of the barn.  The roof piece took down the power line that feeds the barn, our house along with our neighbors, and my office.  The wind had torn off the entire southern half of our barn roof. 

The morning after

There were huge pieces of metal all over our yard, in Chet's garden as well as in our neighbor's yard directly to the north.

Power line taken down

We lost half our garlic crop as the roof made its way over the garden and into the next yard.

Huge pieces of our barn roof in our neighbor's yard across the fence.

We have large portions of fencing bent over between our pastures and between property line and our neighbors.

The good news is that none of the animals were hurt.  If a piece of roof had hit one of the alpacas, it would have been deadly.   Waylon was in an area all by himself and out of the the direct path of the flying roof.  The other boys were all out in the upper pasture away from the barn.  Luke, one of our Anatolians, must have been in the barn when the roof got torn away.  We found him curled up a ball, refusing to move from his corner in the stall.  He was quite terrified.  He's much better today.

We don't usually see sky from inside the barn.

 I called Allstate right away to start a claim and in the back of my mind pictured the commercials where the insurance person shows up immediately after a disaster and helps make everything right.  Must have been a State Farm commercial, because I won't see an Allstate adjuster for a week. 

However, they did contact an emergency restoration company who showed up about midnight last night and tore down remaining pieces of roof that were flapping in the wind.  They came again today and removed the debris from our neighbor's yard and are out there right now tarping the barn so that we don't get any rain damage until repairs can be started. 

So, it could have been much worse and I'm thankful that no animals were injured.  It was pretty terrifying though and for a while we went to our "safe room" (aka bedroom closet) while the wind was at its worst and we could hear pieces of the roof smacking against the barn.  We'll be in recovery mode for a while and we won't have power to the barn or my office until we can get an electrician to do repairs.  Kudos to the electric company, TXU/Oncor, for coming out and getting the power to our house back on in a timely manner.

The weather alert radio has just gone off again - tornado watch.  Texas in the ain't all bluebonnets and sunshine.

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