Friday, June 6, 2008

The sky began churning and lowering in the late afternoon of a very, very hot day for a town this far north. The clouds were tinted the colour of greenish lead and were rolling under themselves like waves on a muddy beach and the temperature held as the humidity rose.

Without warning, water - not rain in drops - but flood water, dropped from the air as if God were a child emptying a bucket over an unsuspecting anthill. At the same time, winds began twisting, pushing and pulling simultaneously under the cover of the blinding downfall.

The storm lasted less than ten minutes and the rain and wind stopped almost together . . . What a change ten minutes of no-rules play can make:

Across from Art Sample on Michigan, a massive tree had been twisted until its trunk burst and the rest of the tree dropped onto the porch of a house nearby; the porch was flattened and the corner of the house dented slightly like a box of cereal that got dropped. (On the bright side, a Bonneville was crushed beyond recovery, making the world a prettier place.)

Crossing the Court Street Bridge, the tops of all the tall trees on Ojibway Island looked like coral with the tips broken off . . . Turning down Washington one could hear sirens coming from so many directions it was difficult to know where to look.

Thompson in front of the New Amadore was blocked by a fallen tree that had crushed the fence while the beautiful white house with its enfolding porch across the street had had the mature tree that once kept it sheltered twisted and dropped onto the house - breaking the roof of the porch in the middle and digging out the attic gable on its way down.

The corner of Warren and Thompson - in front of our apartment - was obstructed by a tree that had been snapped in the middle and swung like a bat to knock the top of the nearby power pole cleanly off dropping the lines into the street below amongst the tangled limbs.

Weadock, Park, Cherry, Sheridan, Owen, Jefferson, Warren, Millard . . . all either blocked by fallen trees or littered with more leaves and limbs than the autumn would ever bring. And the immediate district is now without power and likely to stay that way for a couple of days.

If is odd to think that so many trees are damaged or gone when only a couple days before during Jazz on Jefferson everything was so lovely. The trees are probably the greatest loss since the district has no policy to replace missing trees . . . some of those taken by the storm are old enough that we won't see young trees grow big enough to replace them in a lifetime.


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