After the tornadoes. . .

April 29, 2011

We live 4 miles from the Alabama / Tennessee state line.  So yes, we were in the middle of all that tornado trouble this past Wednesday.  We had no electricity all day Wednesday (it went out sometime Tuesday night), and spent a large part of the day in a dark basement with little battery-powered lanterns for light.  I got plenty of exercise running up and down the stairs!  We’d think the storms were over, go upstairs, and uh-oh, the weatherman says another is coming and “take your tornado precautions!”  And there we’d go, back down to the basement.

There are toppled trees all around us.  Others have been split by the high winds or actual tornadoes, and part of the trees are broke off and on the ground.  The Bradford Pears that are so popular in subdivisions don’t fare too well in high wind.  That soft wood just can’t take it.  But there were oaks toppled or in pieces too!

We were very fortunate that we didn’t get a direct hit from the tornadoes skipping around the area.   We had a lot of tree limbs down, but not any entire trees.  (Well, we haven’t walked back in the woods… no telling what’s happened there.)  Our walnuts, oaks and elms lost a lot of small branches and some bigger ones.  One big branch fell off a walnut tree and landed right by the peafowl aviary.

picture of fallen limb by aviary

A Near Miss!

Of course, several smaller limbs DID hit the aviary and it looks a little worse for wear, but at least the netting didn’t get all torn up like it would have if the bigger branch had smacked down on it.

There were some branches blown into other odd places, like this one:

picture of branch through tree

That's a little strange!

And we had to move branches like these off the driveway so we could drive out.

fallen branch

One of many fallen branches!

Most of the day the guineas stayed out in the rain, even though they have shelters!

picture of guinea in the rain

One bedraggled guinea fowl!

I suppose if a tornado had went right through here, it would have ended up pretty fowl!  No telling where the guineas would have ended up.

Once the winds and tornadoes were done for the day, the water started rising.

picture of flooded road

Here comes the flood waters!

That’s not unusual.  After particularly heavy rains, the creek usually gets out of bounds and goes over the low part of the road.

But it didn’t stop there.

Nope, for the first time since we built our lovely spring-fed pond, the flood waters got up and over the berm, and flowed into the pond.

picture of muddy flood water getting into pond

And the contamination creeps in. . .

I took the above picture from the far side of the pond, between it and the creek.  I didn’t get to stay there long. The water just kept getting higher, and pretty soon it was where it had never been before and I had to MOVE!

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The water not only flowed into the pond for the first time ever, it came on out the other side and flowed around behind it also, and into the bottom pasture.

picture of flood water coming out of pond

Flood flowing through the pond.

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flooded area

The Farmer checks out his flooded pond.

Not only did the pond get contaminated and water flow through it and into the pasture, but the water got so high it completely covered the bridge across the creek.

flood waters over bridge

See the arrow? There's a bridge going under water there!

That’s something I’ve never seen in all the years we’ve lived here!  There is usually one high spot visible during a flood.

Yesterday we started cleaning up.  The critters enjoyed the leaves off the downed branches.

picture of sheep eating tree leaves

A usually unreachable treat!

And although we didn’t loose our roof, we picked up some roof and soffit materials from someone else’s house… who knows where.

picture of soffit blown off by storm

Wonder who this belonged to?

Despite the inconvenience of no electricity for a day and a half, we are much better off than neighbors to the south of us who will not have electricity for 5-7 days.  And maybe we’re all lucky Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant didn’t take a direct hit, but just lost all the feeder lines.

Just a couple days after the storm and it all looks pretty serene here. . .

picture of muddy pond in sunshine

There was a storm here?

We’ve pretty much cleaned up around the farm, and if it wasn’t for the muddy pond, you’d never know we had such storms.

Sadly, it will take many of our neighbors that took direct hits from the tornadoes a very long time to put things to right, and some things will never be the same.

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