Thursday October 28th, 2010

Greetings and welcome!


The sun came up to partly cloudy skies, and at the moment there is not much wind to speak of. It looks very different than yesterday morning did.

Overnight report

Things are settling down after our record breaking storm. The storm is quickly weakening, and while it is still windy outside, the worst is well past us.

Considering how strong the winds got, the storm seemed to cause minimal destruction. By my observation there were 5 trees down between here and the gas station, four of them dead ones off of the road a little. One house by the big curves east of Rustic had a big pine snap off a few feet above the ground. There were no obvious signs of damage like trees on houses or anything like that.

The healthy trees handled it for the most part. As reported earlier, many of the downed trees were dead oaks. Add rotten birch/popple to that list. Some healthy trees were uprooted because of the wet ground, but they were scattered.

I have a couple of maples with pretty rotten branches, and they are still hanging on. The only tree that I lost was one that was dead for 10 years or more. At a distance, it looks like the roots rotted off and the wind did the rest.

The bottom line is unless you had dead trees hanging over your place or along the driveway, it is probably ok. If you want me to check on a place around Silver Cliff, e-mail me.

The power grid took a pretty good beating. A lot of lines were taken down by fallen trees and the wind. At one point I recall the TV talking about 62,000 people out in northern WI.

When I checked the WPS outage web site just now, it showed 2116 outages affecting 39,561 people. According to the web site, they have been making progress getting power back, but the weather has made it difficult and dangerous. They have and extra 250 crew members coming to help clear lines and fix outages as soon as the wind dies down, and additional crews are already in the area. They really have their work cut out for them, and remote outages could last until the weekend.

My hat is off to the people that work hard in terrible conditions to restore power. I can’t imagine trying to clear and reconnect lines in 40-60mph wind gusts, darkness, and driving rain, but they were.

Some people have been out of power since yesterday morning. We have been more fortunate here, but it dropped for a while again tonight.

Outages by zip code are as follows; Athelstane/Silver Cliff (54104)-324 people, 25% out. Crivitz and points west and northwest (54114)- 3778 people out, 54%. Lakewood (54138) 158 people, 9%. Wausaukee (54177) 795 people out, 22.64%. It looks like a swath going NW toward Wabeno, Rhinelander, and Eagle River took it pretty hard too.

They have set up warming shelters for people with extended outages. Here is a link to the web page. In Oconto County they are opening up the Doty town hall. In Marinette County some town halls are open already, if not you can call the Marinette Co dispatch and have someone open it up.

For people with long outages that want to try to save frozen and refrigerated food, the first place that comes to mind is Firelight Ice in Lakewood (715-276-6697).

Here at the house we have been pretty lucky. The power was out for about 3 1/2 hours and came back on. It dropped and came back about 6 times.

The storm was educational. It helped remind me of things forgotten in my storm and winter preparations. I could have used more drinking water and more food that doesn’t need to be cooked. I found a few insulation leaks that need attention before winter. Apparently the rock & roll of the storm damaged the flashing around the stove pipe, that leaked a little rain water yesterday morning.

Depending on the weather and schedule later today and Friday I might be out patrolling for easy pickin’s firewood. There should be plenty of dead oak down in the forests and along back forest roads. A guy can’t have too much firewood, and I still have some of my permit allotment left, so it seems like a plan to grab a few loads of easy stuff that needs cleaning up anyway. I’d also consider doing clean up on driveways and yards with downed trees.