Saturday, June 30, 2012


Last night we had a weather event that this area had never experienced before. It is called a derecho, a straight-line severe windstorm. I had never heard of it.

We had no warning. We had been out to dinner, and when we returned we turned the TV to HBO. About 9 p.m., suddenly the air around us burst into a roar; it sounded like the house had suddenly imploded.

We jumped up and raced to look outside. The clouds were dark and foreboding, and the wind was fierce. The Roanoke Airport recorded 81 mph winds, which are hurricane force.

This is the damage just around the house:

Tree limbs down, my wishing well destroyed.

Tree broken off.

A redbud twisted and destroyed.

Two more trees down.

Debris and limbs in the yard.

Poplars, which had died and needed to be cut down,
are now mostly down.

Large pine tree down.

Another large pine tree down.

An ash tree with the top gone.

Debris in the yard.

What is left of my garden.

I have no idea what the rest of the farm looks like, but I am sure there are many more trees down.

Thousands are without power, and the temperatures here today are expected to reach 102. I have, somehow, been fortunate to keep my electricity, and I have already invited a few folks to come use my shower and stay out of the heat here if they have to.

Hopefully the county will open a shelter, but I have not heard if they have done this yet. UPDATE: The county has opened as a shelter at Lord Botetourt High School, and Fincastle Baptist Church is also offering its space as a shelter.

Please everyone, be safe. Stay out of the heat.


  1. that's pretty wild damage. quick.

  2. We only had one small tree go down, but it's across the fence so that will require some repair work. Mother Nature certainly helped you out with downing those dead poplars, didn't she? We had no power today but it's back on again as of 6:15 tonite. A/C never felt this good after a totally wicked hot day!

  3. Though you lost the trees, I'm so glad that your home is okay!!
    What a storm! It brought back LA hurricane memories.

  4. We have had a couple derechos through our area in recent years, and it is amazing what high-force straightline winds can do. Glad you came through the storm safely!

    (Now, if we could just get a bit of rain or a nice thunderstorm here...)

  5. Oh, that's what it was. I was convinced it was some tail-end of a tornado. We were in town when it happened. I thought I'd see chickens and houses fly.


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