Home > tornado, update > Day 2: Cleanup … a long row to hoe

Day 2: Cleanup … a long row to hoe

29 April 2011

Cleanup … a long row to hoe.

Sleeping in a perfectly dark and quiet house id freaky – too quiet. At 0400, I was awakened by a high-pitched sound. which confused me because we still had no power. I got up and wandered around the house looking to see if I had left something on and it was making the noise. I found nothing, until it went off again… the smoke detector in the hall was signaling low battery – WHEW!

After that scare, I left the hanging flashlight and the radio running for the 2 hours until I got up again at 0600 & got dressed for the cleanup. The B&A guys should arrive soon. The woman behind me offered a cord off their generator yesterday, I wish, now, that I had taken it – then my phone would be charged and I could have a cup of coffee. oh well.

The B&A guys arrived about 0700 and got right to work.They brought a LULL with them – a forklift on an extendable arm. With the LULL, they moved the growing brush piles away from the house quickly and toward the street. The driveway was cleared in 5 minutes. The metal roof was slick with the dew, so the guys used belts and ropes to secure themselves for working on the roof.

I began taking a new round of pictures and noticed that the hole in the bedroom ceiling had not grown, but the rafters were settling, pressing the ceiling down further. Fearful that it would lead to a collapse, I notified the B&A guys and they refocused their efforts from the trees on the car port roof to the ones over the master bedroom. Toni and the kids returned home soon after.

After a long time of cutting and me dragging brush to the street, they got down to the last cut. The trees were off the roof and this last cut was to try to save the heat pump unit below the largest tree. They used wedges, an axe and two splitters, finally resorting to a rope, lassoed over the giant log. They pulled and the cut log pulled over, slamming the heat pump on the way down. The window did not break, nor did the wall, but the AC unit took a good smack.

The B&A boss, as one of the guys tried to tarp the roof holes, changed what we originally talked about. Originally, we agreed that he’s get paid when the insurance paid. Now, he is wanting a post dated check. When he didn’t get one, he got antsy and rushed the remaining guys off to another job, leaving Mike on the roof finishing the tarping (returning for him 25 minutes later).

It took us an hour to clear enough of the patio that we could open the iron gate to the back yard. Just then, the UA Anthropology department rolled up in 3 trucks. 20 people hopped out and like ants, moved in and set to work. In a little over 2 hours, all the brush was cleared from the back yard.

With the Anthros, a contractor, Todd, came along and examined the house, identifying what would need doing and declaring that the house was safe to live in until repairs began. We still have a home. Our cleanup is well underway and we are ahead of the game in our neighborhood.

I still stagger thinking about how many TONS of wood was on my house until today. The Anthros pulled out, off to the next job, with our undying thanks for their hard work. They seemed very happy to help and we were happy for the help.

Dane and Miro are coming in the morning with their chain saws to help clear up the large tree pieces that the B&A guys left and are too big to move.

We settled in for the night. Kathy said she knew a charity that could get us a generator. The kids slept in their own beds, with Toni and I taking the Family room. I am sunburnt and I ache; I’m sore and I’m bruised but tearfully happy to have a house and my family.

Categories: tornado, update
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