When I left work last night in Springfield the rain was pounding down, some of it sideways. Visibility for driving was poor. City streets were flooded, some up to a foot or more. Traffic on the highway didn’t move at more than 40 mph. It was a nasty storm.
When I got off the highway in Holyoke, it looked like we got hit a bit harder than Springfield. Immediate sights included limbs torn off of trees. As I got closer to the park I saw that not just limbs were down, but some trees were actually uprooted and lying on their sides. Had children been playing in the water park, they would have been seriously injured since limbs came down right on it, and on the surrounding benches. These were not sickly trees either. Upon further inspection we found that some limbs had been snapped off, but had not fallen to the ground, rather were suspended in power lines. Very dangerous.
At the school across the street from our house a large tree had snapped in half and torn the corner right off of the building, roof and all. Beautiful masonry ruined. Additional limbs from this tree were to be found in the rear parking lot, on the other side of the school.
Turning up my street actually brought me the worst worry. A neighbor two houses up from me had his gutter ripped from the side of his house. Additionally his carport, not a permanent structure, but heavy duty, was ruined. A bit further up the street a massive pine tree had snapped in half and taken down all of the power, telephone and cable lines on the way down. Behind that, limbs fell on a two-story garage in someone’s back yard and stripped part of their slate roof.
In the other direction limbs came down and took out the aerial lines for power and cable to some homes. The lines were laying in the road, surrounded by water. Folks really couldn’t do anything in the way of cleanup until the electric company came to clear the lines because of the danger of electrocution.
Props to HG&E. They were all over the roads within 5 minutes of the storm’s completion, surveying the damage. Huge trucks rolled to dangerous spots immediately. The crews worked all night long. The storm rolled through at about 4:00 and we had power back by 11:30, although crews were still there for telephone lines and clearing debris until at least 2:30a.m.
Honestly I have nothing to complain about. My only inconveniences were the window boxes being stripped from our front porch, and urns holding ornamental trees being overturned. We had left the 2nd floor windows open so there was some water inside, and some things that were lightweight were sent flying across the room. Obviously we had no power so we cooked out on the grill, but nothing that we aren’t used to after living without a kitchen for almost a year. We were very lucky.
For the first time, we fell asleep to the sounds of chainsaws. We heard them from the moment we pulled into the driveway and I have no recollection of when they stopped.
I haven’t heard the word tornado used in relation to this storm at all in the media, but that’s certainly what it looked like went through our neighborhood.