Sound the Bugles!
The Cavalry Arrives!
Nearly a week after Hurricane Irma raged across the Atlantic, giving us a love tap on her way by, I finally found a tree service able to help us. The crane arrived first, then the bobcat and a crew of 15 men in two other trucks.
They closed off the road, and got to work, much to the entertainment of the neighborhood. (Folks set up folding chairs across the street to watch the production, though sadly, I have no pictures of the audience.) You can get an idea of the size and scope of this job from this shot. (That’s my husband, Mark, on the left side of the roof, keeping a sharp eye on the proceedings.)
You can see in this next picture that there is a huge portion of the tree resting on the ground in front of the garage window. That’s what kept the garage walls from being crushed completely flat, as it supported a much of the weight of this huge laurel oak.
The process begins! Men swarmed our roof and yard, sawing huge sections of tree trunk and smaller, but still giant, limbs away from the main trunk.
Stepping back to get an overall look. Did I mention how HUGE this tree was?? And rotten at the core. I think the only thing holding it up was bark! In this pic, you can also see a “small” limb being lifted up by the crane. (See the cable coming down from the top of the pic?)
And here it is, being lowered to the ground where it could be sawn into pieces small enough to go on the growing piles along the easement.
Another tangle of branches from the garage roof. I’m still amazed at this whole process.
Eventually, all of the tree was off the garage, and on the ground, being cut into bite-sized pieces for the eventual pick-up. (Which has not happened yet, btw.) But LOOK!! Included in the price tag was a guy with a leaf blower, making sure our roof was pristine again. Except for the freakin’ big HOLE in the garage portion, of course!! 😯 Lesson learned: Never let anything happen to your home that requires a crane to put right again. They are COSTLY. $7,000 for this one and crew, but they worked like champions and finished the job in 3 hours.
The bobcat driver amassed the cut logs into 8′ tall piles along the easement, essentially providing us with fort-like walls dense enough to protect us from machine gun fire, should the neighbors ever become really, really P.O.’d at us. (Hopefully not. They seem pretty nice.)
Below, just one of many piles marching cross the front of our yard, with Mark adding a few more bits. BTW, the first log shows you the rotted core of the tree. The one next to it is 4′ high at the end under Mark’s foot. (Comes past my waist, and I’m 5’10”!) Oh, and there’s a log across the street, because there was no more room for it on our side. You have to leave openings for the mailbox and the driveway, otherwise that one would be with the rest of the mess.
And that’s about it. Except for this.
And, of course, this.
Now, it’s all over but the waiting. And waiting. And waiting. With the amount of damage Florida sustained in this storm, especially in the southern part of the state and in the Keys, everyone is slammed. Adjustors, contractors, subcontractors, tree crews, and on and on. They are all up to their eyeballs in clean up and repair work.
We do (finally, after 3 weeks) have an appointment with an adjustor for tomorrow. She’s going to need to set us up with an engineer (if she isn’t one, herself) to write a report on the structural damage before anyone can even begin. And then we will need builders to replace rafters and attic flooring, block workers to replace the shattered lintel over the garage door, electricians, plumbers, and a roofer to replace the entire roof. And that doesn’t count shoring up the ceiling and removing the mangled garage door so we can actually get the vehicles out and assess the damage.
With any luck, Mark’s vintage VW will have only superficial damage, but I suspect the Honda will be a total loss. It’s been holding the full weight of the rafters and attic flooring and contents all this time. It will be a miracle if the frame isn’t buckled.
We are blessed compared to so many recent storm victims, but it’s still a lot of hassle and disruption. It’s also pretty stressful, and something I hope none of you ever have to deal with. Wish us luck! 🙂 I can’t wait for life to return to normal!