Don't get blown away, but...

David Mary

pass the mustard - after you cut it
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Jul 23, 2015
Wind...probably a topic in need of it's own thread...

I could definitely fill a whole thread with my windstorm rantings. It's been 7 years since I left utility tree work, and it's taken me most of that time to be able to sleep through a wind event.

Let's hear your thoughts on this great force of nature and the experiences you had which formed them.
Many is the night I've been awakened from a dead sleep to remove branches from people's service drops, or to traipse through the woods on off road taps to find a tree laying on the primary.
I've lived through so many hurricanes I've lost count.
Doesn't sound like my idea of a good time. I'm glad I never had to work in the aftermath of one. First off palm tree work scares me, secondly I've no desire to sit in a bucket truck lacking AC with 2 other smelly tree guys and drive clear to Florida, just to sit and wait in a Walmart parking lot for some know it all forester who's never even run a saw to send us out to cut. Then tell us how to do it when we get there.
I've lived through so many hurricanes I've lost count.
Been living in east coast Floreeduh, Cape Canaveral to Key West since 1980.
Unless your in the eye of the Hurricane, damage isn't that bad. And you have a week or so to prepare to stay or run. There are worse natural disasters that give NO warning.
I left for only 1 Hurricane, I lived in the lower Keys and thought it best to leave when I could.
Damage was minimal for me but extensive for others near my home.
Not sure if this qualifies since it was calm when the picture was taken standing 10ish feet off the ground on not so fluffy snow.
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a volunteer firefighter. Ok, it was actually about 30 years ago, just two towns over from where I live now. It’s a very rural town, I think to this day the fire departments are still all volunteer. Our most frequent calls were road accidents and chimney fires. Because it was so rural, almost everybody had wood burning stoves, but not everybody knew how to keep them clean and safe. Road accidents happened all year round, but chimney fires of course were usually in the colder months. One such call came in the middle of blizzard conditions - near white-out, howling winds gusting up to 45-50 mph, and already about 6” of snow on the ground - and on roofs - and still falling heavily. We get to the house, and the roof is steep pitched with wood shingles. Which meant roof ladder. Another guy and I were up there balancing one foot each on the peak and another on the ladder, dropping a chain with a bunch of shorter chains dangling from a steel collar on the end down two floors of clogged chimney, constant lifting and dropping, scraping burning stuff off the sides to be collected by the lucky guys who got to work inside … once we punched through the clog.

Let me just add that before joining this fire department, I had a pretty healthy fear of ladders. I mean, I was in full panic mode just climbing a stepladder to shingle the roof of my 8x8 shed. Did not like them one bit. While Firefighter 1 class completely cured me of that fear, not much can prepare you for a snow-covered wood-shingle roof in the middle of a blizzard. At a scene full of your fellow volunteers and a family we’re there to help, you don’t want to be the one showing fear. So up we went.
Chapter 1: grew up in MT, playing soccer into my early 20's, in the wind 6 or 7 months out a year....Montana - a big state for big wind and weather resistant, but poor soccer players.

Chapter 2: early adolescent and childhood mountain top memories, are mostly accompanied by wind. Went up Sacajewea Peak when I was 7 and I remember the wind at the summit was so forceful it made my ear ache until my hood was up and pushed my little body around with sudden gusts.

Chapter 2: 1998 - I was 17 on Day 1 of 7 day canoe trip along a portion of the upper Missouri River in N. Central MT. Rifle hunting season trip, so 1st week of November. With my Dad steering in the rear, myself, and the 10 yr old son of a family friend in a canoe, two adults and another 10 year old in another canoe towing the luxury barge (canoe), my boat was passing the downstream end of an island that had been incidentally blocking a strong wind.

Once the wind break was cleared, our craft was struck by a sustained and severe wind across our direction of travel and the current of the river. The kid in the middle of the canoe was not much help, and my Dad and I could barely paddle forward despite our efforts, so the broadside wind forced us laterally across the river and toward the N. bank. We took on some water, but good boats, balanced packing, I think kept us from capsizing. Fortunately we did not run into our companions when the wind took hold, they were not entangled or jack-knifed by there tow along and while we were all forcefully beached and a bit damp, nobody ended up with hypothermia or drowned, and we were about 1000 yards from our intended camp. The sun was out, and high adventure was singing in my veins, too. A great memory fortunately remains.

Chapter 3: to be continued?

I will say that I've never been so tired as when I've spent an entire day exerting, working, or playing in a study wind. Just having to push back, with one's whole body, against the weight of the wind adds another level of endurance and energy expenditure to most anything outdoors.
I have cleaned up plenty of blowdown piles and "springy" trees but never had to do any cutting in the wind and DEFINITELY not in a bucket in the wind.