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Big wind

Two days ago, we had a lot of wind (gusts 60-65 mph). That day I finished boiling , cleaned up and headed home about 4 pm. Then 3 hrs later I went back down, as I drove in the 400′ long driveway to the sugarhouse I could see a tree or limb sticking up so it was above the roof on the cupola. Checking it out I discovered that an ash tree had blown over, it hit the corner over hang of the sugarhouse, broke 2 purlins that the steel roofing is attached to, then fell to the ground, missing a bulk tank filled with propane by about 6″(my finisher, tankless water and a small wall furnace plus my firestarter, [a 500,000 BTU weed burner] use propane).Then as I walked behind the sugarhouse I saw that a 7-8″ diameter limb had broken off the ash tree and had landed with the big end on the ground, the middle leaned on the overhang of the roof about 1/3 of the way towards the other corner and the top stuck up about 2′ above the cupola roof (the roof peak is about 18′ high).

Yesterday I went down and cleaned up, I first cut the ash tree (about 15″ diameter at the big end) into 8-10′ logs and stacked them using my excavator. Then I put a chain as high as I could reach on the limb that was leaning against the overhang, hooked the other end of the chain to the excavator bucket, lifted the bucket high and pulled on the chain, as the limb started to move it swung to the left, moving rather fast. Luckily I was able to lower the boom fast enough to get the swinging limb low enough so that as it hit the excavator it hit the protective railing. Had I not gotten it low enough it would have hit me before the swinging end hit the roll cage structure, I’d have surely gotten some broken ribs or worse.

Upon inspecting the sugarhouse I only find the 2 broken purlins and some minor bent edges on the steel roofing. I’ll replace the purlins but the steel roofing will be ok.

Then today the wind again blew hard, but only at up to 45 mph, so I stayed out of the woods, too many broken and swinging limbs to be out in that wind. Hopefully tomorrow it will die down. From the tree that was blown over, it also took down one end of a mainline that brings the sap in from about 60-70 taps. I hope to get that fixed tomorrow so I can collect more sap. Next week on Friday will be my last day collecting sap and boiling, then I’ll need to finish off the rest of the syrup, pack some in retail containers and the rest in SS barrels, then clean all of the equipment in the sugarhouse, wash all of the tanks and pull the taps  and replace the broken purlins before my surgery on 4/18.

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