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Tappahannock Storm

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by axe2fall, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. axe2fall

    axe2fall Hound runner

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    Last Wednesday an tornado ripped a 1/4 mile wide by 28 mile long path through Virginia. It varied in intensity through 4 counties. We live in Essex Co. where it remained an F3 and wiped out over 50 homes and damaged hundreds more.
    We were in desperate need of everything except volunteers which showed up in droves. Donations are pouring in. Food, clothes, toiletries, paper goods, money, even portable showers. Volunteers feeding volunteers. It's amazing how people respond to tragedy. Many members on here donated chains when we could not keep the saws going. This site is full of good people.
    I said I would post some pictures that I took during some clean up. We have weeks of work left and running about 300 chainsaws. It's the worst kind of cutting imaginable. image.jpeg Naylors area lost 9 of their 16 homes
    image.jpeg
    This is a small example of what we are cutting. The idea is to make roads wide enough that equipment can pass each other to keep things moving
    image.jpeg
    This is all that's left of the home of one of the first men to show up when my barn caught on fire during hurricane Sandy. It was 200 yards to the right of this road. He and his wife woke up in a tangle of trees about midway between the two spots. Her leg is broken but otherwise they are ok. It was especially sad to be here. They had lost their teenage daughter in a car wreck a few years back and although they had lost everything the family was here just trying to find a photograph of her.
    image.jpeg
    This is my friend Joes truck. He is standing in the road in the last pic. He has been donating time, labor and equipment to clear the roads. He also came to my rescue after Sandy. I hope he gets some paying jobs from this.
    image.jpeg
    A rare idle saw. In fact I think it's the 036 that JJ so generously put bearings in for me. Who would think that we would have help from Oregon ! I think some of the church groups were feeding us about now.
    image.jpeg
    When my old friend called me from the firehouse after the storm he regretted to inform me that they needed saws. I told him that I was on my way, tell em to let me through. Oh boy did I agonize while loading my babies in the truck. Except for the Husky. I bought that one to be my loaner saw. Again AS has helped out our community because none of these saws were runners and probably still would not be runners if not for this site.
     
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  2. alexcagle

    alexcagle Cutoff Saw Specialist

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    Wow.
    That was a bad one.
    Heart wrenching damage.
     
  3. fearofpavement

    fearofpavement Trying them all

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    When you show up after a tornado with a saw and the knowledge to use it, the thankfulness of the people being helped is pay for the efforts. Good job and hope all your saws come back still running. If not, post up what you need and it's likely the forum can help remedy that...
     
  4. axe2fall

    axe2fall Hound runner

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    I ended up staying with the saws. It was a really dark night and there were a lot of live power lines mixed in the mess. A local farmer that I don't know had a monster rubber tire loader and busted paths through the worst places. Once EMS had people out we just waited till morning when we could see what we were cutting and had some rest.
    I realized that the saws were not as important as I had thought and had resolved to the fact that I might not get them back. The crew that I ended up with had some saws and all I do is loan mine out while I swap chains or do some maintenance. We have not been sharpening chains. We were putting on new ones and having them sharpened that night. At first we were short on chains for that plan but that issue has been resolved. At least in part if not entirely by folks on here. Chains came in from everywhere once I posted on the swap meet. I am not sure who sent what or from where but we have enough chains now to work all day.
    People have been so wonderful. One guy that lost his house asked me where all of these nice people came from. His wife told him they were always here and that he should stop watching the news !
    The first day in I planned on narrating a video but when I watched it I had not spoken. I was looking for Joe and when I found him working I stopped the film but restarted it to show the width of the tornado. If I can figure out how to post them later I will. I was speechless but they speak for themselves.
     
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  5. TonyK

    TonyK Addicted to ArboristSite Staff Member

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    Amazing pictures. Good for you and all of the people helping out.
     
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  6. blsnelling

    blsnelling Site Contributor

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    Wow. I'm sorry for your troubles! That was a big one!
     
  7. zogger

    zogger Tree Freak

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    Sorry for all the destruction, tornadoes are no fun, we have been hit here twice in the 12 years we have been living in the cabin.

    Glad you were able to get a lot of help, let us know if there is anything else.
     
  8. axe2fall

    axe2fall Hound runner

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    Keep in mind that this road, like a dozen others, was crossed by the storm. Imagine the damage to homes had it run parallel to the roads. Note the last house in the second video. It shows how defined the edges were. The van was picked up and flipped on the left side of the house which was shredded. The right side was almost undamaged. Throughout its entire 28 mile path it seemed it either dessimated everything or didn't touch anything.
    I am just south of my house here, driving north and was about 15 seconds into the tornado crossing when I started recording.





    My son lives near where it touched down. They were under overlapping tornado warnings for 3 hours. They stayed in a 5x5 bathroom with a 4yo. and a year old toddler the entire time. An earlier twister that day had produced several fatalities so everyone took the warnings seriously. ( That sad fact probably saved a lot of lives in our storm. ) They had no power or internet so we were relaying warnings by text message while they played patty cake with the babies. 10 minutes later it just missed my parents. Television was out and it was dark and pouring rain so they never knew a thing. 10 minutes after that it passed just south of our place. We lost parts of our road and had some water in the basement from the heavy rain but none of us had any wind damage.
     
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  9. amberg

    amberg Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I feel so bad for the people down there. It is truly a mess that people will never forget. If I were able I would drive down to help you out.

    God bless you all!
     
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  10. zogger

    zogger Tree Freak

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    Man, nasty awesome...I've been through hurricanes and tornadoes..they both suck...
     
  11. Full Chisel

    Full Chisel Slingin' Stihls and runnin' Huskies

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    We were on the cold side of that storm in IL with a few inches of windblown snow. That was an intense storm system for sure. Good on you for pitching in and helping people out in the worst of times!
     
  12. Miles86

    Miles86 ArboristSite Operative

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    Man- that is awful, very sorry for your losses in Tappahannock, I've been there many times and really like that area. Hope all is well, and be careful.
     
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  13. svk

    svk A little bit of everything

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    Terrible destruction. I really feel for those folks.

    The one good thing is that you have the right tools for the job, which is priceless in a time of dire need.
     
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  14. VA 372xp

    VA 372xp ArboristSite Guru

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    Here in henrico county my house and a large pine got hit by lightning from that storm I saw lightning hit as I pulled in the driveway, it was to much handle at the time lol

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
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  15. VA 372xp

    VA 372xp ArboristSite Guru

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    All they showed on tv here was Surry county tornado

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
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  16. axe2fall

    axe2fall Hound runner

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    Channel 6 and 12 were down here for 3 straight days. Channel 12 is still popping in and out of clean up and donation sites.
     
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  17. VA 372xp

    VA 372xp ArboristSite Guru

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    I don't watch much news so I may have missed it I saw Tappahannock briefly the following day on the weather channel I believe it was

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
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  18. axe2fall

    axe2fall Hound runner

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  19. LowVolt

    LowVolt TIH2HO

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    So sorry for the families there. They will be in our thoughts and prayers.

    I can only imagine there faces as you opened the bed of your truck. God bless you and all those lending a helping hand.
     
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  20. Guido Salvage

    Guido Salvage Supreme Saw Whoreder

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    I have spent quite a bit of time in that area, one of my old drinking buddies lives in Manquin and his wife taught for years at St. Margaret's. I don't think I ever bought a saw farther east than King William, but I have hauled a truck, a tractor, a cutting disc and a trailer from out of that area. Glad you got the equipment you need to help out.
     
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