Wednesday, September 19

Wind Storm of September 2012

Friday September 7, 2012 I spent in Branson at an all day meeting of regional managers.  The meeting was held at the beautiful Big Cedar Lodge convention hall.  The sight I returned home to Friday evening was in stark contrast to the lake vistas of the day.

Reportedly, 80 mile per hour straight-line winds did damage all over the Ozarks.  In our case an oak tree to the west of our home snapped off about 6 feet up and fell on to the house.  The weight of the tree created a hole through the roof decking, the rafters, the joists, and the ceiling.  I arrived home at approximately 6 PM to find three trees down on our property.  The oak pictured above did the most  damage.  Branches that broke off from a second oak tree also struck the southwest corner of the house tearing up the soffit, fascia, and some fence.  A walnut tree was uprooted and fell on the deck.  The grill was smashed and the railing on the deck was destroyed.  Most of the weight of that tree rested on the propane tank.  There wasn't any noticeable damage to the tank, thankfully.  The third tree fell in the pasture and did no damage.

Water continued to pour into the kitchen and living room area while several friends, family members, and I worked to remove the tree and cover the hole.  By about 10 PM we had the tree removed and a large tarp covering the entire west half of the house.  Below is a view of the hole before we covered it.

Inside things were soaked, and there were signs of damage all throughout the house.  The western load bearing wall took the brunt of the weight and showed stress and cracking where the tree struck.  There was water damage and cracks throughought the celings and in the soffit of the kitchen cabinets.  The particle board subfloor below the tile has since started to expand and the laminate wood flooring in the living room has begun to warp.  That was just the superficial damage I could see.

At the suggestion of several contractors (3 out of the 4 we've talked to), we hired an engineer to look at the cracks in the basement.  There are definitely new cracks below where the tree struck.  It's obvious they are new as the debris from the crack still lies on the floor of the basement and there is no water staining or calcium buildup in the cracks like in the older settling cracks.

At a minimum, the entire roof (structural members, not just decking) needs to be replaced.  All of the wet insulation will need to be removed from the ceiling, as well as the ceiling drywall will need to be replaced. It's still wet enough that it's soft to the touch in places.  Several interior walls will need new dry wall, and we probably need new floors in the living room and kitchen, which requires removing cabinets, etc.  On the exterior the bricks need to come down to repair the western and northern walls.

At maximum, we may need a new house.  The engineer's report is due today and the adjuster will need to time to review.  So we continue to be on high-pressure-standby.  In the mean-time kidding season fast approaches and we need to be sure we have a warm place to take the inevitable bottle babies to keep them warm if needed.

The day following the storm my helper and I hauled 8 trailer loads of wood to the wood pile; at least the goats enjoyed the snack and the new obstacles to play on.