At 12:10 a.m. ADT, Monday September 29, 2003, Hurricane Juan made landfall in Nova Scotia as one of most powerful and damaging hurricanes to ever affect Canada. It hit us broadside as a Category 2 hurricane with winds near 160 km/h. It claimed 8 lives in Atlantic Canada and was the first hurricane since 1893 to bring these types of winds to the city of Halifax.
The winds came in from the South and luckily there is a small hill on that side of our home. We figure that it hit there and bounced over the house since the trees on both ends were blown down. There was also a small area sort of behind our place that there was some loss. Other than losing the back window of our son’s car and a wooden swing we fared out pretty well. Only one tree, the one that smashed the swing, came within 3 feet of our home.
I estimate that we lost around 300 trees on our small piece of property. These were mostly spruce that ranged in diameters from 4″ to 12″ and in heights, or lengths in this case, of 40 to 50 feet with a few even longer. Spruce has little root depth and grew so close together that when one toppled it would bring down several others with it.
We were without power for six days but the following few weeks were sunny and warm. We were working clearing this up from dawn to dusk and then it was off to bed so the need for any amount of electricity was minimal.
With the help of friends, neighbors and family the bulk of the mess was cleaned up within a month. Since then I have been puttering with it in the spring and fall. Each spring there are new downed trees because they are no longer sheltered.
Here are some photos taken of our property. I can assure you that they don’t ‘say a 1000 words’, or at least they don’t relate the feeling that overcomes one as you survey the scene the following morning:
It has been all pretty much cleared up by now except for a bit in the South-West corner of our lot and for the downfall we get each winter.
Within the overall scope of the damage that Hurricane Juan caused in our area we survived with relatively minimal damage. However, the lingering effects of this storm has been ingrained in our psyche. There is not a day that goes by that we are not reminded of the power of nature.
After almost six years new growth is starting to take hold. The spruce are a couple of feet tall and the young birch are in the five or six foot range. Soon, the leaves will be out and we’ll have some semblance of privacy once again. It all takes time and time does move rather quickly. In fact, I was surprised to realize that six years have past already… it seems like only yesterday.
Back to the shop…