The Big Storm

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We had the wildest storm I have ever experienced here last night. I don’t know exactly what the peak wind speed was, but the peak at the nearest measurement point at Altnaharra was 97mph. It was certainly a big storm, big enough to cause the house to shake on occasions. The noise was, as someone said, like standing close to a jet engine at full throttle.

Our bedroom is on the windward side of the house. We evacuated in the middle of the night and moved to a room in the lee of the storm, to reduce both the noise and the risk of succumbing to a fallen tree. Even so, we did not get much sleep. This morning the wind speeds had moderated a little but it was lunch time before it was anything like normal.

Around the house the damage was limited to a chimney pot which was snapped in half and pitched onto the roof where it broke tiles before falling to the ground, and to the loss of lead flashing on a roof ridge. Large metal tree guards had also been broken from their moorings and tossed around by the wind.

Inevitably, the power went out just after 2.00am, but it was restored by late afternoon. I think that is really commendable given the scale of damage their has clearly been. And I realise we are among the lucky ones. There will plenty of people without power tonight.

The main damage though is to our forestry plantations where we have lost far too many trees to count. We always new that the risk of thinking the plantations was that the remaining trees were more vulnerable to windblow. We have certainly had a demonstration of this now. I’ve included a few photographs but they don’t really give the sense of the scale of windblow we have just experienced.

Still, no one was hurt and that’s the key thing.

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