A huge storm took us by surprise yesterday afternoon here in Minneapolis. One minute my sister and I were discussing who would be baking brownies for my mom's birthday party, and five minutes later she called me back in tears, "My trees are all gone!"
Straight-line winds hit South Minneapolis in addition to a tornado, affecting a relatively small area of Minneapolis and a few neighboring suburbs. Unfortunately, it hit hard. Really hard. It also smacked straight into my sister's neighborhood, just a mile or two from our house, affecting six out of the seven beautiful, old trees in her yard. One landed on her porch, causing roof damage as well as breaking a window. Another landed on the house, perhaps the cause of her chimney now resting in her front lawn?
Here's a shot of her metal gazebo that used to grace her back patio with lovely shade. It is now wrapped around a tree that was to be cut down shortly after I took this picture. Also, look at the size of this tree trunk they removed in one grab of the claws. My sister, her husband and son were all home at the time and were able to call the insurance agency right away after it happened. Within an hour, their representative had sent out a tree company, a contractor and a disaster representative, almost beating the city's trucks to the scene. My brother-in-law and their three-year old son were in the back yard when the storm hit and just barely made it into the house. The wind was so strong that they couldn't get the door closed and had to weather the worst lying down in the back entryway of their house, surrounded by windows. They are all ok, their trees are not. It appears that there are no casualties in the city, just a lot of people without electricity and a lot of work ahead of them.