Thursday, July 31, 2008

Power Lines and Cypress Trees~!

What do you get when you cross a 35 foot limb from a 100 year old Cypress Tree and a Power Line? A very scary day!

Just about noon yesterday another of Florida's powerful afternoon thunderstorms made its way to our house. Just above the top of the cover crop, I watched the thick, black clouds roll their way in and I heard the rumble of the powerful thunder. I sat on the couch to await the storm and I wondered if we'd lose any more limbs from our ancient Pecan and Cypress trees. The poor trees are so water-logged from this summer's rains that we are losing limbs at a rate of 3 per week.....not branches folks, but limbs the size of 20 year old trees.

Earlier this summer, the power line that attaches to the 100+ year old barn had a huge limb fall onto it and spark a fire that shut down the power line. The Electric Company sent out a crew immediately to fix it and trim up the trees that bordered the barn to avoid it happening again. We made arrangement for a representative to come out later that week to investigate our driveway which is also bordered with the huge Pecan and Cypress trees and where interference in the power lines was evident. This learned gentleman decided that "nope, you're okay....nothing in danger here!"...and drove away in his company truck.

Well, I'd like to invite him over for coffee today...just so he could see the 35 foot limb dangling just outside my office window that yesterday was lying on the power line just a scant three feet from the point where those power lines attach to my house!

The limb fell with a resounding crack....I thought it had landed on the house and ran to various windows to try to find daughter yelled "it's in the power line, Mom!" and I raced to my office to look out those windows. No one understands why the power didn't immediately go out...and I wish it had.

Had the power gone out like it did with the barn incident, I wouldn't have spent the next five hours trying to get folks on the other end of a phone line to understand the emergency I was faced with. Had the power gone out, I wouldn't have spent the next five hours worrying that my house was going to catch on fire when the limb eventually did succeed in tearing the power lines out of either my house or the power pole 12 feet away on the other side of my driveway.

When the Lineman eventually did arrive at our house (at 5 p.m.) he immediately saw the danger, shut down the power at the street and called in a work order for an emergency tree crew to handle the situation. He told us that it would take 4 hours to handle the issue and restore the power safely to our house. So, off we went to dinner.

At 8:30 we arrived back home to find that same gentleman back at our house totally ticked off. He had driven back to check up on the situation only to find that the tree crew had simply removed the limb from the power line, leaving it swinging in the wind just outside my kitchen and office windows still attached by what amounts to a twig to the tree. The crew had NOT trimmed up any of the additional danger areas (the waterlogged limbs were lying in the power lines all the way up our driveway AND that no one had restored our power and in fact the "box was left open".

This is how they left the tree limb - note the debris left dangling in the power line and how close it is to our house?

This lovely gentleman set up his spot light, got out his tree trimmer and rose high into the air in his little elevator thingie and trimmed the worst of the limbs at the beginning of our driveway and restored our power about 9 p.m.

But, this morning, I sit here awaiting the return of the tree crew to finish the I type this I watch a dangling 35 foot limb out of the corner of my eye and I can't drive my car out of my driveway due to the debris left in my driveway.............

This is my driveway this morning.......and this is the result of trimming only 2 of the huge trees whose limbs and branches interfere with our power lines.

But at least my 100 year old farmhouse still stands...unharmed by the fire that could very well have occurred yesterday because a gentleman two months ago stated that ""nope, you're okay....nothing in danger here!".

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