Radically Inept
Thursday, September 09, 2004
  Hurricaine Francis Impacts Blogging

I am writing this on borrowed power. Our neighbors, Gay and Earl, are kind enough to let us run a drop cord from their patio outlet to our refrigerator. I've run a second cord up to the computer to allow me to prep for the class I'm teaching on Sunday (Geometry and Critical Reading), but I thought I would take a moment and let readers know why I haven't been posting lately.

I took the weekend off to do chores; luckily as it turns out. And then Tuesday morning 0330 hrs, our 200 year old Oak Tree decided to give up the ghost in the 52 mph gusts of wind (value to replace: Approx. $4,200).

No one was hurt.

Half of it fell on our master bedroom, and three cars.

An hour later, the other half fell, thankfully, hit the neighbors yards, and took out a few plants, including her Japanese Maple that she'd raised from a fifteen inch sprig to a foliage diameter of 6-8ft (value to replace: Approx $3,500).

No one was hurt.

We have no electricity, but our phone survived. Our gas water heater means we still can take hot showers.

We are fortunate that we know an excellent tree service, Brown's Tree Service and Landscaping. They got here Tuesday evening, and with the help of a 65 ton crane, were able to remove the tree from the house without causing more damage. They are here this morning doing final clean up. The owner was also kind enough to call a contracting friend of his, who was vacationing in Las Vegas and he cut his vacation early, and is supposed to come out today and give us an estimate.

Hopefully, our good luck, following the misfortune will continue and everything will get repaired quickly and we can return to normal. As of right now, we are having a problem with Georgia Power, who is refusing to do anything to accomadate us in getting power returned. The tree hit where the power originally enters the house, and they say due to structural damage, they won't authorize a temporary hook up. They won't even authorize a temporary pole or alternate means of entry. We are considering requesting them to run an underground line, which is better and safer anyway, so we'll see.

The cost for tree removal was $9,100, which seems high initially, but this is a very professional crew, they are trustworthy, they worked their butts off, and they cleaned up after themselves. I don't have to go out right now and rake or clean the driveway, or anything. The job is complete.

On the other hand, the estimate to repair the lawn from the tree itself and all of the equipment, including the 65 ton crane, the 7.5 ton dump trucks, the 8 ton tracked New Holland bucket loader (the track was after factory, but very effective), etc., is $4,650. We don't know what the repairs to the house will be, but they include at least 5 - 6 sections of sheet rock/drywall in the ceiling and walls of the master bedroom due to water damage, the replacement of several rafters and cieling joists, possibly an entire new set of shingles for the house and attached carport (also hit), the chimney (no clue yet as to how bad the damage is, but it lost seven or so courses of brick from the top), and somewhere around 200 sq ft of siding. The last is a little depressing, because the house was built with real redwood back in the early seventies, and while I don't want us to go back to logging the redwoods, I sure do appreciate its value as beautiful, strong and durable building material.

On the plus side, our house insurance through State Farm only requires a $100 deductable, so, again, if fortune stays on our side, we will get out of the home damage comparitively cheap.

On the auto side, the Boy's car, an '02 Honda Accord with everything, got hit pretty bad, but was drivable and is now in the shop. The '93 Toyota Tercel, which was pretty much a wreck anyway, I'll have towed to the scrap yard later today. Our '93 Volvo was partially under the car port, and the damage is the rear window, and rear, driver's side roof support. With the $1000 dollar deductable in our insurance coverage, it looks like that one is all on us.

Todd, the owner of the tree service, is amongst other things, a certified arborist, and all plant values are his estimates.

I'm still surprised at how much damage the remnants of Frances did here in central Georgia. Their is a fair amount of trees down across the city, and flooding was fairly extensive in some areas on Tuesday through the early hours of Wednesday. Of course, I'm sure our damage is minor compared to Florida and South Georgia. And, now we get to watch Ivan(?), and see what track it finally takes.

Finally, I probably will not post here again, surf the web, or anything, until we have power and I have time. Please check back in a week or so. It may be sooner, but all things considered, that seems unlikely. Anyway, for those interested, I will continue to post the costs and work involved to bring our household back to normal.

I'm sure this needs proofing, but I am going to go plug the refrigerator back in, and gather my course materials and get to work when I think the fridge has cooled back down.

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