Without a doubt, storm damage posts have proliferated in recent years. Perhaps it’s a rubberneck fascination with pathos and tragedy. Or perhaps climate change has amped up the drama and frequency of dramatic happenings. Likely both. And this ancient maple — wise for the century plus it’s stood sentry on Merchants Row observing — is the most recent casualty.
Late this afternoon, returning to Rosslyn from an errand, I came across two new tragedies. In the photo above, you’ll note the immense maple tree that stood on our front lawn just north of the driveway entrance, was toppled by a violent thunderstorm.
And the second storm damage installment involved another massive tree growing opposite the Essex-Charlotte ferry dock. It was split asunder with one massive trunk striking (and puncturing) the Belden Noble Library roof.
Note the roof damage in the background and vigilant Town of Essex Supervisor, Ken Hughes, directing traffic in the foreground. Plenty of pathos, but Ken assured me in a follow-up message that the library may have fared slightly better than initially expected.
Damage appears to be isolated to roof and attic. Second and first floors are ok. No water damage that I can see. Once tree is removed, tarp will be placed over roof. — Ken Hughes
I hope that his early assessment is accurate. It certainly is reassuring to have him at the helm of our community.
And that gratitude I felt to Ken in this time of crisis extends others as well.
I’m grateful that Bradley French, Town of Essex Highway Superintendent, managed to avoid being crushed under the tree. He was southbound in his pickup truck when the cloudburst toppled the tree. Against all odds he braked in time to avoid a catastrophe. His truck was damaged, be fortunately he is hale and hardy tonight.
And I am grateful to the first responders who appeared on the scene mere minutes after the acient maple exploded across the road. Local emergency volunteers, a New York State trooper, and a pair of line repair teams and trucks,… within short order a modicum of order was restored.