September 10, 2021: Hurricane Larry (41 Photos)
We heard rumblings of Hurricane Larry about 5 days ahead of its forecasted arrival right over the Avalon Peninsula. As the week wore on it became more and more clear that we were right in the line of fire and the storm would make landfall near Long Harbor Placentia Bay as a Category 1 Hurricane late Friday night/Saturday morning. Unfortunately just in time for the opening day of Moose Hunting.
Thursday evening I gave mark a hand to secure his new camper and campsite in Pouch Cove. This included cleaning and drawing in all three slides, putting outdoor furniture away, securing storage sheds and finally strapping together items that wouldn't fit inside into one large mass.
We weren't so much worried about objects being damaged, but more importantly what damage they would do to Mark's or other people's property if they became airborne.
After performing a few service calls Friday morning I then ran a few errands including filling propane tanks and gas cans. When I got home I started making preparations around our house. First I loaded up Dad's 16' enclosed trailer with the Argo and Bike to have a good amount of weight inside. Both units were securely strapped down.
I then backed up the trailer tight to my detached garage, the wind would be southerly hitting the rear wall of my garage. I left the trailer connected to my truck and chocked the trailer wheels front & rear on both sides.
Next I started checking stuff outside the house and found a very loose outdoor light fixture on the patio. I quickly discovered the pancake box was improperly secured directly to the siding.
I cut the siding with a large hole saw and test fit the box. I then removed it, installed a wire anchor, siliconed the perimeter of entire 4" opening and properly fastened the box in place.
I reinstalled the light fixture and ran another bead of silicone sealant around the outer edge of the fixture. With that project complete I went on to touch up caulking on other outdoor fixtures, electrical boxes and doors.
The hurricane force wind would be right on the back deck so I strapped the BBQ in place for safekeeping.
My garden gate would also be directly in the line of fire so I secured the latch with 1/4" through bolts, nuts and washers, and installed a temporary brace on bottom of the gate with 3.5" screws to prevent the gate from breaking loose.
By midnight the storm had arrived in force but the worst winds were forecasted for 3am. Thankfully it was a fast moving storm and dropped only 30mm rain.
Around 2am I watched a crazy strong, long lasting gust (estimated at 145kph at the airport nearby) take out the beautiful tree at the end of our driveway. It was actually on the property of our neighbors Dan and Amanda but fell across our driveway.
The Olight Marauder 2 does an awesome job illuminating nighttime photos!
Sandra's Uncle Joe sent us some pictures from Southern Harbour which was also directly in the path of the storm. In addition to even stronger winds they had to deal with a 1.5m storm surge on top of high tide.
The surge raised boats above the wharves, sent smaller boats inland, and carried storm debris across the main road through town rendering it impassable.
The next morning was still pretty windy but no more than a regular windy day here in Newfoundland. The tree with more than 3/4 of its roots destroyed was unsalvageable.
Some sections of Dan's fence came down taking with it their swing set.
His rear fence was even worse and some siding was ripped from the rear of their house.
Michael Stroh had a rough night in Paradise listening to the racket of siding peeling from their home. He had to run out and move their vehicles onto the lawn and out of the path of flying debris.
His neighbour fared a little worse as part of their roof was compromised.
Matt and Alyssa fared a little better only losing a few pieces of siding up high on the side of their 2 story home.
Saturday afternoon Dan and I set to work dismantling the fallen tree to clear my driveway.
I put my Husqvarna 550xp to work cutting up larger pieces for firewood. We threw the remaining branches temporarily in the ditch so today's winds wouldn't carry them away.
We plucked out the stump with Dan's Ram 1500 and his Suzuki King Quad pulling slowly while I cut off the remaining roots with a reciprocating saw.
Later in the day Sandra and I ran some errands and surveyed storm damage along the way. The entire brick facade of Ian and Audrey's apartment building came crashing down damaging a number of vehicles.
Many vehicles in the city were damaged by wind blown debris.
Many poles cracked off while fallen trees took out even more power lines across the city at one point leaving 30,000 customers without power.
This is the only photo that isn't mine, but it's too crazy not to share. This travel trailer was toppled near St. Mary's where wind speeds of 189kph were recorded.
Sunday morning I ran a new member orientation at the gun club and later surveyed storm damage across our facility. We fared very well with no major damage to club buildings or infrastructure.
Some sporting clays shooting stands were toppled as were a few trees and garbage cans.
I spent a couple hours tracking down and retrieving the plastic lids for our trash barrels, picking up wind strewn garbage and righting toppled tables. At the same time some great club volunteers made minor repairs to target stands on the rifle range and made a temporary repair to the lattice windbreak on Clays Station G.
Our mostly full garbage dumpster was pushed back about four feet during the storm!
When I got home Sunday afternoon the Town of Torbay announced a tree branch drop off location behind the town hall. I cut the branches into shorter lengths and loaded up the truck twice to clear our property of debris.
All in all we fared quite well both personally and as a community. Advanced warning helped a lot as did social media for sharing storm preparation tips with neighbours near and far. I used the Shed-Headz Facebook page to help spread tips and other useful information to our followers there. Thankfully there were no deaths, injuries or widespread damages.
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith