Tree Massacre

We heard the wind around midnight. No hail for us. A large cottonwood branch nearly took out the minivan, but only chipped a bit of paint on a side view mirror; its smaller brethren littered the yard and the tops of both cars. The loudest thing before that was the storm warning that blared out over the TV as we watched My Name is Earl on the DVR. I think Time Warner can tone down that notice a bit.

As of my commute time about an hour ago, the light at Barton Springs and Robert E Lee was completely out with no traffic cop in sight. Cars on Robert E Lee were backed up for quite a distance. Once I got to the intersection, I found an accident with an ambulance and fire engine, but no police car? Very odd. A downed tree took out a section of the fence at Umlauf. It looks like they’ll be doing a lot of cleanup today. Power is out for at least part of the Zilker neighborhood. Leaves and small branches littered most of the streets that I drove.

It was hard to tell, but it looks like there might have been a fire somewhere between Far West and 183 west of Mopac? I haven’t seen any news to corroborate that, but there appeared to be smoke mixed in with the clouds.

Update: Reports from C., the Statesman and Austinist as well.

Update 2 (2008.05.15 17:18 CDT): Some people may be without power until sometime Saturday. Ouch.

3 Comments so far

  1. lauratex on May 15th, 2008 @ 10:29 am

    No damage in Legend Oaks, out in Oak Hill, that I can tell… haven’t been out and about yet. Want to go check on our new place in Travis Heights…

  2. wae (aus_andy) on May 15th, 2008 @ 12:57 pm

    Tree massacre indeed. I watched as a 30′ limb from my tallow succumbed to the wind around 12:30. It managed to miss both cars and power lines, so the Zilker outages aren’t my fault. Our power came back on around 3:30am.

    I didn’t lose much sleep over the tallow, but it did leave two young screech owls homeless. Amazingly, they survived the storm unprotected and are now perched in a makeshift nest in the hollowed remains of the tree. So last night’s nature drama continues …

  3. Richard Ault (richard) on May 15th, 2008 @ 2:47 pm

    Hey, I wonder if this is the same windstorm that tore the ass out of SF earlier this year. We lost something like 1/10 of our trees in one day. Just crazy high winds…

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