Monday, July 2, 2012

Majestic Old Trees at Mt. San Angelo Succumb to Storm

It's called a derecho—that crashing riptide of winds that tore through Virginia last Friday. It began in Illinois and took about 12 hours to get to here, fueling itself on the above average temperatures. This particular derecho was notable for its strength, speed and longevity.

No one at VCCA was hurt, but the straight-line winds were so powerful, they felled some of Mt. San Angelo's grand old trees—black walnut, oak, pine, cedar and a glorious poplar.

Electricity has been off since Friday and the temperatures have been soaring into three digits. Fortunately, the kitchen stove is gas so Chef Stella (who is filling in for Sarah while she is on vacation) and her diligent staff along with Resident Artist Barbara Bernstein have been cooking—in every sense of the word—all weekend. 

Resident Artist David Garratt along with Facilities Manager Mike Patterson have been on premises every day—clearing, fixing, and trying to make things a little easier for our patient Fellows.

This derecho created an outage of Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud in Northern Virginia, which took down Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram and other services on Friday evening. So it won't surprise anyone to know that our fragile Internet is being very skittish right now.
     
Director of Annual and Planned Giving Carol O'Brien took these photos on her cell phone this morning:
Side entrance to office
Behind writer's cottage (pool is outside the photo on right)
   
Rear of facilities shed
Fellows Residence is in background
Birth of a derecho: this is what it looked like as it was developing in Chicago. Photo by Samuel Shea.

2 comments:

Kim Church said...

I was there for the storm, and want to thank Barbara and David for keeping the fellows calm, safe, and accounted for in a dangerous situation. Thanks, too, to Barbara and Stella for feeding us miraculous meals despite record heat and no power.

To everyone at VCCA: I wish you power, and soon.

David Groff said...

Gosh, how upsetting to see those magnificent, damaged trees. I can imagine how gracefully and heroically Barbara, David, Stella and the entire VCCA crew are weathering the heat and power outage. My cooling thoughts are with you!