• Tech-Age Ice Storm: Lessons To Learn

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    For some, an unwanted reminder of Hurricane Sandy that crashed into the East Coast as megastorm of the century is a big tree uprooted, lying across the yard — If lucky, missing the house. From North Carolina to Canada trees toppled or broke off big limbs, killing or injuring people and animals, crashing into homes and cars, blocking roads and ripping down power lines. The intense storm toppled 8,497 trees in New York City alone. But it doesn’t take a hurricane or a megastorm to uproot timber. The nor’easter that hit the upper East Coast Wednesday and Thursday brought down more trees. And storms, of course, hit all parts of the United States and much of the world, downing trees as part of the damage. Yet most trees keep their “feet” firmly planted in the ground.

    Everyone thinks it will never happen to them, and then it does. You and your family become unwilling captives of an event that demands your hunkering down for your safety and well-being. It can be a hurricane, snowstorm, or like I lived through, an ice storm that brought the Southeastern part of Pennsylvania into what people were calling “Snowmageddon”– one snow storm after another, often every other day, since November. If that wasn’t bad enough, we experienced a brutal weather ‘centerpiece’, the “ice apocalypse” that downed power lines for over 715,000 people early in February 2014. Most folks had no choice but to shelter in place at home.

    After several days in icy frigid weather without power, light, heat, food refrigeration, phone service, cable, the Internet and all the high tech appliances – even cell phones at one time – modern life made us servants to, life stood still and we …

    Although they can become unwilling weapons in severe weather, I think most of us would not want to live without our trees. They give character to our properties, shade in the summer, beautiful leaf colors in the fall, and homes to our wildlife. Most trees were living long before we were and, hopefully, will be living long after we are gone. But inevitably nature will periodically rise up and destroy some. “When we have a truly intense storm (Category 2-3) we will see unfathomable damage to forests in the Eastern U.S.,” warns Foster. “ A 1637 or 1938 hurricane will return.”

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