|Will I ever get home?|
The centre in Kilmallock was evacuated at 1.30pm when the storm had knocked out the power and heating and people were starting to panic about getting home.Birdie was stranded ( "my fella" as she calls her long suffering husband, was stuck in traffic in Mallow)so I offered to take her home.
Easier said than done!
|from Old Pallas to Pallasgreen|
It was like the start of a bad horror film. Strangers stranded in a hotel, the power out, the staff trying to look after everyone as best they could, all eyes on the door for fresh arrivals and updates on yet more roads closed and yet more trees down. I looked out at one stage, watching the trees across the road (luckily there are no trees near the hotel) buckle and flail in the wind, and thought, I'm stuck here for the night!! But two coffees and one old lady later the news arrived; the town had reopened, the winds had dropped, and there might be a way home after all. Woo hoo!
Two hours later I finally got home!
|Kilmallock to Bruff Road|
It should have taken me 25 minutes, but between trees down, council crews with chainsaws, diversions, power lines flailing like ribbons, floods and deadly back-roads it was the longest commute of my life. I have to take my hat off to everyone on the council crews and the local farmers with machinery and chainsaws who worked flat out to clear the roads. The nicest man I met was near home, a cheerful farmer in a tractor clearing debris off a back road " don't go down there" he told me, "there are five trees down in the next mile alone!". I thanked him profusely and told him to mind himself as we talked casually underneath a huge tree leaning dramatically at a 45 degree angle across the road. He had just picked up his chainsaw to start cutting it down. "Tis a pity about this tree" he said, "I thought it would escape, it stood strong all morning, and that other bloody tree( he tilted his head to the other side of the road) I hoped would fall is still standing!"
The beautiful weeping willow in my neighbors garden that has been the backdrop to so many springs and summers here was the last tree I met across the road as I finally saw home. I cant tell you how sad it made me to see it lying prostrate on the road, it was so beautiful, and I had loved seeing it fill with new leaves each Spring. Not any more. No doubt in the middle of all this chaos, aside from the practicality of clearing roads, people are saddened to lose some much loved trees.
|This tree on the Dromkeen back-road took the ditch with it!|
I hope all of you are OK tonight and in one piece after a unforgettable crazy day . Eliza I hope your beautiful old trees are all still standing.
|The end of the lovely weeping willow|