Mother Nature plays dominoes with trees in Old Ortega

Corner of Baltic and Algonquin

Corner of Baltic and Algonquin

A ferocious thunderstorm with a three-minute microburst knocked out power lines, snapped giant oaks and scattered limbs, branches and Spanish moss in Old Ortega at 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 22.

Skipping down a four-block-wide path during the lightening, thunder and blinding rain, the powerful gust felled trees and utility poles like dominoes in Cortez, Columbus and Seminole Parks, and at several homes in Ortega. Fortunately, no one was injured.

On Baltic Avenue, Kevin Thigpen’s family huddled in the hallway as a huge pine tree fell, smashing his truck, his sister-in-law’s car and snapping the power pole across the street in half.

“We were trapped, actually. The JEA guys were so professional; they secured the power pole and even helped clear the driveway,” said Thigpen.

Though not storm-related, JEA crews were working on the power station upgrade at Roosevelt Boulevard and Verona Avenue on Sunday morning, April 24.

Though not storm-related, JEA crews were working on the power station upgrade at Roosevelt Boulevard and Verona Avenue on Sunday morning, April 24.

Bonita Sykes described the wind as fierce. “I was coming home from work but I was scared to drive over the bridge. I couldn’t even see the river so I waited out the worst of it at Stimson Park,” she said.

Sykes arrived home to find a fallen tree stretched across her driveway. It severed the power lines from neighbor Margaret Day Julian’s power pole and brought it down.

JEA lineman worked in the rain until 3 a.m. to replace the pole, battling tree branches from the massive oaks. Sections of Hiawatha Street were out of power for almost 12 hours.

Jon Jenning’s Mustang was impaled by a 17-foot oak branch.

Jon Jenning’s Mustang was impaled by a 17-foot oak branch.

An eight-foot limb loaded with leaves and moss in Jon Jennings pool didn’t seem so upsetting after he discovered his crunched gate and the hood of his Ford Mustang impaled with a 17-foot, 18-inch diameter oak branch.

Deckle and Elisabeth Day came home to a giant cedar branch, which stretched across their back yard. Gary Knight of Arapahoe had damage to a trailer and to the new roof on his garage.

Edward Julian perched on a broken cedar branch in the backyard of his uncle, Deckle Day.

Edward Julian perched on a broken cedar branch in the backyard of his uncle, Deckle Day.

 

 

By Peggy Harrell Jennings

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