There’s nothing like a disaster to bring out the spirit of cooperation and the chainsaws.On Monday morning, crumpled parts of once beautiful trees blocked five of the six roads leading out of my neighborhood east of the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman. One block in particular was a jumble of limbs, some as thick around as an oil drum. Residents, at least one with a chainsaw, joined forces, working most of the day to untangle and clear their street.
On another street, I saw several people trying to clear the road of limbs with handsaws. I knew then that my chainsaw – that screeching two-stroker that had just helped clear my driveway and that of a neighbor of fallen oak tree limbs – must do its part. Returning with the saw after the others who were here had left, I hacked at the limbs blocking the street. Before I was halfway through moving them, another guy driving a pickup pulled up and began helping haul them to the side. Turns out he was considering buying a home in the neighborhood and had been just passing through that morning.
Most residents in this heavily wooded addition had their own adventures with falling limbs. Limbs landed on my roof, on the neighbor’s roof and on power lines connected to each of our houses. I helped the neighbor clear limbs from her power line and propped up supports beneath a giant cracked limb that had stretched but not severed my home’s power line. With each limb that leaped to its death, there were the same sounds. First there was the sharp, echoing pop that reminded me of cracking ice of glaciers in Alaska, followed by the sound of falling ice and debris and the thud of whatever it landed on.
In my backyard, that was almost me. As I stood in front of a storage shed, a 35-foot cedar tree gave way and, fortunately, landed across the top of the shed instead of my head. My shivering at that point had little to do with the ice that showered down on me.
David Zizzo, Staff Writer