Big windstorm overnight…

…and it’s still kind of windy out but the clouds have cleared away – I’m hoping for long enough to get the batteries back up to snuff.

I woke up sometime before three with the wind blasting the cabin, which isn’t very common down here in the hollow. Big wind is much more common on the ridgetops but not unknown here, the weather does enjoy its drama. Sometimes wind gets funneled down the walls of the wash and seems to aim right at the Lair.

I remember quite a lot of anxiety during stormy weather when I first moved into the cabin ten years ago, not because I knew of any particular defect in the cabin but because I designed and built it, very aware that I’m not exactly trained or experienced or qualified – in any way – for a career in housebuilding. To my surprise the frame barely creaked in a windstorm, the roof didn’t leak, the whole thing didn’t just fall down on its own unprompted – in fact it worked just fine. Even that slight creaking is gone since the addition in 2017, which is on the windward side and seems to have finished tightening the structure. A good wind actually whistled through the walls until I got the thing wrapped and sided in 2015, and since then heating it stopped being such a chore. When my brother helped me roof the porch almost three years ago I didn’t like that the wind would be able to get under it and possibly do bad things: Fortunately my brother, who has spent most of his life in hurricane country, shared my concern and we spent quite a lot of time anchoring it down in ways that I’m pretty sure would exceed code. It took years but now I’m confident that my funny-looking little home is proof against most ‘weather events’ it’s likely to encounter. Still a little concerned about lightning, but there wasn’t any of that last night.

So I lay awake for a while listening to the wind, not at all worried about damage because everything was in its place and adequately protected, actually enjoying the sensation of feeling safe from the weather – unlike when I used to lay awake as the little RV I called the Interim Lair stood on its ridgetop shaking in the wind. And then I rolled over and went peacefully back to sleep.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to Big windstorm overnight…

  1. Ben says:

    Since this low battery situation only comes up a few times each year, why not invest a bit of gas in your Honda to charge up your battery?

  2. Joel says:

    That option exists. I could safely connect the generator and the batteries with my Battery Minder. Hasn’t been necessary yet, but a third cloudy day might have pushed me to it.

  3. Eric says:

    We had a bit of a wind storm here at the foot of Americas mountain a week and a half ago (90mph gusts) and I’m still cleaning up damage and debris.
    So far I’m out of pocket a bit over $300 for a 15yd dumpster which I’ll have to get emptied and returned so I can start on the replacement of a bit over a hundred feet of fence and 2 regular gates as well as my double gate for vehicle access.
    I don’t figure I’ll do anything with the damage to my car except maybe seeing if the paint can be buffed out.
    Is what it is.

  4. Steve Walton says:

    There is nothing quite like being safe and snug when a hellacious storm comes through, in a shelter you’ve built with your own two hands

  5. Joel says:

    Eric, that beat the hell out of my little puff. Glad nobody was hurt.

  6. Eric says:

    Joel, Unfortunately a utility worker in a small town in the Arkansas Valley (southeast of me) was hit and killed by a tree branch during the storm.

  7. Goober says:

    Hey Joel;

    A little trade secret that we engineers and builders don’t really like to broadcast and advertise, but…

    Your average every day cookie-cutter mass-produced wood framed house nowadays is GROSSLY overbuilt. Like, GROSSLY.

    A full stem wall and footing foundation that we put under an 1,800 square foot rancher anymore could support way more than what it’s expected to do, by like factors of ten.

    If you look at some the structures of old, 100 year old barns that are still standing, today, the way that they are built would never pass code, and any modern builder that doesn’t understand engineering would tell you that there is no way they would stand for a winter, much less 100 years, and yet…. there they sit.

    So, if you built your cabin with even a small modicum of current building codes in mind, it ain’t going anywhere. At worst, since post and beam foundations have a tendency to differentially settle, you might get some slope in your floors, but if you haven’t yet, you probably aren’t going to.

    In all honesty, and think about it, outside of straight up earthquakes and tornadoes, how often do you hear about houses collapsing on people? Like, never? Have you met some of the goonie birds out there building houses? The only way that’s possible is that even if they cut all the corners, the house is still going to be solid, which means that a house built with all the corners ain’t goin’ NOWHERE.

    Hell, you’ll see fully in tact houses floating down flooded rivers. They floated away, but held together regardless.

    Your cabin is fine.

To the stake with the heretic!