Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Huge windstorm rocks Gertee's socks off !

Little Gertee holds on!
Front yard today

Gertee survived the first big winter wind storm, and man was it a doozy! It blew the metal stack and roof hole cover off in one big gust. It was only secured down with a copper wire and 3 skinny, stupid ropes. Fred and I made a better tie down thingy last month with a little bit better ropes. I just hadn't got around to getting it up there yet.

So, Nord and Fred got the hell out after the stack caved in and it got too exciting in here. I stayed to, as Nordica put it, "Go down with the ship." I had to see what happens to the frame and what gives before it collapses. Last year I watched from across the driveway in the 20 footer, and it appeared that after the stack blew off this one, the roof tarps began peeling back, which caused the roof poles to cave after that. I thought that if I'd had more ropes I could have saved the roof, but I had to save the one I was living in first, and this one caved in after a bunch of big gusts ripped through it. But, the walls never did come down, even after the roof poles collapsed.

20 foot gertee today (needs rope!)

It blew hard from 9pm until late morning. during the wee hours as I watched the roof so long my neck began to cramp, I slowed down my pace and made one 22 foot rope from my scraps. I went out and tied it across the southwestern side of the roof. It was blowing so hard and the snow was all swilrling around and I remembered how they used to use ropes in Wisconsin from the houses to the barns. So I stopped going out wandering around the yard. I let the small fire go out and crawled in my sleeping bag about 4am.

The addition we put on with only 8 roof poles and fiberglass insulation on the walls barely moved at all. The main kitchen gertee in front moved as if she were dancing. Once I put the extra rope on the front roof area that was flapping, I was exhausted with fear and stress, and figured the show would have to go on without me. I fell asleep thinking that the best I could hope for was avoiding being stabbed to death by a roof pole as I slept.

backside today

Wish I knew how strong the winds were, I think I'm going to make me a knot meter like the sailors use. Most yurt manufacturers claim their yurts withstand up to 100 mile andhour gusts. I never wanted to make that claim for gertee untill I was in one while that happened. Tim said these were the biggest wnds he's ever seen in Kenny Lake and that they shook his big house like an earthquake hit. It loooks kind of like a desert here now, with the way the snow drifted all over. This is why Alaskan doors open inward. So, Copper Center weather is NOT Kenny Lake, it's never the same weather here. It's not even the same weather sometimes from me to Tim's. Maybe they have wind data down at the private airfield behind Golden Spruce.

Today I borrowed Tim's 14 foot ladder and climbed up on gertee's roof for the first time ever! Got the stack back in, the cover secured and all I need to do now is dig out the walkways.. ergh. Big gusts coming up again just now. Hope we're still standing tomorrow morning too!

Got the ladder's angle by laying it on top of the grill

1 comment:

Stop Common Purpose said...

Phew, Niki! Must have been scary.

Glad you survived.