On May 31, 2020, a hurricane evidently got lost and wound up farther north than usual.
Winds up to 70 mph and torrential rain walloped the Flathead Valley and surrounding areas of northwest Montana. At one point, rain came down so hard, water poured over the sides of gutters on our house because the downspouts couldn’t keep up.
The wind was tornado-like, swirling from west, then from east, then north, then back to west.
Power went out for 37,000 out of 53,000 customers of the local electric co-op. Our neighborhood was only out for two hours but, in some areas, the outage lasted three days.
These photos are from Woodland Park, a lovely Kalispell oasis full of mature cottonwood trees, fir, pine, and other varieties. Trees toppled into the large pond and blocked roads, requiring closure of the park. As you can see, workers have been busy cutting up trunks and large limbs, and piling up scattered branches.
East of Kalispell, winds tore the roof off a casino. In Whitefish, a trampoline went airborne, damaged one corner of a house, bounced across two yards, and clobbered an SUV. Less than a block away, a huge tree crashed through the garage roof of a brand-new house. The residents were just moving in and had stacked all their belongings in the garage. Rain poured down on their furniture, drowning their dreams and memories.
Compared to those disasters, our house got off light. A wood fence blew down. A main limb of a mountain ash tree sheared off. That’s it. Whew! I felt lucky.
If you’d rather not go through a hurricane in person, you can vicariously experience one in my new thriller, Dead Man’s Bluff. You won’t even have to file an insurance claim!
Please check out a short excerpt here.