Allen Collins and his wife, Jo, were watching TV around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, in their home on Hwy. 191, when they heard a “ripping sound.” The wind had been kicking up for a while, but this was different.
“I remember Jo said ‘well, there goes the roof,’” Collins said. The sound was terrible, but thankfully lasted only a few seconds. Once it quieted down they went outside where they saw most of their tin roof, peeled “like a banana skin” draped in strips and shreds over an ancient oak tree in the front yard. More dramatic than that, the wind had driven wooden strips into the tree like stakes. Collins hates to think what would have happened if anyone had been outside when it happened.
It was a “fluke” since all the tall old trees around their house, which sits on a knoll of their family farm, remained virtually unscathed, as well as an old barn with an ancient tin roof just behind the house.
“That old tin is just rotten and it (the wind) didn’t even touch it,” Collins said of the barn, shaking his head.
The roofers were busy on Thursday replacing the damaged tin and removing the stripped roofing from the old oak tree. For his part, Collins said he’s just happy no one was hurt. There will however, be one more casualty of the wind storm – this week the old oak tree in the front yard, a tree he grew up under the branches of, is set to come down. Collins pointed to holes around the trunk that indicate the root system is dying and notes that if the wind had been blowing the other way, the old tree might have fell on the house instead of the roof landing in the tree.
“I hate to see it go,” Collins said.