Storm Damage Photos: Pictures from the Great Storm of 2008, Manistee, Michigan

Thursday, June 12, 2008, Manistee, Michigan

I love thunderstorms. I like to go stand outside on the porch and watch the lightning ripple across the clouds, to feel the rumble in my sternum. That night was particularly spectacular. The rain hadn't yet started, so I was standing in the yard when Adam came outside and handed my my telephone. "Your mom has called three times in the last two minutes," he said.

I called her back. "Get to the basement!" she exclaimed. "There is a tornado warning!" I looked to the sky as I walked inside and noted the odd color of the clouds as they illuminated. I relayed the news to Adam and we set about collecting candles and flashlights.

As I was digging through the kitchen drawer for matches, the wind began to gust harshly outside and water pour in giant drops from the sky. Adam, gathering an armload of candles in the living room, yelled, "I think we're going to lose power!" I dashed into view of the living room window just in time to see the power lines snap as a result of the nearly-horizontal trees. We looked at each other, eyes wide. Not more than five minutes ago I'd been out on the lawn, staring at the sky. Crazy!

The storm raged on at an incredible intensity for what seemed an eternity. Overtaxed storm drains overflowed into streets. Streets became rushing torrents, the banks of which, through most of the town, swallowed the sidewalks on both sides.

After the wind died down, we returned upstairs and huddled in the bedroom. The thunder continued loud and sustained through most of the night, robbing us of the ability to sleep. Instead, we lit every candle we could find and arranged them with a few mirrors, creating enough light to comfortably read.

We woke early the next day (which, incidentally, was Friday the 13th), despite being awake until the wee hours. When we emerged from the house, we were astounded at the damage, despite not having a tornado touch down.

Hurricane-force gusts of wind toppled huge numbers of trees, Someone told me that over 100 trees came down in my neighborhood alone, which might sound like an exaggeration. I believe it. Nearly every house on every block had some degree of damage.

The power lines in front of my house were sprawled across the front lawn for three days. To pass the time, we spent much of those three days wandering endlessly around town with our cameras in tow, documenting the destruction. What follows are just a few f the hundreds of photos I took during those three days.

In our driveway, this tree branch barely missed hitting Adam's car.  (Manistee, Michigan)
In our driveway, this tree branch barely missed hitting Adam's car. (Manistee, Michigan)
The house next door lost a lot of limbs.  (Manistee, Michigan)
The house next door lost a lot of limbs. (Manistee, Michigan)
The branch laying on the hill is the one that took out my power lines.  (Manistee, Michigan)
The branch laying on the hill is the one that took out my power lines. (Manistee, Michigan)
A tree laying on my neighbor's garage. (Manistee, Michigan)
A tree laying on my neighbor's garage. (Manistee, Michigan)
Just down the block from my house, a tree was entirely blocking the street.  (Manistee, Michigan)
Just down the block from my house, a tree was entirely blocking the street. (Manistee, Michigan)
Another neighbor's fallen tree.  (Manistee, Michigan)
Another neighbor's fallen tree. (Manistee, Michigan)
There was tree damage at almost every house in my neighborhood.  (Manistee, Michigan)
There was tree damage at almost every house in my neighborhood. (Manistee, Michigan)
It took weeks to clean up the tree damage all over town.  (Manistee, Michigan)
It took weeks to clean up the tree damage all over town. (Manistee, Michigan)
Flooding was also a major problem all over town.  (Manistee, Michigan)
Flooding was also a major problem all over town. (Manistee, Michigan)
Tree roots peeled up the sidewalk like it was made of paper.  (Manistee, Michigan)
Tree roots peeled up the sidewalk like it was made of paper. (Manistee, Michigan)
Large limbs were down all over town.  (Manistee, Michigan)
Large limbs were down all over town. (Manistee, Michigan)
Down trees and power lines were blocking nearly every street, making travel difficult.  (Manistee, Michigan)
Down trees and power lines were blocking nearly every street, making travel difficult. (Manistee, Michigan)
A fallen tree on top of a car after the storm.  (Manistee, Michigan)
A fallen tree on top of a car after the storm. (Manistee, Michigan)
A lot of the trees that fell were very large, and the wind peeled them from the earth like toothpicks, leaving roots exposed and pointing skyward.  (Manistee, Michigan)
A lot of the trees that fell were very large, and the wind peeled them from the earth like toothpicks, leaving roots exposed and pointing skyward. (Manistee, Michigan)
Fallen tree pulling down power lines after the storm.  (Manistee, Michigan)
Fallen tree pulling down power lines after the storm. (Manistee, Michigan)
This poor house was entirely buried under enormous fallen trees.  (Manistee, Michigan)
This poor house was entirely buried under enormous fallen trees. (Manistee, Michigan)
Another view of the same house buried beneath a fallen tree.  (Manistee, Michigan)
Another view of the same house buried beneath a fallen tree. (Manistee, Michigan)
Many trees peeled apart like string cheese.  (Manistee, Michigan)
Many trees peeled apart like string cheese. (Manistee, Michigan)
Many houses got very lucky, just missing being squished by giant, ancient trees.  (Manistee, Michigan)
Many houses got very lucky, just missing being squished by giant, ancient trees. (Manistee, Michigan)
Another tree peeled apart like string cheese.  (Manistee, Michigan)
Another tree peeled apart like string cheese. (Manistee, Michigan)
This one didn't come down completely, but still managed to block the street.  (Manistee, Michigan)
This one didn't come down completely, but still managed to block the street. (Manistee, Michigan)
In front of Casman Alternative Academy, the top of this tree looks as though it was plucked off and set down in front of it.  (Manistee, Michigan)
In front of Casman Alternative Academy, the top of this tree looks as though it was plucked off and set down in front of it. (Manistee, Michigan)
Another house with a tree fallen onto it.  (Manistee, Michigan)
Another house with a tree fallen onto it. (Manistee, Michigan)
This tree was leaning against two houses, causing damage to both.  (Manistee, Michigan)
This tree was leaning against two houses, causing damage to both. (Manistee, Michigan)
My friend's car did not survive the storm.  (Manistee, Michigan)
My friend's car did not survive the storm. (Manistee, Michigan)
...And another fallen tree.  (Manistee, Michigan)
...And another fallen tree. (Manistee, Michigan)
Emergency crews were overwhelmed by the staggering amount of storm damage.  (Manistee, Michigan)
Emergency crews were overwhelmed by the staggering amount of storm damage. (Manistee, Michigan)
This used to be a driveway with a small creek running under it through a culvert.... Now it's a river valley.  (Manistee, Michigan)
This used to be a driveway with a small creek running under it through a culvert.... Now it's a river valley. (Manistee, Michigan)

See more of my photos at HikingNorthernMichigan.com.

More by this Author


Comments

No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working