November 2, 2012 | 1
I am here at home in Maplewood, New Jersey, four days after an angry wind whipped through the trees, sending my entire family downstairs into the living room for the night. There we huddled, tucked under covers on mattresses hauled down from higher, more exposed floors of our house while we listened to the roar outside and pondered the leafy dangers. One tree sprouts through our deck and hovers over our daughter’s room; another, even more terrifying, a towering giant across the street, was swaying in the wind. Earlier in the day, a large oak across the street crashed
down, across a street into a neighbor’s yard, taking another tree and a high-voltage power line with it. Wisps of smoke steamed up from the downed branches, produced by foliage falling on the energized wire. That fire had been contained, but transformers on other lines were blowing up all over town, sending flashes of colored light through the sky that I, at first, thought were some strange form of lightning. Through the electrical fireworks, roar of the wind and the memories from earlier in the day, somehow, we slept.
No tree fell on us, but many of our neighbors were drawn out of their houses, terrified, by falling
oaks and maples. We awoke to a mess of trunks in the road, power poles ripped into three parts, sidewalks torn up by roots and trees laying on cars and leaning on houses. This post features pictures of the damage wrought by trees within a two-block radius of my house.