Massive Wind Damage Found on PT109

 Pictures by John Higgins and Larry Gomes
Story by Larry Gomes
September 28, 2013

After completing a bridge project early, some of the work crew (John Higgins, Eric Johnson and Larry Gomes) decided to take a ride south on PT109 to do a trail inspection and clear out any trees that were down.  After running into several individual trees, the crew came across a blockage that was about 15' high which  completely blocked the trail. 

To the west of the trail, there were trees down as far as the eye could see.  Obviously some sort of down draft or microburst had come through the area.  The crew worked for an hour and a half to clear the first blockage.  Some of the trees were over 2' in diameter and could only be moved using a winch on Eric's ATV.  Finally with the first blockage cleared, the crew started down the trail again only to encounter another blockage at one of the large bridges on the trail. 

John managed to work his way through the second blockage, and went down the trail on foot, but he ran into several more large blow downs.  Since it was getting late in the day, the crew decided it was time to head home.  With another 2 miles of trail before reaching York Pond Road, its anybody's guess how many trees are down on this section of trail. 



This is the first major blow down that we came to heading south on PT109.  Notice the bright area in the distance which is an open area where
 almost  all of the trees have been knocked down creating a "clearing".  The major difference between a normal clearing and this one is that
 all of the trees were mowed down and are laying on the ground on top of each other.  Many of these trees are uprooted with their
root balls in the air, creating stress on the tree so when the tree gets cut, the root ball wants to pop back into place.

 

Little by little we are inching our way towards the "clearing" cutting and throwing brush to the sides of the trail.  In many spots there are
multiple trees are tangled together making the process more difficult.
 



This picture was taken right in the center of the "clearing" where the damage was the worst.
 

On the edge of the "clearing", we came across this massive pine tree that had uprooted and smashed into the ground
creating a foot deep dent in the trail.  It was about 2' in diameter and after cutting it up into 5' long sections, the only
way we could move it was using Eric's winch on his ATV.

 

After an hour and a half of work, we were finally able to get through the first blow down area.
 



After going only a few hundred feet, we came to a second major blow down which had taken out one of the railings on
this bridge.   This shot is looking south.
 

This is the second blow down as seen from the other side looking north.  The bridge is located underneath that pile of trees which is
about 15 feet high.  This blow down still needs to be cleared and there are still more blow downs as you head south toward York Pond Road.
 

This is an additional burden to our already busy trail work schedule.  Please consider giving us one day of your time to help us out.  

We will be posting future trail work days on our website or you can send email to larry@twlakeslodge.com to be added to our contact list.

 

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