JUNE 29th DERECHO and it's Effect on Timber.
The recent storms in our area have really got me thinking about the forest industry. The storm is being called a Derecho defined as “a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that this Derecho “formed in northwest Indiana and began carving a path of destruction over 600 miles long. Winds approaching 100 miles per hour were reported during the most intense part of the event (between Fort Wayne, IN and Columbus, OH.)” You can actually see the storm move across the eastern US in this 15 second timelase clip provided by NOAA.
This has me thinking about all the downed trees in our area. Im adding a video clip from WSAZ news below. It is kind of long but I want to point out a few important sections. Notice from 1:05 - 1:30, and again at 3:25, you can hear and see WSAZ’s Jessica Ralston and Bill Murray talk about some of the damage in the Huntington Tri-State area. At around 1:25 you can see workers loading downed branches into a massive wood chipper similar to the one on the right.
WSAZ NewsChannel 3
I can’t help but to think about what an enormous waist this is. I realize that restoring power is the first priority, and that may mean that some small trees and downed limbs must be quickly cleared. Im not even suggesting that things should have been done differently. But I also realize that this storm effected an extremely wide area, over 600 miles long. So what happens to these trees? Can they be harvested and used? I know in our area, three that are covering the road ways are normally cut and placed on the side of the road. Within an hour or so, someone will stop and gather the wood to burn in a wood burning stove, etc. But what about all the trees and limbs that are “off the beaten path?” Does this simply begin the natural decomposition process for all the downed limbs and trees? We all realize that a storm such as this has an enormous economic impact. But is the forest industry also economically impacted?
If anyone has insight on this, please feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.