We talked through what we knew coming into the disaster area, let's talk about what actually happened when we got there. We arrived in the area right after sunset and it was dark out.
Gabe stayed at the house to start setting up the generator. I went down to meet up with Trey to meetup with the team of over half a dozen guys clearing with chainsaws and a skid steer.
Clearing roads when it's dark out isn't ideal, but we only had access to the heavy equipment this night. They had to be elsewhere the remainder of the weekend.
This was the first time I saw the damage just down the road from my friends house. No direct tornado damage, but there were hundreds of downed trees. Several came down directly on houses.
While we had the skid steer to pick up the heavier tree trunks and clear roads, Trey prioritized clearing the entire road, and then clearing every driveway on his street. This area had no direct tornado damage, but there were hundreds of downed trees. Several came down directly on houses.
I initially thought it was pretty silly that we were out here chainsawing and even leaf blowing entire driveways until they were spotless. I thought "what's the point?"
Trey was right, clearing driveways should be one of your first priorities as it allows keeps the roads clear so that the large trucks and trailers with backhoes to get to where they need to be to do their work.
I saw this issue later in the week where so many people were parked on the street that no one could actually get through to the areas they needed, and heavy equipment was unable to get into key areas.
There is no replacement for heavy equipment like cranes and skid steers. You can get a lot of things done with a chainsaw and some strong guys moving logs, but with the size of these trees it would have taken us hours to clear some stuff the skid steer moved in minutes.
We had 2 saws and some guys with the skid steer doing the really big stuff, and 3 guys on another team clearing the smaller trees in the driveways and one person running a leaf blower to fully clean off drive ways.
By 11 we had cleared everything we could get to and called it