still cleaning up hurricane Michael..

bladegrinder

Well-Known Member
Well, four days off work...four more days of cleaning up after hurricane Michael.
this pile is about half of my back yard. and I'll tell you what, these trees are fighting me all the way, piled up on each other and twisted all sorts of ways. I picked up a root rake for the tractor this weekend so that's making moving these thing a lot easier but it's a lot of work for just me, a chainsaw and a tractor...and dangerous as all get out. plus it's been over 100 degrees the last few days. :D
 

ChrisRaymo

Active Member
God bless you, man! What a horrible mess that is down there. What area do you live in? I got to spend a little time on the clean up effort, seen firsthand Panama City, Mexico Beach, and Wewahitchka. Mind blowing damage!
 

bladegrinder

Well-Known Member
I'm near Marianna, north of Mexico Beach. the damage from that hurricane is truly unbelievable. it's mostly pine forest where my place is and I lost thousands of trees. this fall I'm going to do a control burn to get a better look at everything. right now I'm still trying to clear my fire breaks, there's giant pines and oaks down over them.
it's really dangerous dealing with a lot of these trees, a lot are laying over with tension and when you cut them they go off like rat traps. I had one the other day that didn't show any signs of tension until I got thru it, it hit me in the leg and threw me about 10 '. a forester got hurt on my land a couple months ago and had to go to the hospital.
I do feel fortunate though, my house didn't get damaged and driving around seeing others damage is heart breaking.
this is where I'm removing the trees from now, this is my back yard.


And here is the result of a tree under tension that got my leg. you even have to watch where you walk, there's widow makers everywhere. every once in a while you'll hear one fall just out of the blue.

 

bladegrinder

Well-Known Member
I've cut a few that would have taken you head clear off, the problem is that their stacked up on each other all different ways and it's hard to maneuver a tractor in place to try an adjust them for cutting, so you just have to give it a real good looking over, cut slow and watch if the bar is going to pinch or how the cut is opening and be ready for when it lets go, praying helps too, :D
these are big trees, most are 100 - 120' tall.
 

ChrisRaymo

Active Member
Nice bruise!!!
Yeah, I ran a chainsaw twice, a week at a time, once in November, then was back again in February. Volunteered with Samaritan's Purse, an awesome organization! We probably cleared (or at least partially) somewhere in the vicinity of 60 yards. Had a bunch of home owners give their lives to the Lord, too... Double bonus! I liked working in the rural areas more than the cities.

Widow makers are NO JOKE! I was cleaning up under a tree with a dad and his two sons, when I seen the branch falling... Happened so fast I couldn't do anything but watch. The butt of the branch nailed him in the upper back/shoulder area, missed his head by two inches. He ended up alright, thank God, but so close!
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
Steve, you got a mess there! What a way to be welcomed to a new home - don't I remember you purchased that place a short time before the hurricane? BE CAREFUL!!!! with that chainsaw. My Dad gave me all the pine trees I could cut as a summer job between semesters of college. I had plenty experience running a chain saw and still came close to loosing a leg once. I was walking a tree just felled trimming limbs when my foot slipped and I fell. With finger on throttle the saw rev'd up - I felt a burning in leg. As I fell the chainsaw had came across my thigh cutting thru pants cloth and a good layer of skin - nothing more. Boy did that scare me! So, again I say BE CAREFUL!!!

Ken H>
 

Doug Lester

Well-Known Member
The femoral artery is under that bruise. Could have easily been way worse; glad it wasn't. Keep safe out there.

Doug
 

bladegrinder

Well-Known Member
Chris, thanks for going there to help. everyone in that area was and still are hurting. I personally never saw damage to house's and forest like that. there's thousands and thousands of acres flattened and will never be the same in our lifetimes.

Doug, as I made it off the ground and dropped my drawers to see what happened, first I realized nothing was broke, the second thing I thought of -besides my privates- was the femoral artery, I thought damn, it could have busted that and I'm bleeding out without even knowing it. looking back, I'm lucky it didn't kill me.

Ken, I bought the property about 16 yrs ago just for hunting, I got tired of hunting public lands, it got to be too dangerous in my area with all the city yahoo hunters...in my opinion. I put a three bedroom house there two years ago and it's been thru two hurricanes, remarkably with no damage. my next move is a 30 x 50 ft. shop. that was going in this year but I have a giant burn pile of tree tops and brush that's going to go up when I control burn the whole place. I hope to have the shop in by next spring, then it's one year left to retirement and moving there for good. and I can't wait. :D
 

bladegrinder

Well-Known Member
Well, Amazon just dropped off a box.
I got a three pack of tourniquets, they can be applied one handed, one for the shop, one for the truck and one for the atv.
for $20.00 I may just buy three more and keep one in my pocket. I've been doing a lot of chain sawing in the deep woods and I'm always by myself.
I also got a pair of chainsaw chaps. I never considered them before but after my last escapade in the woods I'm a believer.
I was surprised when I read about the chaps, their only cut resistant. what there designed to do is they have layers of polyester and Kevlar in them, when the saw makes contact these fibers get ripped out and jam the sprocket in the saw shutting it down.
anyway...I've seen the reaper quite a few times in my life up till now, getting older I need to start being more careful.
the chaps are light and flexible so I don't have any reason not to wear them, they may save my life. :D
 

ChrisRaymo

Active Member
Good call on the chaps! We were required to wear them while we were running saws down there. They are really a good idea. Hard hat with screen mask were very helpful, too.

I got a wicked case of poison ivy on my forearm... Wasn't expecting that in February! The one day I didn't wear sleeves.

One thing I noticed, when you have a number of trees all piled together, you basically have to just pick a spot in the mess, and start cutting and dragging out. You certainly can't see the ground before you.

I'm wondering, have you run into any snakes, taken up residence in the mess? I didn't see how it could be possible to keep watch for them, and still get any work done.
 

opaul

Well-Known Member
Wow. Glad you are ok. That kick back could have been fatal. Also heat exhaustion - be safe!
 

bladegrinder

Well-Known Member
One thing I noticed, when you have a number of trees all piled together, you basically have to just pick a spot in the mess, and start cutting and dragging out. You certainly can't see the ground before you.
Yea, that's the problem, their all stacked up on each other with lots having the root ball still attached so there's tension on a lot of them.
I have rattle snakes show up occasionally but I haven't run into any yet this year.

They say,..and I don't know who "they" are...that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger .
I'll say this...this getting stronger business sure does hurt ! :confused:
 

C Craft

Well-Known Member
Dang, Steve that could have been so much worse but that looks like it hurts like, H E double hockey sticks!!!

I saw a fellow up the road from me get cut from a bow saw, kickback. The operator was the father, (he was is his 60's) and when it kicked back he kept it clear of himself by letting the saw swing out away from his body. What he didn't know was his son (he was in his late 40's) had walked up behind him!

So as he swung the saw away from himself during the kickback, it spun the father around and it hit the son, in his lower leg, calf area. They rushed him to the hospital and luckily it missed the artery and the tendon! This was during clean-up after one of the hurricanes a few years ago!
 

bladegrinder

Well-Known Member
I'd be curious to know how many chainsaw or other hurricane Michael related injuries the emergency rooms have seen in the area that got hit, it's got to be a lot.
 
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