Monday, May 20, 2024


So...according to the National Weather Service, NW parts of Houston (and the area around the farm) were hit by an EF1 tornado.  What hit the city of Houston (and downtown) was a "derecho".  It's the first ever recorded derecho in Texas.  There was one years back that went through NE Texas but started along the state line and moved into Arkansas and other states.  None ever recorded here.  We basically got hit Unlucky us.

Picture heavy post and as always, click any to enlarge.

Getting out of downtown Saturday was quite the adventure.  These are just two of the numerous office buildings with windows gone...

...and many streets closed off because they are littered with broken glass and glass still falling from buildings.

Also, with so many places without power, that meant gas stations that were open, if you could find one, had lines around the block.  Thankfully I had filled up the day before the storm.

The roads around the farm were tricky in a few spots but the county had moved most of the debris out of the way.  In this picture you can see where the tree had actually gone all the way across the road.  Lots of places like that but they made room and since not much traffic in a rural area, it was easy to get around the spots that still had trees on the side of the road.

This one is across the street from us.

This was just one section but a neighbor's fence is down in multiple sections...

This was a BIG tree on the way there.  The split part was across the road and had not been moved yet, so we had to use a different road.

This tree is on the corner of our property along the road where it joins with another neighbor.

Once we got to the driveway, this greeted us.  It is the entrance fence that 2nd Family put up a few years back.  The one on the other side of the driveway that matches was fine and still intact. 

Here's the front yard (note where I stopped mowing last week when the belt broke, it's all catching up, ha).  At least the buildings were undamaged.

We walked around them up close to make sure and they are good, no shingles were missing.

But as for the house...

Five shingles here...

...and three in the back yard.  At least these are the ones that we could FIND, who knows where some may have ended up.

But, it's an old house and the wood is SO hard in the attic and ceiling there was zero water in.  It is not something we will need to worry about at this point.

Here's a tree on the property next to us.  Yikes!

We roamed around a bit to see what we could see on our property...

A lot of limbs and branches lying around and we picked up what we could.  In this one, do you see the little thing right there in the middle of the picture?

Here it is up close...

A perfect little bird's nest!

No babies and no eggs.  We looked around.  It had been a couple of days at this point so if anything was there, they were long gone.  I saved the nest, not sure why.  2nd Man said "why are you keeping that?" and I said I wasn't sure, so I put it on the porch in a clay pot and put a saucer on top to keep it safe.

This is behind the orchard.  This mesquite tree lost its branches. I've been meaning to cut this down so I guess nature gave me a head start, ha.

We lost this big one.

And this one that is along one of the trails I mow.  I guess I'll have to go a different route for the time being.

And this one as well.  There are probably many more around the acres we can't get to and I'll find some while mowing I'm sure. 

Check this out!  We have NO idea where this came from, we have nothing like this and from what we know, none of nearby neighbors do.  But dang, flying sheet metal would be EXTREMELY dangerous.  Yikes!

And here is the biggest damage we ended up with:

Lost the fence to the garden in this spot and one other along the back (I forgot to get a picture of).  We aren't doing a garden this year (and didn't last because of the drought) so I'll work on this as time permits. It was time to clean it up anyway.

So anyway, that is the Houston Derecho of 2024.  We had straight line winds of 100mph+ move across miles and miles of Houston, from the suburbs, across the heart of the city, downtown and out the other side.  It was like a 30 minute Cat 2 hurricane.

Seven fatalities...1,000,000 people without power at the peak...250,000 still without power today...and preliminary damage estimates of between five and seven billion dollars.

So now we have to worry about tropical storms, hurricanes, tornadoes and derechos.


  1. Considering; looks like the farm faired pretty well, but I was actually concerned about your fruit orchard on how your fruit trees handled them strong winds. Sorry to see portions of your garden fence down.
    That sheet metal; who knows how many miles the tornado carried it along until it finally decided to 'gift' it to you there on the farm.
    Was also thinking about 2nd family's farm animals. Hope they all made it through ok.
    In my lifetime, I have seen many animals that didn't make it through a tornado.
    I take it, 'Ben' the farm truck didn't have any damage with falling branches, etc.
    Now, all you need is a wood chipper and you will have a nice pile of mulch.
    Take care, stay safe and have a wonderful day.

  2. Mother Nature can be such a witch (or whatever consonant you choose to use).
    I am glad your personal damage was minimal considering what it could have been.

  3. Keep the sheet metal. That can be used on your farm. Our tornado delivered a long knife to us, right in the driveway.
    I am glad your damage was minimal.
    Hopefully you won't get earthquakes or volcanoes.

  4. Derechos scare me worse than tornados because around here, the rare tornado is pretty narrow and relatively few people are affected. Derechos hit the whole county. No one is spared.

  5. So much damage is caused in such a short period of time and takes so damn long to repair and make right again, thankfully you didn't suffer too much damage

  6. we had 4 touch down around us but no damage here. save the birds nest. i always do once they are abandoned. they are works of art. i keep them in the witch shed and the potting shed. if a human made one, can you imagine what they would sell them for$$$...haha! joyce

  7. A tornado at your Farm - that’s scary! That must have been very frightening for 2nd Family to experience. Sorry that you received some damage but I’m so glad you didn’t have really bad damage. And that your house didn’t get any rain inside. That sheet metal could have been sooo dangerous if it had hit a person or animal.
    The derecho that went through Houston was so destructive. All that dangerous broken glass everywhere. And some people are still without electricity - pretty miserable with the temps in the 90’s plus they lost all their food in their refrigerators and freezers. So glad that your apartment wasn’t damaged.

  8. Your place did well considering. I know you haven't revealed your building plans but aren't you glad that wasn't started only to be damaged?
    We experienced a derecho in Maryland when we lived in the lodge. It was a terrifying sound to hear the trees snapping and fearing trees coming down on the roof or through the windows. We were out of power for at least a week but had a generator for the important things.

  9. Man ... The trees seem to have gotten the worst end of the deal! I have never heard of a derecho ... is it like a microblast? They can be pretty destructive, too!

  10. Derecho's are not just wind. It's a LOT of wind lasting a long time, cover many miles, with rain/hail, driven hard into place you wouldn't think it could get.
    The one in Iowa August 2020 was huge, covering from west side of Iowa well into Indiana, lasting 45 minutes, with winds up to 140mph. So many trees lost the top third to half if not totally blown over, many farm buildings & bins were destroyed, thousands of homes lost roofs, power was out for up to 2 weeks. At least we don't have nearly as many high rise buildings here to have had windows blown out.

    I did not mean to turn this into a comparison, but people need to know derechos are not something to trivialize if they are out and about and one is coming their way. As scary as tornadoes are, derechos can do more damage as they cover more area and last a longer time.

  11. Dang! hit publish before saying I'm glad your farm escaped serious damage.


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