Two weeks ago, my neighbors, Carol and I awoke to a neighborhood rearranged from the one we’ve known for 30 years. The windstorm did quite a bit of damage to 12th Street (and I know many others). We met on the street and there was a collective sense of “where do we start?”. The scramble began to seek help. The street had a tree down blocking access to Vine Street. Many of us had trees down, roofs damaged, and fences mangled. Friday, Sept. 17, was a long day. There were audible shouts of relief on the block when power came back on after 9 in the evening.
Much was accomplished that first day. The city quickly made access to Vine possible. Various tree companies brought in some significant equipment and began cutting and clearing the mountain of trees that were affected. On Saturday, they returned with more personnel, booms, cherry pickers, chippers, skid steers and a host of other equipment. By the time we went to bed on Saturday (and another brief power outage), the road ahead seemed manageable. Not quite what I had in mind for my weekend, but I saw so much good.
For example: my affection grew for my neighbors. We looked out for each other, schemed and helped each other, rejoicing in the progress that was being made. Friends stopped by with chainsaws and gloves on, ready to get to work.
Hudson Public Works came by multiple times and hauled brush from the massive piles that were left at our curbs. The city also provided a drop off site at Prospect Park for anyone to drop off their branches and wood. Excel had crews working hard to restore the power and the many associated comforts we’ve come to enjoy.
They came from Eau Claire and other towns and worked long, taxing hours. Insurance companies cut checks, sent adjusters and got the claim processes moving. I know this was happening in many places in the swath of town that was hit. People went to help at the library, Willow River Cemetery and other places that suffered loss.
For all the hassles and expenses, I am profoundly grateful for the interplay and functionality of neighbors, friends, city and businesses that came to our aid. Just one more reason to love Hudson.