Growing up in the midwest we were familiar with violent storms and tornados. It was before television but when an especially strong storm was expected my father would sit up all night monitoring the radio weather report. We were warned that if he woke us my brother and I were to run to the cellar, a dirt floored basement area that held a furnace and a coal bin. I thought he was an alarmist until the year I was sixteen when a tornado destroyed a community near our village with the loss of over 100 lives.
Last Saturday Ipswich made the news with a microburst that came through during a thunderstorm. For anyone not familiar with a microburst, it is a sudden change in air current causing brief spurts of wind sometimes over 100mph. The highest winds seldom last more than a few minutes but can do almost as much damage as a tornado.
We watched as the wind whipped across the orchard while the deafening thunder made us jump and lightning lit the sky. We were without electricity for several hours but escaped the worst effects. Town officials said the storms cut a line of damage through the town, with several trees down, more than 60 roads at least partially blocked, and some homes damaged. Devan, the orchard garden manager had a terrifying few minutes when she left work just before the storm and her car was suddenly surrounded by crashing trees and falling branches.
Sunday morning found clean up crews trying to get the roads cleared and electricity restored.
One of he most impressive sights was the huge tree that fell across the road between the Whipple and Heard Houses, part of the Ipswich Museum. The photos I got were taken after most of the clean up but the giant root ball turned out of the earth from a Pin Oak that must have been decades or more old.

Whipple House Tree

Whipple House Tree

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