It was a dark and stormy afternoon

On Sunday afternoon we had one of the most intense storms I’ve seen since moving to Boston. I was in church during the height of the storm (I’m sure there’s a cliche in there somewhere), but on the bus ride home, once we got into Arlington I started seeing trees down everywhere. One had fallen right on top of someone’s parked car.

The picture above is of the end of the one-way street I live on. Note how a tree has fallen and blocked the entire street, dragging a power line down with it.

My roommates told me that an even bigger tree fell over on the next street. They could hear the Public Works department sawing at it for over an hour after the storm ended, but by the time I got home, most of it had been cleared away. Here’s a picture of the part of the tree that was still standing.

It seems that Arlington was particularly hard hit by the storm, for some reason. Though not as hard hit as southern New Hampshire, which reportedly had a tornado! (The Boston area had a tornado watch, but I don’t think we actually had any tornadoes in Massachusetts.) They had most of the trees cleared off of residential streets by nightfall, but the bike path was still blocked by several downed trees on my Monday morning commute to work. I wish I’d thought to take my camera along. I had to carry my bike over two fallen trees just on the stretch between Lake Street and where it opens up by the soccer fields before Alewife. One of the trees was a willow that must have been at least 18 inches in diameter where it split. I could see the jagged trunk left behind; it broke off about 30 feet above the ground.

I assumed that these trees fell because of the strong winds, but my roommates think it’s because they were struck by lightning. I didn’t see any burn marks, though, and I was under the impression that if the upper limbs of a tree fell off because of a lightning strike, you’d see scorch marks. But I guess I don’t really know enough about it.

I’ve decided that my paranoia about riding my bike in thunderstorms is probably justified. Even if it’s just the 10-minute ride home. After seeing what the bike path looked like on Monday morning.

My roommates said that our cat didn’t like the thunderstorm, and kept meowing at them as if she wanted them to make the noise stop. When that didn’t work, she went and hid under my bed for a few hours.

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