Laurence R. Penn, Senior Forensic Animation/Video Specialist
The storm which hit our area on Wednesday July 21st, 2021, was a wild one with extremely gusty winds, torrential rainfall, and golf-ball sized hail leaving streets blocked by downed power lines, cars riddled with dents, and homes extensively damaged by wind and fallen trees. After a lengthy and circuitous commute, constantly having to find alternate routes due to road closures, I returned home to find my family’s yard covered with shredded leaves, torn from the trees in the adjacent woodland by the barrage of hail. A huge, towering oak in our front yard was no match for the wind that whipped and twisted everything in its path, splintering it at the base of the trunk, sending it crashing into the power lines and fence. Our utility pole snapped, and lines were down along our driveway. As I stood in awe of the destruction, I could still hear parts of the tree cracking and snapping as it continued to settle into the drenched ground under its immense weight. Luckily, the tree fell in a direction that spared damage to nearby homes.