Hurricane Rita

 Saturday, September 23, 2005

The strong winds pushed trees over with several laying flat on the ground.  The Leyland cypress was most affected by this wind.   

This is a sample of the damage did to Mill Hollow Christmas Tree Farm as Hurricane Rita passed roughly 75 miles to the east of the farm.  Mill Hollow was on the "clean side" of the hurricane and did not experience the flooding common on the dirty side of the hurricane. A weather station at nearby Lake Livingston estimated winds in the area of  120 MPH.   

This is a sheared brunch from a tall pine near the horse ride area.  This limb will provide more wood for the pine log fire.  

This is a twenty inch diameter limb ripped from the red oak tree.  This is the huge tree with the tree swing.   The tree swing limb and tree swing are still there.   This limb will be cut up and used as fire wood in the house.    

This is our experimental sunflower plot so our customers could take home flowers.  These six foot high sun flowers starting to bloom were blown over to a high of roughly two feet.  Amazingly, they are still blooming.  We will let these flowers continue to bloom and see what happens.   We know we can grow sunflowers, the question is whether we will experience the devastating high winds in the future.   

The tree above the one hundred year old delapidated house snapped.  The "haunted house" even though it sagging and missing part of the roof was undamaged.  This limb is hung up above the house and will be left as is.  It will probably provide more character to the site.    

A branch from the big tree by the bridge crashed into one of the railings.  Interestingly, this railing was broken at this spot during another major storm to hit the area several years ago.  

The electric line to the food shelter for keeping the baked beans hot and area lighted during night events was brought down by the high winds.  

This is the huge oak tree in the East Christmas tree field.  It was appoximately 36-48 inches in diameter and was snapped five feet above the ground.