A severe windstorm Monday that affected Boston and the Northeast caused damage across East Boston. With peak wind guests topping 69 mph Monday afternoon trees toppled like dominos in the neighborhood, damaging cars and other property.
On Lexington, London and Thurston Streets, cars were crushed under the weight of fallen trees and limbs, power lines wee downed and crews worked throughout the night to clean up the damage and restore power to sections of the neighborhood.
On Thurston Street a huge tree was uprooted that took out two cars at about 5 p.m., closing the street to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The tree laid across the street, damaging the two cars and power lines.
Busy Eversource crews arrived on the scene early Tuesday morning to chop and mulch the tree and fix downed power lines.
Some residents even traveled down to areas like Bayswater Street to watch incoming flights battle the wind. Videos posted on Social Media show jets listing almost 45 degrees as 50 mph crosswinds whipped aircraft arriving in Boston.
While others reported wind damage to roofs and siding the majority of damage was caused by uprooted trees falling on property.
While a healthy tree is able to move or flex in the wind, which is exactly what prevents it from breaking apart during a storm even the healthiest trees are susceptible to wind injury.
During strong or severe wind storms, full tree canopies can act as a sail in the wind. When wind speeds are excessive, storms can cause entire trees to uproot. This is more likely to occur when soils are wet and the tree’s roots are unable to securely anchor themselves in the soil.
The biggest threat is from trees that are not structurally sound. These include trees with bark decay or root injury and are more likely to experience structural failures. According to several arborist websites these tree scientists urge people to inspect trees and take necessary precautions before the next storm hits.
Suggestions include regularly inspecting trees around your home. You should inspect all sides of the tree, both up close and from a distance. Check for cuts in or peeling bark. Use binoculars to inspect the tree’s crown for dead wood and brown leaves.
Leaning trees should be suspect. While trees usually don’t grow straight, and a little lean is normal when a tree starts looking like the Tower of Pisa because of poor weight distribution or anchor root damage, it’s likely unstable. This is a good time to call an arborist.
Other danger signs include cracked or heaving soil, especially on the side opposite the lean or exposed roots around the base of the tree.
When identified in time, these deficiencies can often be prevented through the installation of artificial support such as cabling and bracing or by a procedure known as hazard reduction pruning by an arborist.