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 After Ophelia 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:38 pm
Posts: 1912
Location: Cape Clear Island, Roaringwater Bay
Post After Ophelia
We still haven't recovered from Ophelia, but Brian may be even worse. We have already lost power again, and Brian hasn't even hit properly yet. It is supposed to carry on right through tonight and tomorrow. Anyway, thought I would post a few shots I took on Tuesday, straight from my phone.

We woke up on Tuesday to find we had sustained a fair bit of damage to structures. The roof of a neighbour's building had collapsed taking down the chimney of my music studio:


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Our gates had blown in, and our sat dish was down.

Our main power line had come off its fixing, and was (is) hanging on a nail and a Cordyline;

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This 1000l water tank had blown halfway down the hillside:

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Around the garden, there were some sad sights.

Toppled tree ferns and singed fronds:

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This 10ft Banksia integrifolia was in full bloom:


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Nikaus weren't too bothered.


Slightly battered bamboo:

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Frazzled Cannas and broken garden furniture:

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Just a few days before, all big leaves were perfect:

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This poor Agave salmiana, a pup from my Orpington monster, took a beating, but other Agaves were fine.


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Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:04 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:38 pm
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Location: Cape Clear Island, Roaringwater Bay
Post Re: After Ophelia
The phone is beginning to act up. Here is the salmiana and another pic that were missed out:


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Overall, things could have been worse.


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Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:12 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:38 pm
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Location: Cape Clear Island, Roaringwater Bay
Post Re: After Ophelia
Here is the salmiana.

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Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:15 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:38 pm
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Location: Cape Clear Island, Roaringwater Bay
Post Re: After Ophelia
There was more damage on the other side of the island. In the south Harbour, even Escallonia macrantha was browned off. Waves had taken away part of the seawall, swept over the road, and had pounded the large historic building on the right.


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This photo of the crumbled wall was taken by my son.

Fingers crossed that Brian will not be as bad.

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Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:26 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:38 pm
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Location: Cape Clear Island, Roaringwater Bay
Post Re: After Ophelia
Another pic that didn't load. This was in the most shelterd part of our garden.
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Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:31 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:52 pm
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Location: Hayward- S.F. Bay area Ca.
Post Re: After Ophelia
Welcome back Michael. The Cyathea medullaris can be stood back up. They are looking great besides the damage.

I didn't know tropical storms reached Ireland..is this rare? sort of new?

What a year for storms and interesting you posted the same day we had an unusual strong but brief first rains here of the season.

Is that Ficus auriculata?

Plants will recover,but I get that when they get hit this time of year,they wont be back at it until the warmer months return.


Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:46 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:59 pm
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Location: Loughborough, Leics, central UK
Post Re: After Ophelia
Hi Michael nice to see your garden again but maybe under different circumstances would have been better.
I did wonder how you would go when I spotted the track of Ophelia not a very nice experience I expect glad your house is still standing.

Sorry to see your Cyathea lying on the floor hopefully not all the roots have been ripped off
The flowering Banksia is a real shame I am guessing thats done for?

I always envied your climate but it seems there is always something round the corner waiting to catch us out.......best of luck with storm Brian


Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:38 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 4:06 pm
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Location: Islington, London UK
Post Re: After Ophelia
Good to know that you and your family are OK. The rest can be rebuilt and most will regrow. I don't expect you're looking forward to Act II, though.

I was surprised to see the damage to the retaining walls in the harbour. I had a good wander around there when I visited in '14 and it seemed [relatively] sheltered - I thought it was on the north/leeward side of the island. I guess that was wave damage?

We scarcely had more than a breeze here. This time, even in London, it's already blowing pretty hard, with 40-50 mph winds forecast for this afternoon. When it does that here, you can bet it does double that in Cape Clear. Batten down, with good wishes from everyone here.

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Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:17 am
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Location: North Thames delta UK
Post Re: After Ophelia
Living there this was always going to be on the cards, really. As has been said - plants can regrow or be replaced - at least you, your family and home are unscathed, if a little ruffled.

Either way, it is good to see you on here again Michael. Don't leave it until the next storm before joining in!

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Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:05 pm
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Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:46 pm
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Location: Maastricht Netherlands
Post Re: After Ophelia
It was also my first thought Micheal, when I heard the news about the hurricane how it would go out with your garden!
Hopefully the plants get a resuscitation :roll:

Eduard.

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Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:53 pm
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 5:40 pm
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Location: Co. Kerry, Ireland
Post Re: After Ophelia
Glad to see your still growing on the edge Michael! No amount of shelter could have rebuffed the 150 km/h gusts that you must have experienced. Many plants could be straightened and staked for the remainder of this winter. The bananas actually look good considering the conditions. Glad to see your largest Metrosideros excelsa which is out in the open still standing. It would have been terrible to lose that. Leucodendron argenteums also looking unscathed. I was recently in The Chelsea Physic Garden and was reminded of your involvement in it many years ago.

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Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:00 pm
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Location: Islington, London UK
Post Re: After Ophelia
Mark and Laura wrote:
Glad to see your still growing on the edge Michael! No amount of shelter could have rebuffed the 150 km/h gusts that you must have experienced. Many plants could be straightened and staked for the remainder of this winter. The bananas actually look good considering the conditions. Glad to see your largest Metrosideros excelsa which is out in the open still standing. It would have been terrible to lose that. Leucodendron argenteums also looking unscathed. I was recently in The Chelsea Physic Garden and was reminded of your involvement in it many years ago.


Did you take any damage, Mark? And do you know how Billy fared at Kells Bay? He's on the north side, but still...

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Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:20 pm
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Location: Kyushu, Southern Japan (33.607N latitude)
Post Re: After Ophelia
Michael, glad to see you made it through the storm OK. We've got a monster heading directly for Tokyo at the moment, super typhoon Lan, with sustained winds near 70 m/s. It is far from me, but this morning we're being lashed by a huge outer band and southeast Kyushu is getting intense rain. I'll be glad when typhoon season is over.

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Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:04 pm
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Location: Co. Kerry, Ireland
Post Re: After Ophelia
David, structurally we lost 3 roof panels of one of our greenhouses but I was able to get them back on again during the storm before any further damage was done, the plastic was blown off a tunnel but the frame and plants inside were fine. That's it really. The planting in the garden was fine as the shelter belts took the stink out of it. I am continually planting more shelter around the perimeter and within the garden as wind not temperature may be the limiting factor going forward. Brian was not as bad but we got a deluge of rain instead. I continue to add drains and maintain the network we already have.

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Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:17 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:38 pm
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Location: Cape Clear Island, Roaringwater Bay
Post Re: After Ophelia
Thanks everyone for thinking of us. Brian was not as bad as Ophelia, and power was restored last night, but the power lines still await repair. We are thankful to still be here, and that there was no loss of life on the island. Ophelia was quite scary at her peak, when the lead flashing on the roof started to lift. I think that another 10 km/h would have done a lot of damage.

Good to see so many old faces here, hard to believe it's been 10 years now!

Stan, hurricanes and tropical storms visit fairly regularly here between October and January, though their frequency seems to be increasing. There used to be a convention of not calling them hurricanes once they reached this side of the Atlantic. They were usually referred to as 'tropical cyclonic depressions'. What makes them difficult to forecast is that they sometimes gain strength when they reach the warm gulf stream waters around Ireland. This is what happened with the hurricane of October 1987, which actually reached London. I actually slept through that one, but awoke to see a Mini parked outside totally crushed by a fallen Plane tree. A strange sight in Catford! Good call on the Ficus, I think it's the form that used to be known as F. roxburghii. When Nick Macer saw my plant, he said something about having seen two different forms in the Himalayas.

Kev thanks, I think the Banksia is a goner, but it will make a lot of cuttings.

David thanks, the South Harbour actually does face south, and peak windspeeds are usually worse than on our side of the island. The North Harbour is more sheltered, but is so close to sea level that it floods regularly.

Hi Paul, yes, we have been relatively lucky, some parts of the country have been without power since Ophelia! It\s high time you paid us another visit.

Eduard, the fallen medullar is still has some rootball, I think it will be OK.

Mark and Laura, all Metrosideros were more or less unscathed, just a little scorching of the soft young shoots of M. kermadecensis. Silver trees also very windproof. I think you are remembering one of the other London gardens that I was involved with, I only ever took photos at Chelsea Physic. Brian did bring a lot of rain- it filled up our pond overnight!

Tom, I don't do m/s, but that sounds bad. Good luck with the typhoon, Japanese plants seem to be used to this sort of thing, at least the ones we grow here are. it's hard to find damage to any of them, apart from a few broken branches of Euonymus japonicas in the windiest spots. Your Machilus is on the way to becoming a proper little tree.


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The pond after Brian. Our kids couldn't resist a paddle!

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Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:45 pm
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