View Full Version : Seriously, is Isabelle going to bring down the Treehouse in my bakyard?
09-15-2003, 12:59 PM
Well I have lived through my fair share of Nor'Easters, Hurricanes, Tropical Storms and the like, my house is like a large stone, it never budges. However, this summer we have made a rather lofty addition to the development in the yard, including a large treeoffice. It's a 20 X 15 enclosed office nearly 14 feet off the ground in a large old White Oak tree. What should I do to protect it from Isabelle? The hurricane tragectory takes Isi through Connecticut, tho not a direct hit, I wonder what I could do to keep her from taking my decently costly treehouse down?
Any ideas? Tethering? Windows open? I'm really not too sure.
09-15-2003, 01:48 PM
I would close the windows, if nothing else to avoid the "Wiffle Ball" effect. Plus it would keep all the junk out. I think by the time it gets to Conn there will be substantial weakening. The latest models (http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at200313_model.html) bode well for you.
09-15-2003, 02:07 PM
Let's hope there is plenty of weakening of the storm. My wife just emailed me saying she's worried. Thats the only reason I am asking. Uhhgg...
09-15-2003, 03:06 PM
Care to post pictures of the treehouse before it gets blown down? :D Just kidding!
Seriously though, pictures? I don't recall you posting any...
09-15-2003, 03:21 PM
Whew. I was afraid we had gone from bizarre discussions of burn victims (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=209393&highlight=isabelle) to accusations of a doper trashing a treehouse. By the way, isn't the hurricane spelled Isabel?
09-15-2003, 03:52 PM
All the protection you need can be had with a piece of cardboard and a marker. Just write "nO gUrLs AlOwd" and hang it on the trap door. That should cover it.
09-15-2003, 04:35 PM
My uncle studies the effects of hurricanes - what I remember is the following: you can't let the wind get into the building. Is the treehouse enclosed? Keep the windows shut, and if you're super-worried, you can put boards over the windows. If the doors, windows and roof are fairly sturdy, the house should be fine.
I have no idea how the tree will fair, but I'm optomistic.
Before and after pictures?
09-16-2003, 08:28 AM
Unfortunately I can not post pics because I do not have my website up and running. Here (http://www.cinemaboxers.com/images/treehouse.jpg) is a design very similar to what I worked from. The onlt differences is my design has a circular side and is completely enclosed and climate controlled. The inside is very rustic similar to this (http://www.treehouseworkshop.com/gulfislands.htm) ... I'll leave the doors and windows closed and hopefully the small knoll and large fur trees behind my home will block most of the winds. As for the tree it's in a large white oak tree, well over 100 years old I'm sure.
09-17-2003, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by Phlosphr
large fur trees
Is that where all this cat hair is coming from ???
Seriously - with it being that far off the ground I'd be worried about uplift - the wind getting under it and picking it up. Tethering it would involve some head-scratching as to fasteners and anchors, tho. How is it anchored to the tree? Or is it?
sultana of slash
09-17-2003, 12:29 PM
I live in Norfolk, about 50 miles north of projected landfall site in North Carolina tomorrow, possibly closer if Isabel turns a few degrees more north than projected. People in my office are grabbing coats and going home right now, because they have just found out from the news that they are in mandatory evacuation zones, got to get the kid and the pet. I am not in a mandatory evacuation zone, just next to one. I cannot leave because I am waiting for a patient.
I am a little nervous.
Slight hijack: Anyone wanna calm my nerves?
Anyone ever lived through a Category 3 before? The relatives said they did. They said, "Prepare to be impressed." Well I am prepared to be impressed, but I could use an electronic arm around my shoulders.
Yes, I have done all the recommended things, thanks - I just wanna know if anybody has a remedy for nerves.
09-17-2003, 12:43 PM
Sultana - the remedy for nerves is to watch the hurricane from a safe place. You'll see lot's of things you can not believe. High, HIGH winds....trees possibly coming down....where will you be for the land fall? Don't worry too much, especially if you are going to be in a safe place. I wouldn't recommend walking around outside....debris can really get bad...
And yes I have been in two category 3 or higher hurricanes. Gloria and Andrew....both were no fun to pick up from!
Ninety - It's tethered to the tree by it's own weight. A design I heard was very strong. Essentially four large 30 pound rubber blocks are fastened to 4 large 8x8's and the whole thing rests on that, and on 6 pylons....There is a staircase goin up and into it.
09-17-2003, 02:00 PM
My advice? Run to home depot, get some large ground spikes, heavy rope and lots of luck (sold seperately).
The tree might survive but with the extra weight all on one side the tree may tip over. How heavy is the tree house and how much weight is resting on the tree itself?
09-17-2003, 03:29 PM
Veteran of many Gulf of Mexico hurricanes chiming in.
The oak tree -- going by the "big and old" description -- won't get uprooted in a Category 3 hurricane. But by the time it gets to Connecticut, Isabel won't even be near hurricane strength. I'm betting Phlosphr's treehouse comes through with little more than cosmetic damage, if that.
Sultana -- I'd doubt seriously that Isabel makes landfall as a Category 3. The Atlantic waters get cooler the farther north Isabel goes, and that saps a lot of power away from the storm.
Isabel will probably hit land as a Category 1, and weaken to a tropical storm within 3-6 hours of landfall. Evacuation is more a precaution than a strict necessity, except for those living in flood-prone areas or in trailer homes. Power is likely to be out in some areas as long as 2-3 days, but this is not necessarily guaranteed to happen to any one particular area. If you live in an area where power goes out all the time during thunderstorms, then it'll happen with Isabel, too. On the other hand, if you recieve robust electric service that rarely fails, then you'll be OK.
After you return from evacuation (assuming you go), you'll likely be surprised at how little damage was done. Tree limbs will be scattered everywhere, some power lines will be down here and there, and you may see stray roof shingles. But that will be pretty much it.
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