As if raising a fence, the New Year’s squall passed the holy rita from one side of the fence to the other. The branches with the fuchsia flowers invade the internal garden of *Leonardo and Leticia, where a white bench rests on the rocks. The trunk of an ash tree is stretched out on the roof of the house, dragging with it the power lines. The couple has lived there for 28 years – the same years they have been married – and they take care of the garden together.
While they mow and sweep, The staff of the municipality G have already arrived in Sayago. On Vedia street, the trees made three cuts, after the storm on Sunday. Municipal workers come with chainsaws—one of them as long as a spear—and thick ropes with which they girdle the logs about to separate from the logs.
One of the tools carried by the municipal staff was a chainsaw as long as a spear.
“We are working at full speed” The mayor of Montevideo, Carolina Cosse, said this Monday. She added that commune staff were also working on “the social aspects” with “those families in the most fragile situation to help them rebuild their habitat in the best possible way”reported Telemundo.
But before the municipal personnel arrived, the neighbors began their work. They pulled out their own chainsaws, or simple saws, and they began the task of clearing the streets with the collateral benefit of getting firewood for the stove or barbecue.
The storm was around 14:00-15:00 New Years afternoon. The neighbors who spoke with The Observer agreed that it only lasted minutes. Guillermo’s family was in the back of the house; he hadn’t even realized what had happened. A person who was going to visit them warned them after a while: “Che, you can’t enter the street from your house.”
Instead, other neighbors watched as the trees fell. Ernesto was taking a nap when he woke him up “a very loud buzz from the wind, horror movie type.” He looked out the window and he saw the wind destroy his jacaranda.
Ernesto cuts the stumps of his jacaranda tree with a saw
Leonardo and Leticia realized what was about to happen thanks to their cat. Panther—that’s the name of the animal—usually lowers the roof slowly, but this time she did it fleetingly. “Back went the wind”the woman recounted.
Several houses were left without cable. Cars have to roll on sidewalks to get out. However, in other places the storm was crueler. In the Peñarol neighborhood —the other affected neighborhood besides Prado Norte— the wind blew the roof off a house.
“I was downstairs, studying, and when I wanted to remember, the entire roof had blown off into the neighbor’s house“, said Natalia Rodríguez, who lives there with her family. “I managed to ask my parents for help to get me out because of the strong wind I couldn’t open the windows or the doors”he told this Monday.
“We couldn’t save anything from the roof sheets. Some of the furniture is wet, the same is the mattress and the clothes, but we were able to rescue something,” he told Telemundo.
Regarding the damage to power lines, the UTE Operations Manager, Luis García, said that equipment from the state entity They started working the same Sunday, and they continued this monday.
“The moment of maximum peak in Montevideo was about 3 thousand affected services”, reported at a press conference.
The Uruguayan Institute of Meteorology (Inumet) indicated that it was a “wet microdownfall or wet blowout” what “consists of a strong convective downdraft, often originating within a thundercloud, causes destructive winds“.
The ash tree over the house of Leonardo and Leticia
“It has a horizontal dimension of less than ten kilometers, and its life time can go from five to thirty minutes“, says the report of the institute. The Inumet station in the Prado “reported at 15:00 local time wind gusts of 80 km/h”.
Although from the institute they do not consider the term “turbonada” correct, the meteorologist José Serra does use it to qualify for Sunday’s event.
“The high temperature we had yesterday and the high percentage of relative humidity caused the development of storm clouds,” he explained to The Observer.
“At the base of the cloud strong downdrafts may occurwhich could lead to the formation of a squall,” he said. On this occasion there was “very strong downwind winds exceeding 90 to 100 km/h”, according to the meteorologist.
*The names of the testimonials are fictitious.