Freak Storm Batters Glynwood

Winds topple several hardwoods

By Michael Turton

An intense, isolated storm swept through Glynwood on Friday, Aug. 3, bringing down 22 trees and causing other property damage. The nonprofit, located about 6 miles east of Cold Spring on Route 301, includes a working farm of nearly 200 acres.

Sure enough, here it comes, from the west, Neal Tomann, Glynwood’s director of facilities, recalled thinking as he watched the disturbance develop on his computer screen — and out his office window. Radar depicted the incoming weather as greyish-yellow, he recalled, “except for a tiny, bright red dot.”

Trees were snapped by the high winds. (Photo by M. Turton)

That dot was the most intense part of the storm and “went right over us,” striking at 3:30 p.m. “It was raining hard, but then it just really took off,” Tomann said. At one point the rain sounded “like someone blasting the building with a fire hose.”

The storm lasted 15 minutes, battering the property with wind, rain and lightning strikes. Glynwood lost oaks, maples and hickories.

“I’ve been here a long time and have never seen anything like that,” said Tomann. While thunderstorms are common, this one “was on top of us very quickly.”

Two towering red oaks fell close to the main house but did no damage to the building. The roof of a chicken coop flew off, and a small wood shed was destroyed.

Neal Tomann, director of facilities at Glynwood, stands between two oaks destroyed in the Aug. 3 storm. The main house is in the background. (Photo by M. Turton)

But the biggest disappointment, Tomann said, was losing a nearly 100-foot-long, portable greenhouse that had just been skinned earlier in the week.

“No one could get anywhere for a while, there were so many trees down,” Tomann said. Those stranded included some CSA customers who had to wait for the staff to clear the roads.

Tomann said he spoke to a neighbor just east of Glynwood who knew nothing of the storm. “It appears it just hit us,” he said. “We have to clean this up, and in a hurry.” Glynwood will host its annual gala the second week in September.

Crews are harvesting as much hardwood from the downed trees as possible. “That would make the best of a bad situation,” he said, adding that it was fortunate that no animals or people were injured, especially considering how busy the farm was at the time.

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