Part 1

© Hilton Pond Center

A triple-whammy winter storm that struck the Southeast the last week in January 2000 didn't spare the trees at Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History. A combination of snow and ice bent many tall pines and some hardwoods near an aerial power line right-of-way that zigzags across the property. When some limbs contacted power lines and disrupted service on the night of 23 January, crews from Duke Energy had no choice but to topple nearly three dozen 30-foot-tall trees with trunks at least 6" in diameter.

Shortly before midnight on 23 January the neighborhood was awakened by a convoy of 12 Duke Energy and subcontractor trucks with engines rumbling and PA systems crackling, all lined up on the road near Hilton Pond Center. Duke crew foreman Burt Beard and Center director Bill Hilton Jr., walked--and in some cases crawled due to many bent-over Eastern Red Cedars (Juniperus virginiana)--the entire 1,200-plus feet of right-of-way. After locating problem trees, Beard dispatched a crew to clear the lines, cautioning them to cut only vegetation that actually touched the wires. The 20-man crew worked for several hours in darkness before moving on to another outage location affected by the ice storm elsewhere in York County.

An initial next-morning walk-around indicated the workmen cut down several smaller pines, Sweetgums (Liquidambar stryaciflua) and Black Cherries (Prunus serotina) on the back line, half a dozen big Loblolly Pines (Pinus taeda) on the DeVinney Road frontage, and a few hardwoods on the line across the dam, including a moderate-sized willow oak (Quercus phellos) that will be missed. Several 15-foot cedars were also dropped.

Go to Winter Storm Damage, Part 2

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Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is a non-profit research & education organization in York, South Carolina USA; phone (803) 684-5852. Directed by Bill Hilton Jr., aka The Piedmont Naturalist, it is the parent organization for Operation RubyThroat. Contents of this website--including articles and photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of Hilton Pond Center. All rights reserved worldwide. To obtain permission for use or for further assistance on accessing this Web site, contact the Webmaster.