We awoke in the early hours of Tuesday morning, unable to sleep due to the deafening noise of the gale force winds outside. Following several loud thuds on our roof and the worsening rattle of slates and metal, we decided to head downstairs to relative safety, scared that one of the trees would fall onto our cottage or a branch would break through our bedroom’s velux window.
As it was still pitch dark and too dangerous to go outside, we made a cup of tea and settled in the lounge to ride out the storm. As soon as we had checked the weather forecast online, the lights flickered briefly before total blackout. With the emerging light outside we could eventually see the devastation of the huge branches that had broken off the trees beside our cottage and hit our roof lying in the garden
The force of the gales hitting our cottage full on was phenomenal. We could clearly see the gusts rippling across the loch before hitting our cottage full on. This movie was taken through our patio doors’ windows well after the height of the storm when there was sufficient light. The force of the gales was phenomenal and the amount of water being blown off the loch was amazing to see.
When the winds had died down even more, we went outside to inspect the damage to our roof. As you can see from the images below, the lead flashing was blown upwards, and the slates were damaged in five places, with the main damage being caused by the falling branches. Later we found some of the slates that had been blown hundreds of meters away into the fields behind the cottages.
Later in the morning Jim, our neighbour, and I started the clearing and the repairs. First we nailed down the corrugated iron on Andy’s roof before clearing the fallen branches in our garden to gain access to our roof. Jim’s experience with slating was invaluable and we cannot thank him enough for his effort and help with repairing our roof. Without him we would not have been able to repair the roof ourselves.
Thankfully, we were prepared for unexpectedly long power outages with an abundance of candles and an open fire for warmth, boiling water for tea and coffee, and for cooking. We thought of going to the Kames for a bar meal, but they were closed for food due to the blackout. It was a novel experience though, cooking Irish stew for dinner on the open fire by candle light.
Due to the non-stop horizontal rain and the continued blackout, we decided to head back to Glasgow on Wednesday afternoon, a day earlier than planned. It was a journey through a landscape devastated by the storm. We had never seen so many trees felled in one gale before. There were several stretches where the trees fallen across the road reached double figures. And we were lucky, as the road to Dunoon had literally just opened. In fact, were driving behind the van that removed the ‘road closed’ signs.