A mighty wind
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Blaine Silfies surveys the path of destruction from Sandy in the woods next to his home.
At 9 p.m. every night is prayer time for Nancy Silfies of Kunkletown. But on Monday night, as Hurricane Sandy raged outside, Nancy said God told her to begin her prayer time earlier. She chose Psalm 91.
"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust' ... You will not fear the terror of night ..."
Around 9 p.m., Nancy heard what sounded like a train. She began to hear a lot of snapping and cracking outside her home, which sits close to their seven acres of woods.
"I didn't hear anything that sounded like crashing on our cars or the house, so I stayed inside and prayed," she says.
Her husband, Blaine, slept through the whole storm. But across the street, their son and daughter-in-law, Blaine and Lisa, also heard the train sound that people say usually accompanies a tornado.
The next morning, they awoke to an incredible sight.
"We checked our cars first, then the house and our shed. Everything was intact. The winds did blow the backboard off the basketball hoop. Then we saw the trees. This is just amazing," she says as her arm sweeps an encompassing pass toward the woods next to their home.
About 75 tall (75-100 feet high) Eastern White pine trees are uprooted or snapped off. About 75 more are broken or uprooted on the seven acres next to theirs that belong to Nancy's sister and her husband, Louise and Edward Bastille.
Blaine points out how there is a definite path of how the wind made a swath of destruction.
"I believe it was a tornado. It looks like it touched down in like three distinct areas. It's just incredible," he says.
When they contacted the National Weather Service to determine if it could have been a tornado, Joe Marchetta said that what they experienced was straight line winds, which reached anywhere between 100-150 mph.
The other thing the Silfies find incredible is, if the direction of the wind had been different, some of the trees could have fallen on their cars and shed. It just barely missed Blaine's backhoe by inches.
"I think it's a miracle. I look at this destruction in awe and am amazed that we were spared," says his wife.
They say if anyone would want the wood, they are welcome to contact them at (610) 381-3825.