Clean up begins after storm knocks down dozens of trees in Boise

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by Scott Evans

KREM.com

Posted on August 24, 2013 at 9:28 AM

BOISE, Idaho – Trees that were more than a foot around were ripped off their base like they were toothpicks Thursday night as a fast-moving storm rolled through.

Crews spent the day Friday cleaning up after that fast and furious storm.

Despite the storm rolling through the city of trees for less than an hour, it left a lot of damage behind in Columbia Village.

"We had to pull over down on Amity,” said Dana Gross who lives in Columbia Village. “You couldn't see. The wipers were going, it couldn't keep up.”

Thursday's storm hit hard and it hit fast.

"It was horrific,” said Howard Roose who watched the storm from his home. “I mean it was close to hurricane force winds. I'd say 50 to 60 miles an hour, straight line winds, rain, torrential rain. I mean it was the most intense rain I've seen, maybe in my lifetime.”

The rain came down in sheets. The wind seemed to knock over just about anything in its path.

"I have never seen something come through so fast so hard in all my life. Trees started coming over and I couldn't hardly see through all the rainfall," said Michael Hranac who watched the storm from his porch.

The wind uprooted trees. Others were snapped off at the base. Branches were ripped from the trunk. Fences were torn apart, and shingles and vents torn off of roofs.

"It was very scary," said Hranac. “It was probably the worst that I have experienced.”

Friday, sounds of chainsaws could be heard throughout the neighborhood as crews began work early in the morning. On Lake Forest Drive alone there are upwards of 40 trees now lying on the ground and in the road.

"They just twisted off. It was just incredible, snapped off at the bases or just tipped over," said Hranac.

And then there was the water, dumping so hard and so fast it left streets flooded.

"Visibility was very limited. You could see maybe 50 feet due to the intense rain, wind-driven rain that was coming down," said Roose.

Homes that had shingles torn off had water damage inside.

"I heard it was like 1/3 of an inch, but I swear to God it was a whole lot more than a third of an inch of water that came down through here," said Hranac.

Because there's so much damage to this relatively small area, crews are going to be working through the day to get all of these trees out road.

The storm knocked out power for upwards of 10,000 customers. Idaho Power was able to get all the lights back by Friday morning.

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