Microbursts - The Storms You Never Expected Can Sometimes Cause the Most Damage
As we retreat from winter’s grip, the days grow longer, hinting at the warmer weather to come. And while snow can happen almost any time of the year in Central Oregon, most of us eagerly anticipate the change of season and the beauty that comes with it. But as winter turns to spring, the warmer gives way to a phenomenon called a microburst.
According to the National Weather Service, a microburst is a “localized column of sinking air within a thunderstorm.” Do you recall the pounding hail storm we had a few years ago that seemingly came out of nowhere and destroyed hemp crops in Tumalo? That was a microburst, and they can be as damaging, life-threatening, and dangerous as a tornado.
With wind speeds up to 100+ miles per hour, a microburst can cause significant damage to anything in its path, such as homes, commercial buildings, and crops. The damage can be pretty shocking when these storms come out of nowhere. We are used to advanced warnings of snowstorms and rain. But microbursts often appear with minimal warning, catching unsuspecting property owners off guard. The window left open in the house suddenly becomes the source of significant water damage to the home or commercial space.
At SERVPRO of Bend, we are no stranger to microbursts or other types of storm damage. We understand the complexity and urgency of addressing storm damage and are ready to respond immediately - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our team includes highly trained, and certified technicians and carpenters prepared to repair whatever property damage you experience. And while we are here for you, whenever or wherever you need us, we wanted to provide some tips for helping protect your property from storm damage this spring and summer.
- Prune trees. A lot of damage from storms comes from fallen trees and broken branches. Trim trees that are close to the home. Look for clustered or touching branches and trim branches to create stability in weight distribution. Hire an arborist to get the job done right. Double stake any newly planted trees to protect against getting uprooted in a storm.
- Inspect the roof for loose shingles and empty gutters of leaves, and any yard debris. We recommend hiring a professional for any repairs needed.
- Check the seal around windows for cracks and repair them to prevent water from entering the home.
- Close doors. In the event of a microburst, close all the doors to the home or business - including interior doors. Doing so will help prevent pressure build-up inside the structure, which could cause significant destruction.
- Inspect garage. Unless your garage has windows, you should see little light around the garage door. Wheels should fit securely in the roller tracks. The more opportunities for air to enter the structure, the greater the chance for the wind to lift off the roof.
- Inspect siding. Changing temperatures can cause the siding to crack pull away from the foundation or gap. If gaps or cracks are identified, seal them. If damage is significant enough, replace the siding.
- Inspect outbuildings. If your home or commercial space has any outbuildings, ensure they are secured to the ground to prevent them from becoming projectiles.
- Secure lawn furniture, grills, and other items. Bring furniture cushions indoors to prevent them from becoming airborne if the weather service predicts significant thunderstorms.
Microbursts and other damaging storms are a reality that you should account for. While your property can often be replaced, it is an asset most of us don’t want to risk losing. Take proactive steps now to mitigate your risk of significant damage in the event of a severe storm.
If you experience storm damage in Bend, Redmond, or anywhere in Deschutes, Jefferson, or Crook County, SERVPRO is here to help, whenever or wherever you need us.