Friday night wind gust drops evergreen on Hayden home
May 9, 2016
Steamboat Springs — Routt County residents endured a wild run of weather during the span of May 4 to 9, ranging from snow squalls to pastures dry enough to catch fire when controlled agricultural burns got out of hand due to gusting winds. But probably no one experienced the surprise that a Hayden couple was confronted with in the early evening of May 6.
Matt and Lauren Kuckkahn had just returned home from doing errands in town at about 5 p.m. when they discovered one-half of a very large evergreen tree had fallen on the front entrance of their home on East Jefferson Street.
Hayden Public Library Director Ana Lash recalls that the weather had turned violent just about that time.
"It was pretty bad," she said. “We had a sudden downpour. It just went bam, and it rained super hard for three minutes. The power went out immediately for probably 20 minutes."
In that same timeframe, the Kuckkahns returned to their home.
"We were driving back from the post office when a microburst happened," Lauren said. "As we pulled in, we noticed the neighbors had lost some tree limbs and thought, 'Oh, that's too bad.' Then we saw that half of this tree had fallen on our house."
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Lauren said it was apparent that the very tall evergreen tree, which was about 15 feet from the front of her home, had split into two trunks when it was young.
"It split in half, and one whole half of the tree fell onto the house,” she said. “No one was hurt, and it didn't come into the house. Nothing was broken, but when we pulled up, we saw sparks flying.'
West Routt Fire Protection District arrived on the scene, and after discovering the tree had knocked the electric mast off the home, crews from Yampa Valley Electric Association were summoned.
"Twice, we had almost pulled around to come back home," Lauren said Monday. "It was kind of providence that no one was there."