Battened Down for Hurricane Sandy


Butcher Shop Forms Rising Higher and Being Battened Down

The wind started to pickup at about noon. Without the hype I would not think anything of it. Just another windy day on the mountain. We routinely get high winds in the 25 to 50 mph range so we’re used to that. They’re predicting maybe up to 70 mph, which isn’t too unusual, we see that several times a year and occasionally higher. Due to our mountains and trees breaking up the terrain we rarely get higher wind speeds – those stay up above the ridge tops.
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The media is making all sorts of advisories about how to be prepared but interestingly none of their advice applies to us. We live prepared. That’s the way it is out in the country. One always has everything ready that they’re recommending. We are used to riding out storms.

The thing we did need to do was put out extra hay for the livestock and pickup or secure anything loose so it won’t get blown away. We normally do this if we think a storm will blow up, as it does many times each winter.


Top Deck Battened Down – Click image for wider view.

The most important thing on the construction site was binding all of the recently delivered bundles of timber which was skyhooked up onto the roof. We also strapped the stack of plywood together and screwed down some 2×6’s across the new ceiling deck form we’re preparing for the upcoming last concrete pour of the year. We also moved insulation board downward and picked up any loose items so they won’t blow away.

This weekend we’ve been working on getting the rest of the top scaffold in place, the deck is now on the reefer two thirds of the building. This morning we worked at getting the forms plus header are up in the admin loft section. Next comes the deck for admin loft and then forms and deck for abattoir’s top layer followed by the upper machine room. With some finishing touches we hope to be ready to pour our last layer of concrete the second week of November. This will raise the walls to their final height and cap the building with the initial roof insulated to a value of R-70. Hopefully this warm weather will continue to cooperate.

To everyone out there in the path of Sandy, may you weather the storm well!

Outdoors: 59°F/56°F Cloudy
Tiny Cottage: 69°F/67°F

Daily Spark: Remember it is ‘i’ before ‘e’, except when you foist a feisty heist on a weird beige foreign neighbor. -Anon

Update: 6 PM – We came in early from construction work as it has started to rain and the wind is gusty making it a little dangerous to be up so high on the scaffolds and roof deck. The rain is being rather intermittent, coming and going.

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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10 Responses to Battened Down for Hurricane Sandy

  1. Jessica P. says:

    i before e, except after c, or sounding long aay as in neighbor or weigh.
    Additional exceptions: Neither financier could inveigle the sheikh to seize either species of weird leisure, protein, or caffeine. I love this, it always makes me smile. Thank you Mr. Bober, 7th grade English teacher extraordinaire.

  2. Nance says:

    Hope it is all hype and that Sandy blows over without much ado. On the other hand, if it gets a little crazy, glad you have battened down the hatches. Take care! Let us know how you fare. Sending positive thoughts to all you in the East Coast target area.

  3. Best wishes to you and yours tonight and tomorrow Walter.

  4. Pet says:

    The scaffolding is amazing. It makes your construction site remind me of those ones in the developing countries where they have the long bamboo poles lashed together all around a project and people climbing all over them. How long until you take off the scaffolding and outer forms to reveal the final building? Stay safe in the storm!

    • We will need the scaffold again next summer, perhaps in August, to pour the final roof of the facility. The scaffold serves several purposes. First of all is safety for us. Next is access. Third is support for the formwork for the eaves which shed water away from the building and shield the windows from the sun in the heat of summer for natural cooling.

      For a while the forms will stay up as this is the best place to store them. They also serve to cover and protect the pink foam insulation that is between them and the concrete. Later we’ll probably parge the exterior, the pink foam, with a layer of fiber concrete, similar to doing adobe. Much later I plan to do stone work around the exterior. That is a project for years from now.

      The forms and the wood from the scaffold will be used in other projects. Many were used in previous projects. The nice thing about building sturdy forms is they are reusable. The trick is storing them well up off the ground so they don’t get damp and rot.

  5. Laurie J Sykes says:

    God’s protection for you and yours, through out the storm. Our farm is in southeast Texas, well away from the coast, and farely self-reliant. After hurricane Rita, and the following year hurricane Ike, our area was without grid electricity for 6 weeks. Traveling off-farm to replenish diesel supplies for our generators, became a scary and tedious task, with regards to dealing with the general public that were totally unprepared. For those of us that live debt-free, the process of repairing and re-thinking our “preparedness” continues, still, 7 years later. Hang in there! Blessings from Texas. Drop a line when you can to let us know how you are faring.

  6. Well Hurricane Sandy didn’t really seem to come visiting here. We got about three inches of much needed rain to replenish our ponds and water table, there was a fair bit of wind but nothing I would call a hurricane. Yesterday, Tuesday, I went up on the work site and inspected everything and it looked good. Nothing had been disturbed by the winds. I suspect that our mountains break things up a lot. Or maybe we’re just used to getting the winds since it blows almost constantly here and we often get high winds as just a normal part of the weather. Our land is up on the mountain tops at the end of a long valley through central Vermont. A wind power company wanted to build 34MegaWatts of wind towers on our ridges because apparently we’re in an ideal location for wind power.

    • Laurie J Sykes says:

      Yes, I noticed Vermont missed the brunt of it…Very good! Love you site. I’ve referred your blog to everyone I know who raises pigs. I look forward to seeing the pictures of your butcher shop after the next pour.

  7. Susan Lea says:

    I hope you all make it through safely and all the little (blow-able) piglets hunker down in safety with their heavy mamas. And I love your comment about living prepared!

  8. Cliff says:

    Glad you were fine through the hurricane!

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