I think we were all shocked with the amount of devastation the storm brought with it. The day after winds of up to 140 mile per hour winds hit the Garfagnana the devastation surrounded us. Roads blocked, mountainsides flattened, and you could follow the path the winds took, total carnage it looked as if several bombs had been dropped all at the same time – full article here.
However, saying that once again I am impressed with both the Commune and the Principal workers, within hours the totally impassible road from Renaio to Barga was made safe and a passage way for the cars to pass was made. Within two to three days the trees and debris was removed from the roads.
I wish I could say the same about Enel, they did not fair good in a crisis. We were without electricity for a total of ten days, although Richard came to the rescue after we had been without electric for five days, he did get an old generator that we had brought back in the UK for £60 going, so we have had lights and we are now able to charge our phones and computers, as well as access the internet for a short time.
Richard was rather smug because even I could remember saying to him “Why do you want to buy that old heap of junk” to which he replied “It will come in handy one day”. Well that one day had arrived. Its even given us the impetus to look into going totally off grid, although we have many other things to do before this becomes a reality.
Back to Enel, for over a week each day I have tried to contact them, Sunday I was on the phone for over three hours listening to an automated message telling me the operators were busy and that I was in a queue. We were then advised by a local not to even try for a couple of days they were just inundated and unable to cope with the amount of people calling in to report problems. So we just settled down to getting by.
Now here’s my little gripe, I know that it was a bad time for them and that one little house up a mountain probably isn’t going to be top of their priority list, I do get it, but it was really frustrating when day after day you just couldn’t reach someone, just to let them know you had a problem. I wasn’t expecting it to be fixed right away but it would have been good to have been added to a list or whatever they do.
But we couldn’t just sit around hanging on the telephone, it was time to set to repairing the damage. One of the first things to be repaired was the greenhouse, doing things a little different this time so that hopefully should we have some more strong winds it will be able to withstand the force that little bit better. I had to repair the door and don’t tell Richard but my door definitely looks better than his!
We have started to cut up the large tree that fell in the garden but it is very wet inside, so we will have to leave it outside to weather for a bit before it can be spacked and packed into the shed. Although we are still contemplating how on earth we are going to get it back up the mountain, and then what we are going to do with the roots and then the great big hole it has left. Still on a positive there is a lot of wood so we should be able to at least half fill the shed ready for next year.
We were a little worried about working underneath the fallen Enel power line, it has a huge rock swinging in mid air and we are not even sure if the line is live. So clearing up may take a little while and this area was left until Enel finally arrived.
I was almost impressed with them once we had managed to contact them, and especially when we had a call at 9am one morning from an Enel engineer but half way through the call he made his apologies and we didn’t hear anymore for another 24 hours. I think it was after we told him that he would have to take the forest strada down to the house and we hoped he had brought chainsaws and a crane to pull the line and pylon back up the mountain.
Still the weather has been great and it has been really beautiful, for working in the gardens. The other day we were helping a friend replace the roof tiles and it was most definitely t-shirt weather. It has been so hot and dry that I couldn’t believe that I was actually doing the rain dance and I was even pleased when today the rain arrived!.
Everyone is still really busy, we are now on catch up and this is the reason that I haven’t written quite as often as I would have liked. I would like to say thank you to you all and those that have told me how much they like reading The Sensone Diaries, it really does mean a lot. Thank you
Article by Sensone – all Sensone article here
painter and photographer - started barganews.com, the first on line news site in Tuscany, Italy back in 1996