So this week I got an assignment to go out to Garden Valley to look at an old 5th wheel trailer that sustained damage from a large tree branch that broke off in the middle of a bad windstorm. There’s a saying out here…”If you don’t like the weather in Idaho, just wait 20 minutes.” Meaning that the weather can change very fast out here and storms seem like they come out of nowhere sometimes. The trailer is owned by a non-profit called Project Patch. Which is a place for troubled teens, or more often the case, teens with troubled family situations, to go and take a break, get counseling and get to spend some time in the out doors. It really is a beautiful area.The land was donated by on old logger who owned thousands of acres back in the day. The Project is located in this scenic little valley that runs along the bottom of this mountain range which also has a river running along it’s base. Now, I know i was sent to look an this trailer, but the fact is the damage wasn’t too devastating. It was a ’96 trailer and they are a dime a dozen around $10k – $15k. And when RV Shops are charging labor rates of $100 – $120 an hour, well, it doesn’t take long for the cost of repairs to exceed the value of the trailer which triggers the insurance company to total the unit. No, I wanted to share some of the surrounding buildings that were damaged when not just the branches came off, but when whole trees blew over. Luckily, this house is used to store equipment and gear.The fallen tree has since been cut up and removed, but you can plainly see the damage left behind from the tree hitting the top edge of the roof and coming down the side of the building.This storm, like a lot of storms out here, starts with crazy wind. Followed by torrential rain. So not only did some of their buildings get impact damage tearing open the roof and walls, but two minutes later it was followed by the rain adding flood damage as well. Talk about getting kicked when your down…And the icing on the cake is that since this place is in a higher elevation than Boise, they’ll be getting snow real soon. The contractor will be hard pressed to get the damaged buildings repaired before the snow, & that will slow everything way down after that.
Here’s the tree that tore open this building, what left of it… Not exactly a Little Guy is he? & check out that root ball… just in case you were wondering, the hole is around 4 ft deep. & you can just make out the Ol TSX in the background. That rugged outdoors man is Craig, the grounds manager of the Project. I had him stand by the root ball for some scale. He’s about 6′ tall. He wanted to know if he was going to be “Internet Famous” now. I assured him his royalty checks would start rolling in at any time.
It’s a sad deal for some good people and a beautiful place. But it’s also a good reminder of why we pay the big bucks for insurance.