Driver gets lucky when storm fells tree

We could have had it aaaaalll…

Can’t we just get beyond thunderdome?

I suppose we can’t if this was the only road…


I agree, (the forest) they’re not like they used to be and, the driver who caught it on camera was pretty smart, he said fuck it, I’m not falling for that.

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If I had to guess, I’d say “convective-cell downburst”.

Downbursts are sort of the watery equivalent of pyroclastic flow - large column of mass injected high into atmosphere which then collapses and falls back down, accelerating to nearly-preposterous velocities as it hits the ground and sprays outward.

With pyroclastic flow, the mass is hot gas and ash, while a downburst is ■■■■■ air with occasional embedded hail.

Downbursts can cause damage similar to moderate-sized tornadoes - the two can sometimes only be distinguished after the fact by damage patterns - tornadoes blow things down in circular patterns, while downburst damage splays radially outward.


(I want to give you so many more likes for this!)


'Strayan trees, so they are trying to kill people.

They look like gum trees to me, it’s not unusual for them to fell with no warning. Eucalypts will save water during drought conditions by drying out, leading to them dropping heavy branches, even in still conditions.
If that particular stretch of soil had better drainage or poorer soil. it could be those trees are weak enough to fall like that while other are stronger.

Never camp under a gum tree. Some species are locally known as “widowmakers” for this reason.


This was in Australia; if this happened in the Northern Hemisphere, the trees would fall the other way, missing the road.


At first I thought “He wasn’t THAT lucky. He still had a big old tree blocking his path. Lucky would have been if he had just eeked past and…oh…”

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Angel: Fifty bucks you can’t hit those two Aussie drivers at the same time.
God: You fuckin’ kidding me? Look at all those trees. It’d be a slam-dunk.
Angel: Do it then.
God: I’m gonna. [blows down all the trees]
Angel: HA! Grease my palms, bitch.
God: Fuck you. Here. [Hands him fifty-dollar bill].
Angel: What the—fifty Aussie bucks? Fuck you.
God: Hey, that’s good ice cream money.
Angel: Ice cream, my holy ass. I’m going to Chicago and getting myself some H.
God: Whatever. Just be back in time to help me with orientation.
Angel: How many newcomers tonight?
God: Haven’t counted.
Angel: Well, whatever it is, I guess it’ll be two less than you planned, eh?
God: Fuck you.


Yup. Some dumbasses decided that all sorts of eucalyptus would be FANTASTIC windbreaks here in nice dry So. Cal. Some of them get enormous. Now every time there’s a moderate wind storm, we’ve got branches and whole trees falling all over the f-ing place.


Well, it’s not like they produce all that much in the way of flammable oil to go with the nice, tinder-dry conditions. Or displaces native species. Or changes local soil conditions.

Great where they originated, but a major PITA as an invasive species.


Windthrow on that scale happens quite frequently. Less commonly caught on camera like that. Basically you get a really long wet spell that deeply saturates the soil which is like concrete when dry, but loose when wet. Then if you get strong winds before the soil has a chance to dry out, the one gust can topple many trees. If you travel the backroads in in that area, better have a chainsaw with you as if there’s one tree blocking the road, there’s probably several more just around the corner.

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Mass wasting I suspect. You can see the base of a few trunks all move at once.

Don’t you Aussies have a former govt executive you can have ‘clearing brush’? You might need one.

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If there is one on the road in front of you there is probably already one blocking you from going back too. Like landslides in CA.

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Similar climate. In summer you need to be mindful of driving in to trails where you might get trapped by fire if there is only one road out.

Not to mention, they burn like they’re soaked in kerosene.




I had an MTS employee explain to me that they were brought to SoCal by a lumber baron as a quick solution to the lumber shortage during the railroad expansion. It turned out that once the wood was cut and dried, it had a tendency to warp/twist, and the guy lost a ton of money due to the scheme’s failure.

I don’t know if it was true, but it sounds plausible to me.


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