July 9 – 15, 2021Vol. 23, No. 5

When The Storm Came

Photos by Dick Greenan. For additional pictures, see the Dams Keeper's Report and Take It Outside.

There are tales in Belgrade of storms past — hurricanes with names that brought fear and destruction, that were predicted approaching, covered a broad path for hours, and left memories for future generations to absorb.

The storm of 2021 was different, a swift one that came up unpredictably, wrecked havoc quickly, and left a mess in a very narrow corridor — the Village of Belgrade Lakes. And, it didn't even have a name — a public one anyway.

Although the storm could be described as horrifying and the response, as always with Belgrade Fire and Rescue, impressive, it was the clean-up that was the real show. The Village teemed with CMP trucks, tree removal trucks, cranes, wood chippers and workmen who made it all look simple as they swung in the air to cut off branches, carried limbs and trunks to waiting trucks and returned this tourist destination to scenic peace — minus quite a few trees.

Update

The National Weather Service subsequently determined that the storm that hit Belgrade Lakes Village at around 3:30 p.m. on June 30, 2021, was a "wet microburst," with winds of 60 – 90 mph, the same wind speeds as in a Category 1 hurricane.

The storm left a roughly two-mile swath of damage mainly along the eastern shore of Long Pond from just north of the village to Abena Shores Road on the western shore of Great Pond southeast of the village. Around 300 trees, including old-growth white pines, oaks, and willows, were uprooted or snapped off. The storm caused damage to at least half a dozen buildings, including to the roof of Day's Store. Around 1450 customers in Belgrade and Rome lost electricity.

Sadly, the storm also caused one fatality. Long-time Belgrade summer resident, Stefanie Rothschild, 52, of Cabin John, Maryland, died in hospital the day after the storm from injuries sustained when a tree fell on her car. No other storm-related deaths or injuries were reported.