HANOVER — The severe thunderstorm that ripped through the River Valley Wednesday, July 6, hit this small western Maine community with tremendous ferocity.

“Given the significant number of downed trees, in your area,” said Steve Kistner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, “I wouldn’t be surprised if you received winds in excess of 60 miles per hour.”

On Wednesday, Brian Gross and Josh Gross, of Gross Logging Co. of Hanover, were still cleaning up blown-down trees from last week’s storm at Hanover Pines, which is on the western side of Route 2.

Downed pine and spruce trees are plentiful in the Hanover Pines real estate development.

In one part of Hanover Pines is a swath of blown-down trees approximately 150 yards wide by a three-quarters of a mile long. The hundreds of trees all are laid out in the same direction, southwest to northeast, as if some mighty hand just swept the forest down. The area has the feel of a war-zone.

“In most storms with high winds the trees blow back and forth in the gusts,” Brian Gross, 54, of Hanover said. “But the trees during this storm did not sway they just bent right over and stayed in that position through the storm and most of them here just snapped.”

Some of the Hanover Pines bent and snapped over Route 2 causing local fire departments to close the major east-west western Maine traffic corridor for several hours Wednesday evening.

“This is extremely dangerous work,” Brian said, of the cutting and removal of the downed trees.

“The trees, the way they fell and are pressed against one another are under enormous tension,”  Brian said. “You never know how they will snap and respond in a split second.”

“There’s, also, the danger of many of these tree roots snapping right into you,” Brian said. “You really have to have your wits about you doing this type of work.”

“But I have been logging my whole life-since I was 15 years-old,” Brian said. “My father was a logger.”

Brian said he would use the downed wood that he cleared from the Hanover Pines to sell for saw logs and pulp wood.

“We get a storm of this magnitude, that topples this many trees in western Maine about once a year,” he said. “I think the last one came through around the Lovell area last year.”

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