Fallen trees on Washington Mountain Road force two to find new routes home

Wednesday October 31, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- It normally takes Jayme Rudzik about 45 minutes to drive from his job in Pittsfield to his home in Blandford. On Monday, the trip took two hours.

Hurricane Sandy was the reason, specifically the storm's high winds. They knocked down so many trees on Washington Mountain Road while Rudzik was traveling on it Monday night, he eventually had to find a longer way home.

Rudzik, a manager at Carr Hardware on North Street, said he and co-worker Greg Harrison were driving Wash ington Mountain Road in separate trucks around 6:30 p.m. on Monday when trees began falling in front of them. Harrison lives in Huntington.

"We were driving up the road," Rudzik said, "and [Harrison] radioed to me and said there was a tree down, but that he had a saw with him."

The two men pulled off the road, and using the chainsaw, managed to cut up the tree. Rudzik used the straps on his truck to pull the debris off the road.

But it didn't end there. Another tree fell. Then another. And another.

"They kept falling," Rudzik said. "The next thing you know, trees were falling behind us."

After removing a couple of trees from the road in the dark, Rudzik and Harrison decided the situation was too dangerous and decided to take another route home.

"We were quite scared," Rudzik said. "When we heard trees cracking in the forest, that's when we decided to hightail it out of there."

Rudzik believes the falling trees were between 75 and 100 feet tall.

"It looked like a war zone, really," he said.

Rudzik said he tried to come to work via Washington Mountain Road on Tuesday morning, but found trees were still in the way. State Police from the Cheshire Barracks closed Washington Mountain Road in the vicinity of Bucksteep Manor in Wash ington on Tuesday morning, and that section of the roadway was still closed early Tuesday evening.

"We were trying to do the right thing," Rudzik said, referring to Monday night's adventure. "It just got too dangerous."


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