AP quotes Livingston in report on how drought may have aided storm

William Livingston, an associate professor of forest resources at the University of Maine, spoke with the Associated Press for a report about how drought conditions, recent rainfall and an unusual storm path in Maine may have contributed to the large numbers of trees that toppled during a recent storm that hit the Northeast. Several factors came into play to knock down so many trees, according to Livingston, who cited the dry fall that stunted the growth of tree roots, recent soaking rain that softened the soil, and powerful winds that came from a different direction. In Maine, nor’easters create northeastern winds, and thunderstorms blow in from the west and north, but these powerful winds came from the southeast, Livingston said. And the winds were exceptionally powerful, with four times the force of a common wind storm, he added. “These are a lot of different conditions that have come together. This may have been a unique situation where nobody could’ve predicted this,” he said. The Washington Post, Maine Public, Miami Herald and The Columbian carried the AP report. Gloucester Times also cited Livingston in the editorial, “Storm was bad, but we’re lucky.”