Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's Not Easy to Liveblog a Power Outage

Saturday night I received a severe thunderstorm alert e-mail.  I looked at the weather radar and saw a tiny dot of green near our town.  I thought, "Meh..." and went back to surfing the internet.  A few minutes later, all hell broke loose.

The wind kicked up and the rain started coming down in sheets.  It was so white outside that it looked like it was snowing, only it was rain.  I've never seen anything like it.  The newspaper said later that we'd had 70 mph winds.  Like turkeys, we all stood at the windows and watched rather than taking cover in a windowless area of the house.  In our defense, we had friends over and the four of us plus the 8 of them wouldn't have all fit in the closet under the stairs.  The tornado sirens never activated, anyway.

I heard water running in the family room.  The (locked!) patio doors had blown open, and it was like there was someone standing outside with a firehose.  There was so much water!  If we hadn't been home the laminate floor would've been destroyed.  The gate to our fence blew open, too.  We'll need to replace the hardware at some point.  I sent BJ for towels and we sopped everything up as best we could, then we made sure that the post that goes into the top of the door frame was secure, and that kept the doors shut for the rest of the storm.

While we were busy in the back of the house dealing with the water, the beautiful pine tree in the front of our house was losing the top 1/3 of itself to the wind.  It looked like a giant twisted off the top of the tree and threw it into the front yard.  Thankfully, it didn't hit anything on the way down.

As quickly as it popped up, the storm died down.  It wasn't long before I was outside with the neighbors surveying the damage.  The power was out, of course, and stayed that way until midnight Sunday night.

After 30 hours without power, everything in the fridge was garbage.  BJ and I spent last night inventorying it for the insurance company and throwing it away.  Thank goodness that today's garbage day!  We cleaned the fridge out (it really needed it!) and then went to the store to get essentials - ketchup, ranch, coffee creamer, eggs, milk, etc.  I'm glad to report that the 1/4 beef we have in the freezer survived (again!). 

The kids are up at their Grandmother Diana's.  She had planned to come down Monday so I could work, but we didn't have power most of Sunday, so we arranged to meet halfway and I sent the kids home with her for the duration of the outage. BJ and I will pick them up tonight.

It's amazing what we take for granted.  We honestly don't realize how much we depend on electricity until it's gone!  I would never have survived as a pioneer, that's for sure. 

We're all fine, the house is fine, the cars are fine, and we're grateful that the insurance company will replace what we lost to spoilage.  So now you know what I've been up to since my last post!

This is post #1501 on this blog, which blows my mind.


Heidi said...

Congrats on surviving the storm and passing 1500. You would have done fine on the frontier - YOU are a survivor.

Cate said...

Today I listened to Garrison Keiller's "Writer's Almanac" on NPR, a short daily thing he does with interesting bits of history about what has happened on today's date and then a poem. Today was about the Rocky Mountain Locust Swarms that swept through the prairies, starting on today's date sometime in the mid-1800s. I had never heard the description of the destruction: the swarms covered everything and ate up any vegetation or anything that could have passed for vegetation: the clothes off the line, the harnesses off the horses, and even what people were wearing if they tried to beat the locusts back by walking into the swarm -- even people's hair off their heads.

I used to think I could have survived as a pioneer.

Anyway, the swarms are gone, no longer possible, because something about stirring up the plains for agriculture screwed up something in their cycle so irreparably that they went extinct. Even as an environmentalist I breathe a sigh of relief! :)