Monday, July 02, 2012

update from Armageddon

Last week after days of extreme heat I was hoping for a thunderstorm to clear the air and humidity and give my plants a much needed drink of water.  Instead I got Armageddon.  Friday night about 10:45 pm, we were watching Charlie's favorite show, Discovery Channel's "Flying Wild Alaska", when we thought the end of the world had come.  With no warning,since we weren't watching a local station we didn't get the emergency weather updates, the wind picked up and outside our house looked like a scene from the Wizard of Oz.  I grabbed the chair cushions and plants off the front porch and slammed the door just as a huge twig came hurling toward the front door.  Much wind and lightening and very little rain later, the lights went out.  It was a "Derecho", a storm that started in Chicago and laid waste from there to the Atlantic Ocean.  Because of our location just at the bottom of a large hill, we got the worst effects of the storm as the wind picked up speed due to the Venturi effect of compressing the air under the hill.  Everyone in the path of the "derecho" had a huge storm but we have a narrow path of destruction where the trees were literally stripped of leaves.

The morning after the storm, after checking on my dad who lives nearby, we went to the grocery to buy ice.  My kudos go to Shopper's Food Warehouse which, despite running on just their emergency generators, was open and had pulled their ice supply to the front of the store.  I was able to get a couple of bags for me and a couple for my dad.  We did a survey of the neighborhood and discovered that the damage was in pockets, one street had no damage, the next one over was covered in downed trees.  With multiple trees down in our neighborhood the streets were blocked and the power lines are a spaghetti of tangles that makes me think if I was the power company I wouldn't even try to untangle them;  I'd just start over.

Late in the day we decided to head to Ikea to walk around and hit the shopping mall to get some A/C.  After a long shopping mall visit and a stop for dinner we returned home to find that 1) my father now had power (yay!) and 2) we had to try about 6 different ways to get into our neighborhood because more streets were now closed.  We thought we were going to have to hike in, but the last way in (which if you were not native to the area you never would have known about) was open and we arrived to our dark home. 

So here were are at Monday.  The power company hasn't yet scheduled any repairs in our neighborhood so I'm figuring we have at least 2 more days or more.  They say by Friday they will have 90% restored.  I just hope I'm not in the 10%.  It is heading for the upper 90's to 100 every day.  Even I, who don't mind the heat, am missing my fans and my refrigerator and my internet.  I've thrown out food and stashed a bit of stuff in my dad's freezer.  We will survive this and I hope mostly with good humor.  This afternoon I'm at the library sharing my power strip so people can use their computers and recharge their cell phones.

I can generally get through the day just fine but we are having trouble sleeping since the upstairs of our house is about 100 degrees.  We've put a blowup bed on the porch but I'm so restless I spend most of the night just wandering the house.  As I remind my children when things like this happen, it will make a great cocktail party story someday.

So, here are my tips for coping:
  • Don't bitch and moan, it only makes you feel worse.
  • Shower often, sometimes three times a day.  You'll feel better.
  • Remind yourself that it could be worse.  The house didn't burn down, a tree didn't fall on our house or car, we weren't injured, and it's not cold.
  • A couple of gin and tonics before bed really help!

1 comment:

Hattie said...

Wow! What an experience. I hope you did not sustain too much damage to your house or property.
I am glad the weather has moderated and that the clean up is underway.
We live in fear of things like this happening to us in Hawaii, which is so prone to natural disasters, and it is hard to imagine such destruction where you are.