Monday, August 9, 2010

Powerless

Have you been dreaming of rain this summer? Bowing your head in a little prayer? Perhaps turning your eyes to the sky in anticipation? Me, too. And the heavens delivered, just not in the manner I would have preferred.

Two short but powerful storms rolled through on Thursday afternoon. Wind gusts at the high school less than ½ mile from home were recorded at 73 mph. I was at work beyond the reach of the storm, but heard news reports that my neighborhood was badly damaged. What would I find when I got home? Would my 40-50 ft maple in the front yard (the one that loses a branch in nearly every storm) still be standing? Would my house be unscathed? Note that I didn’t ask myself if I’d have power. I knew that was a near impossibility.

I arrived home Thursday night to have my questions answered:

Whew! The tree is still standing. About a quarter of it came down, but luckily fell to the east (into the road) rather than a more damaging direction. The house was safe! Road crews had already cleared the road, and piled the branches onto the sidewalk; I just had the bulky part to deal with. (And no, I didn’t have power. The whole neighborhood was dark)

By the time I got home from work on Friday, there were no fewer than six cards from tree services (and random guys with a chainsaw and a truck) stuck in my door. And more guys in trucks cruising the streets. So cleanup was easy, if costly. Still no power.

Friday and Saturday evenings I walked around the neighborhood to see how others fared. I consider myself very lucky. Here was the scene just one street over:

Ouch! Fortunately the tree fell just behind the neighbor’s house, wiping out the back deck, but doing only minor damage to the roof.

Three doors down, the scene was repeated, but without the car in the driveway.

Two blocks away, another lucky house. I count at least three trees in the front yard, nearly obscuring the house, but none on the house:

Another view, showing downed power lines:

I returned to this house on Saturday, to see cleanup nearly completed:

Continuing down the hill:
There are two condo buildings that face each other, separated by a courtyard. They were very lucky.

The next building was not so lucky:


That’s a lot of wood to chip!

On Saturday afternoon, 48 hours after the storm, neighborhood streets still looked like this:


No wonder I still had no power.

Thursday night it was pretty cool after the storm, so I didn’t mind having no AC or fans. By Friday night I had to retreat to the basement to stay cool enough to sleep. Saturday was worse. I had many offers of places to stay, and decided to take one friend up on the offer of dinner and a spare bedroom. Shortly after ten pm I made a call to my house, and was greeted with the sweet sound of my answering machine. Power! Thanks for the hospitality, but I’m heading home to sleep in my own bed.

Now it is Monday, and the sounds of trucks and chain saws still fill the air.

1 comment:

  1. WOW... that storm packed a punch. What an adventure!

    ReplyDelete