Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summageddon Part 1

I thought I was safe from natural disasters in my little area of Virginia.  Before last fall we never had earthquakes, we were not badly impacted by hurricanes, we are too hilly for tornadoes and there are no volcanoes anywhere.  I am not rattled because we have a natural disaster of our own that comes with little warning and leaves devastation like a hurricane, a derecho. It came without warning, well about 10 minutes, if even that, and left us without electricity for days.
It all started Monday, June 25, it was cool and comfortable with temperatures in the upper 70's.  As the week progressed the temperatures got hotter, by Friday, June 29, temperatures were close to 100 and it was HOT.  We had a normal Friday afternoon and evening.  Jeff had an art show at the shop and got home about 9.  I was online looking at different sites for a new bathing suit.  For some reason we decided to check the weather.  We saw a thunderstorm about an hour away and I complained the storms always seem to happen when we were trying to get the kids asleep.  I should note, at the time there was no severe thunderstorm warming.  About 5 minutes later, I heard what I thought was rain and asked Jeff to go make sure the windows in my car were rolled up.  He opened the door to go out and were hit with hurricane force winds, we were shocked, how did this storm that was an hour away already here?  A few minutes later we were in the dark, and the power was out.  The wind was blowing like a hurricane, we noticed the tree across the street had fallen into the road.  We saw a bit of lightning, but heard no thunder.  We kept expecting it to start raining, but it never did.  We also kept expecting a horrible thunderstorm to come, but it never did, it was just super strong winds that kept going and going (well for about 30 minutes).  The kids of course were freaking out so we got them calm and eventually asleep on the sofa (the living room is the opposite side of the house of the winds).  My sister called at one point freaking out because of the storm, I tried to calm her down.  I also tried to get a hold of my mom but cell phone service was spotty.  I was also frustrated that my iphone would not get any internet so I had to find batteries and listen to weatherband on a radio.  Eventually everything calmed down and we went to bed.  The next morning we were still out of power and Lance and I went walking to see the destruction.  When I walked out onto the main road I had no idea how devastating the storm was until I saw this:
I know it just looks like a tree, but this tree is blocking 4 lanes of traffic, took out a traffic light, and pulled down 4 power poles.

same tree, just different view

what use to the be the stoplight

the broken power poles the tree pulled down

Power pole trying to stay upright

After seeing the destruction I thought we might be out of power for a day or two, and since we live so close to the hospital I felt confident our power would be back on in no time, I was so wrong.

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