Sunday, July 1, 2012
Horrible wind storms hit my city and neighborhood last Friday leaving a wake of destruction. This shot is very near my house and there are plenty more pictures all around that have a similar scene. You can't drive down many streets that don't have some damage. Thankfully, no one was killed, only cuts and bruises from falling limbs. Even homes that were completely destroyed did not injure anyone severely.
The winds were 91 miles an hour and the debris (limbs, trash, leaves, shingles, and branches, etc.) absolutely filled the air. I was outside, trying to drag my recycle bin back to my yard and realized I needed to sacrifice my bin and get myself back in the house. It was all I could do to get my door open with the force of the wind oposing me. I gathered my cats... one was busy looking out the window trying to grab at the things floating by....... kind of like the Wizard of Oz scene minus the witch on the bicycle! I finally got both of them corraled and we waited things out in the bathroom (my only room without a window) until things got quiet. I've only headed to the bathroom twice in my life for shelter and this time I was really afraid for my safety.
I was very lucky. I don't have any trees in my yard, but had lots of branches and twigs from neighboring trees littering my yard afterwards. It took me about an hour to clean things up. I only lost power shortly, although my transformer was hit. Still today, there are downed, live wires on my garage, in the alley, and draped around my neighbor's cars. My other neighbor took a stick and moved one of the wires so that I could get my car out of the garage. From my transformer, only two of us have electricity.....I'm so very grateful! The electric company says it may be as late as midnight Wednesday before all homes will be restored. 118,000 lost their power, 74,000 still remain without power. And to top it all off, we have been having weather temps in the high 90's with 100's on the way.
Many businesses are without power too and today we had several churches join my church for services because they were without power. We are also hosting one of the children's homes and letting them "camp" out in the church until their power is restored. Shelters are open throughout the city where people can stay or just come in for cooling.
It will be a long clean up but things will be back to normal in a few weeks. Again, I feel so blessed to have had little damage or inconvenience. And as frightening as it was, it was also absolutely beautiful and mesmerizing to see and feel the force of nature. Such amazing, raw power!
(More storms are due this afternoon and I'm praying that it won't do further damage!)
*Edited to say that the storms passed by without causing any further trouble. The news says it will take until September to complete the clean up.....much worse than I thought. According to the firemen in my backyard this afternoon, I may still loose power for a few days while repairs are being made. But......so far, so good!*