July 3, 2012


On Friday night, a little after 10:00, the storm struck. I've lived through tornados and hurricanes yet this was like nothing I've ever seen. We heard the wind start like a low, rumbling wave from the distance and stood staring out the back window. And then the wave crashed over our house, trees blowing, solid walls of water pelting, lightning cracking. Within 15 minutes, the power was out, large sections of trees in our yard had splintered and littered the ground, and then silence.

We opened the windows since the temperature had dropped significantly from its high that day of 100. We slept and awoke to bright silence the next morning. No electricity. Planes from the nearby airport were grounded.

As it turned out the winds reached 82 miles an hour for that brief period of time. Power companies called the damage catastrophic. Coincidentally Beth and I'd both filled up our cars on Friday. We didn't need gas, thank god, because no gas stations were open. Some grocery stores were running on generators, shelves emptied of anything that could go bad.

The outages were oddly spotty so we were able to find some cool places to exist for a while. A good thing since we had sustained triple digit heat Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, we found an open pizza place next to an open movie theater. We ate then saw Brave. (It wasn't terrible but I expect better from Pixar.) Then we headed to the mall, browsed the stores, bought some stuff, and went to dinner. We returned home to a very hot house. It was 95 degrees on the second floor, 85 on the first but a nice cool 65 in the basement. And that's precisely where we slept - on the basement floor.

Sunday morning started hot and got hotter. We ate what little was in our house for breakfast then abandoned ship and headed to Beth's parents. They'd gotten their power back the day before. We went out to lunch, changed into bathing suits and hit their neighborhood pool, took showers, and had a nice homecooked dinner. Then we returned home. And when we did, Beth flipped a light switch in the garage - just to see - and there was light.

The storm did plenty of damage. We lost most of a tree and we were forced to throw out nearly every food item in the house. But it's nothing we can't recover from. It is a nice reminder, however, of just how close we all are to living much differently than we do on a daily basis.

But yay for air conditioning.

Posted by Chris at July 3, 2012 7:24 AM

Glad you guys are okay. I wondered and was worried.

Posted by: Maribeth at July 3, 2012 9:33 AM

My thoughts exactly - glad you are ok!

Posted by: akofaolain at July 3, 2012 10:00 AM

Oh man, that's rough. The only time I lived that long without power was during Hurricane Andrew... so 1992? South Florida. We went five days in August without power and that was BAD. Hope things cool down form here. It's hot in N. Florida too but we're kind of sued to it.

Posted by: Claire at July 3, 2012 10:35 AM

It's funny how you worry about a family you've never met in a town you've never been to.

Because I did.

I'm so glad you guys are ok. I'm thinking of you and wishing you safety and well being.

Posted by: Mindy at July 3, 2012 1:53 PM

so glad it's back on for you! what a crazy week. :/

Posted by: kati at July 4, 2012 12:00 AM

Crazy and scary, isn't it? We had flash floods and road closings and long power outages over and over from the 2011 Spring thaw into the hurricane season. We don't have room for mass food and water storage, but I keep several containers of water and lots of ice on hand at all times now and try to keep at least a mostly full tank of gas and some cash on hand, and a list of shelters (that take pets) close at hand as well. I need to reread the emergency preparedness lists because we still are not up to par. We need to get our 'important papers' in order in a firebox.

Posted by: Karen at July 4, 2012 9:10 PM

Hopefully that won't happen again--glad all is well.

Posted by: bacioni at July 5, 2012 10:05 AM