Toto, We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

We got the mother of all storms the other night, at least the worst storm I’ve ever witnessed. We’ve been without power since. I’m borrowing a friend’s computer to stop by and say hi and give an update.

We watched the storm from our sliding doors. Menacing black clouds were the only warning that a storm was coming. I hadn’t seen the news, so we were caught unaware. Fortunately we had just returned from the swimming pool and had made it home before the skies opened up. Before the rain began, gusty winds bent our young trees over onto their sides and took our neighbor’s trampoline and hurled it pell-mell across the empty field behind our house and into a neighbor’s yard and then out of sight. It also blew a large 4 x 8 wood beam off a neighboring deck project and took their swingset tarp clean off.

The rain came next, and it looked like horizontal sheets cutting across the street in front of our house. Our lights flickered off and on several times before their final surrender, leaving the house eerily dark. The wind reverberated in the chimney, and we heard a loud scratching sound on the side of the house that sounded like a gutter being torn off, however inspection after the storm found our gutters all in place. Lightening and thunder came as one, and we knew the storm was right overhead. A peek out the front door gave us a glimpse of the transformer at the end of our street on fire, the cause of our power outage.

Once the storm died down, we joined our neighbors on our debris-littered front porches, comparing notes about our whereabouts during the storm, and discussing the downed wires and trees in the street next to our development that were rerouting cars through our neighborhood.

We returned inside to find flashlights and light candles, as dusk was already approaching. We slept soundly in utter silence, as there was no whir of the air conditioner for company, with a cool post-storm breeze wafting through the windows.

The next morning, neighbors once again congregated out front to ask questions and share information. The ones who had gotten through to the power company were saying that our power could be out for a week. Our generous next-door neighbor offered to hook our refrigerator up to his generator so we wouldn’t lose our food.

A quick trip to the local convenience store found a crowd of people looking for ice and coffee and a quick breakfast before heading back home to assess the damage and move perishable food to coolers. Fortunately, due to our neighbor’s kindness, we didn’t need ice, because they were clean out. I did manage to snatch a cup of coffee for me and a breakfast treat for the kids.

We’re now completing our second full day of no power. Thanks to the swimming pool and the generosity of friends that have power, we haven’t had to spend the hottest parts of the day at home. The nights have been bearable.

For now, I need to return downstairs to tend to my laundry and get the kids some supper for before heading back home. I’m optimistically hoping that we might return to our neighborhood to find the wires and trees gone from the street and our power restored, but I won’t hold my breath. We’re good, though. Everyone is safe, and that is the important thing!