Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Hurricane Chronicles

Went into work for a few hours this morning. It was amazing how quiet the office was even with the wind whipping around outside.

As I started for home the rain was beginning to fall, but the winds were the most notable indication of what was to follow. The streets were littered with clumps of fallen leaves and a multitude of pine needles. There was the occasional limb, but nothing significant.

Safely home and snug inside the winds increased and the trees swayed. The two large trees next to the street took quite a battering. I was expecting them to give way and fall over at any time. Their canopies make the perfect sails to catch the gust of wind and propel them right over (just not this time). After much huffing and puffing a limb did break out of the one on the corner, just as Kelly was pulling up to the house. It gave her quite the scare.

The kids spent the afternoon out - at the indoor shooting range. Well at least they were dry and had something to do.

After dinner was well over our real excitement began. We lost power at 6:45 pm right at the end of Dire Hard. Darn it - missed the part where he blows up the plane full of bad guys at the end. Well maybe next time. It wasn't too long after that, that we made the rounds checking out the condition of the yard when we discovered that the 2nd largest tree on the property had begun to uproot. We knew it was only a matter of time before it went on over. Luckily it was falling towards the back of the yard and the woodpile. With any luck it will make it all the way to the ground by morning and we won't have to call in anyone to take it down. Additionally there are more branches down in the front yard with one big one still hanging from the tree (that's the one that is going to be difficult to get down). Maybe it too will come down by morning.

In the middle of everything, Walter got an urge to go out for a Coke from Sheetz, since it was before dark we thought it probably the safest time to make the run out for 'supplies'. I have never seen so many people at Sheetz. It was almost unbelievable. I don't think that I've ever seen a line like that before. Not even on a holiday weekend with other things closed.

I did talk to one woman there who said that she couldn't get home due to all the trees being down. In talking with her I discovered why our power was out, it seems that a tree had come down on Newby's Bridge Road and hit the power pole just around the corner from the house. Last time we lost power to a car hitting that same pole and knocked it out. Took about 16 hours to get it back that time. So we shall see how long it takes this time - although that was an isolated incident and not part of a larger over all event.

The drive home from Sheetz turned out to be the real adventure of the night. We took one of the side streets home only to discover a tree across the road with the power lines down as well. NOT GOOD. We reversed direction and tired another route. Not to be out done by the first road block the 2nd had a huge tree across the entire intersection. Backing up and making it to Gregory Drive we headed on over to Fordham only to find yet another tree across you the road. We weaved around through a few more streets and finally made it back out to Hull Street. Where we proceeded to come home right back on Fordham. Home at last Walter went out to check for more damage and to check on a neighbor or two.

I had the house all lit up with candles and was getting settled in while waiting for him to get back - which took forever. He had gotten together with a number of the men in the neighborhood and cut up a tree that was across the side street next to us. It didn't take them long at all and reminded me of the evening that our tree had been struck by lightening & fallen. (The men had all come out with chainsaws to get the road opened up.

Walter has definitely become part of the neighborhood.

Tomorrow we shall see what the final tally of the damage is.

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