03 December 2011

It Comes out of Nowhere

This past week we had a very random, very powerful storm blow through.

I've been pulling 11-12 hour work days for three weeks, and I haven't paid much attention to the news, so when I woke up at 3am Thursday morning to the sound of shingles (although I had no idea that's what it was at the time) literally slamming into the side of our apartment I had no idea what was going on. The wind blew so loud and so strong that I had to put earplugs in so I could go back to sleep.

The next morning I got up and was at work before 6am. Shingles littered our parking lot, stairs, grass and road nearby. My car got hit by a couple of flying branches, and at one point a whirlwind of leafs outdistanced me as I drove down the road at 40mph.

By the time I got to work, 15 minutes south, only a whisper of a breeze remained. More focused on work than anything else, I didn't even think about the wind again until my roommate called at lunch and said our power was out.

Really? Huh, okay.

Apparently, about 8am things really got rocking. There are literally hundreds of huge, old pine trees that now lie dead, ripped out of the ground by hurricane force winds (some clocked at over 100mph). My sister lost one, along with part of her fence. A friend of mine had a tree trap her inside her house. A kid I know had a branch impale itself through his truck door. I saw one little house that had its roof ripped off. The stories go on and on. I should have taken pictures of the trees at the cemetery. News casters were there all day yesterday because it's such an impressive sight.

Usually it's snow or bitter cold. Once every twenty years it's rain. But wind? Wind big enough to pick up RV's and crumple them into balls of shredded metal and tip semi trucks over? Insane. Totally insane. Glad I don't live in hurricane country. I did tornado alley for a while—didn't like that much either.

A good reminder of how ill prepared (or the opposite) we all are.

My parents (who didn't have power for about 30 hours) tossed some wood in the fire place and probably had baked beans out of a can. I'm sure my dad loved it. We could have stayed in our apartment—freezing our back sides off through the night—but went to our families houses instead. Me to a sister's so I could shower in the morning.

We've got food and some water. With enough blankets we would have been just fine, if not a little chilly. We also had candles, matches and a few flashlights. Although all of the good camping equipment is down in the garage. You know the one not attached to our house and with no way to open it without power? I'll be remedying that little fo-pa this weekend.

But it all made me think. If something really serious happened, what would I do? I'm still thinking about it. And next year I plan to do something about it.


Tohru said...

Ah, Scarlet. That's right. Worry about that "tomorrow":)

CNHolmberg said...

Glad you're okay! It's always good to have emergency essentials on standby; I'm not quite fully prepared, but working on it. :/

Thanks again for beta reading. You really were super helpful.