Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weather Related Woes

On this past Friday afternoon, shortly after 4 p.m., we had a "willy-waw" of a storm charge through town. The highest official wind gust at the weather station 5 miles from me was 52 mph, but if it wasn't 60-75 mph, or more, in my front yard, I will eat an anemometer -- without catsup. I thought I was going to lose my maple tree; the top branches were bent almost to ground level. Huge clumps of leaves from the large oak three houses to the west were whizzing across the yard. Hanging on to the wrought iron roof supports of my small front porch, I stepped outside in time to see strange cloud formations, moving at an extremely rapid pace from west to east. My daughter called me a few minutes later to report that she had seen a funnel cloud aloft from her then position of about 1 mile north of me. A funnel cloud aloft (probably the same one) was photographed above a business about 1.5 miles west of here.

"Severe and potentially dangerous thunderstorm warning" was about all I could find on the local weather reports.

The most vicious wind gusts were followed by almost as strong winds accompanying a torrential downpour (actually, "down" was not the direction in which the rain was falling) which lasted only about 10-15 minutes. I thought my lilies were gonners! I could just imagine their little heads, and remaining buds, being blown into the next county. I'm happy to report that they survived, though the then open blooms were beat to a pulp much the worse for wear when I finally could get to them.

The storm passed, and we were experiencing only a very light drizzle and no appreciable wind when, at precisely 5 p.m. , the lights flickered and went out. Everything dependent upon electricity shut down: computer, the air conditioning system, refrigeration, telephones, etc.

When it got dark, I opened a window for some air circulation and went to bed. Saturday morning's first light revealed that I, and my adjacent neighbors, were still without electrical power. Strangely enough, the folk directly across the street, and all their neighbors had power. The folks immediately behind me on this block had no power, but their across the street neighbors had power. Somebody's picking on us!

Saturday morning telephone calls to the energy company revealed that they were, of course, aware of the problem and expected to have power restored by noon. Noon came and went.

My sweet neighbor across the street brought me a container of ice so I could have some cold water.
More calls. "We're working on it. You should have power in a couple of hours." Later.... "we expect full power to be restored before midnight."

So, I stayed here another night, taking a shower by candlelight and going to bed with the chickens. I awoke this morning around 5:30. No power. I managed to brew a cup of coffee by pouring almost boiling water through coffee grounds in a filter. Yum! -- and thank goodness for a gas range, even if I had to light the burner with a match.

I left for church at 9:45. No power.

I'm delighted to report that prayer must have some efficacious effect on energy company problems/delays because when I got home from church. Ta Da!! The electricity was on! Thank you, energy company employees for your dedicated work. I don't know the full extent of the problem, but it must have been pretty serious.

I've spent some time disposing of items from the freezer which had thawed and were on the way to being refrozen (not a good thing.) I still have the refrigerator side to clean out. Thank goodness tomorrow is trash pickup day.

Enough of the woes. I'm a happy camper! The air conditioner is humming, the ceiling fans are turning, the computer is functioning, I can put the flashlight and candles away. Life is good! Thank you, Lord.


Patty said...

We forget just how much we depend on our electric until it goes out. Last fall when we had that tail end of a hurricane that went through Fl. it blew over our cherry tree, which was dying in one section, but we had our electric the whole time. Neighbors across the street and our grocery were without electric for a week. I have never been to a grocery where they had so little to display except for canned items. No produce, dairy, frozen foods or meat items. Store looked naked and I thought to myself, this is how some countries, stores always look, they have very little stocking their shelves, so I was thankful for what I had.

Anonymous said...

Pat....I'm sorry about the weather-related woes! You stayed in the house longer than I could've. Two hours without A/C, and my hubby knows it's time to check into the hotel near us....and we have done that! I get verrrrry irritable when the A/C goes out, and it gets to be around 100 degree F. here in the summer. You've heard: "When Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy.".... true. I cannot take the humidity here without A/C. You are a real trooper.....and I'm impressed. I'm sorry that you lost the food items. That's a mess to clean up, I know. I'm glad that your prayers were answered and you have electricity now. I could NOT have been a Daniella way. Way to hang in there!
Have a good remainder of this blessed Sunday.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Amen! Patty. We don't always appreciate how "rich" a nation we are. I'm thankful that I'm able to go to the store and find, and have the funds to purchase, replacements for the items I have to throw away. If I had had any sense at all, I would have cooked up a bunch of stuff yesterday to keep it from ruining, but.... hindsight is 20/20, and I expected the power to be back on shortly and I would not have lost anything. It's was last night's lack of power that did the damage.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh so close!!!! Storms are just so scary... AND--there seems to be many of them this spring/summer so far.

Glad you didn't have damage... Glad the lilies and the maple are okay.

Being without AC/electricity is no fun. We learn not to take it for granted, don't we???

Glad you are OKAY.
Have a great day.

Snap said...

Reminds me too much of Hurricane Ike and being without electricity for a week (we were lucky). Happy you hung in there with no damage. The lilies will continue to bloom and bring JOY!

NitWit1 said...

Sounds too much like our 1000 year Ice Storm, where I lost two freezers and refrigerator of food. No electricity for 10 days.

We got a generator and hooked up bare necessities. We heated with a butane bottle with a heat gadget affixed to it.

Glad things are back to "normal." Maybe the rest of today and Monday will just be rain, but maybe sun, too.

Pat - Arkansas said...

I know that, comparatively speaking, two days without electricity is nothing... NOTHING... compared to what hurricane and tornado victims go though all too frequently.

I don't really intend to moan and groan about a little inconvenience; I'm just so thankful to have the electricity back on again!

From a Pollyanna perspective, though, I now have two clean and cleaned out refrigerators. Sorry to say I located a "science project" at the back of one of the shelves. Yucko!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Thank you, Lord, indeed! And thank you, Pat for your very kind and thoughtful words...You are one of my favorite new friends, and I will miss you very much while I am away!!! But I look forward to many wonderful visits with you when I return! Your stories always make me smile, and encourage me in so many ways!!! Thank you so much for your friendship! God bless you! With love, Janine XOXO

Jeannelle said...

Glad to hear you didn't lose your maple tree. Sorry about the wind damage to flowers, though, and the food items that thawed too much. We're so dependent on that current of electricity, aren't we. You can still run water, though, when the power is off?? I suppose that's because your water comes from a city well whose pump did have power.

Marvin said...

Believe me, I know how it is without electricity. We spent three week without power after the ice storm in January. It was a hassle, but at least we didn't have to sweat.

(We don't have air conditioning, but having to do without the ceiling and attic fans would be BAD.)