Friday, May 9, 2014

That was fasssssst

Got off of work and headed to the grocery to pick up a few items. Radio says there is a thunderstorm watch for the area. A watch, for a thunderstorm. This is as I am parking my truck. I enter the building, the sky starts to darken. I make it through two aisles, it is now black outside. I start the third aisle, the lights flicker, then go out. Apparently, they don't have a backup generator, and their backup light system consists of a few employees with flashlights and a coupe of the two dim light bulbs on a pole backup lights. That is it. I calmly make it to the front of the store, it is raining hard, sideways. So, I wait for the storm to lighten up, or the power to return. After about five minutes, the storm subsides. No sign of power coming back on, so, it was time to hit the road. Apparently, when the power fails, the electric doors automatically open, wide. The entry way looks like a wading pool. There is water everywhere, along with debris of all types.
 I make it out to the truck. The streets are under water. The storm drains are spewing water into the streets at a very high rate. Looks like open fire hydrants. There are trees and power poles uprooted. There is a cement park bench uprooted and flipped upside down a short way down the street. It took several attempts to get home. I would make it about halfway, and have to U-turn and try another way as the roads are completely blocked by down trees, not branches, trees. The whole time I am worried about what kind of mess I was going to arrive home to. Figured bare minimum, no power for the foreseeable future as there are many, many power poles down and some simply uprooted and leaning against neighboring power lines. Had to drive under a couple of them as there was no turning back. Very nerve wracking.
 They just reported 50,000 without power so far with little chance for restoration until late weekend or early in week with the massive damage to the lines, poles and downed trees in the way. Upon arriving home, I find I am extremely fortunate. House is untouched as is most of my neighborhood. I live on higher ground, so the water drained away from our area. There were garbage cans and debris about, but no roofing to be seen, or other serious damage. Looked like the main concentration of the storm moved through like a tornado. The path went past the store and looked like it followed a straight path. No news of a tornado, but I have never seen a storm do this much damage, and definitely not in the short timespan that it hit. They still have a watch going for a few more hours. It cooled the area off by about twenty degrees in a matter of minutes.

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