Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A day (almost 2) without power

It's been a wild couple of weather-days these last few....

I rented a movie Friday to watch Saturday afternoon because the weather guy said we were going to have some pretty intense rain starting then. I was kind of looking forward to it... watching a movie in the rain. The movie was Possession (2002) - half "homework" (we're reading the book for book club - I'm leading the discussion), half romantic Chick-flick (something I don't watch very often).

Saturday started out just beautiful... went for a nice long hike in Chestnut Ridge, then came home to await the storm. We didn't get much. Honestly, I don't even think it rained Saturday... if it did, it was in the evening and minimal.

Sunday afternoon was a COMPLETELY different story.

We were hanging out, doing lazy-Sunday stuff. The morning was nice - warm - but promising high humidity and not much sun-bathing sun. It was somewhere between 1pm and 2pm when the sky got dark - quick. Rain started to fall, so we closed the necessary windows to keep the rain out and went on with our day.

Now, I've never experienced a hurricane before. And after Sunday I hope I never do. There was such wicked wind and heavy rain I was worried that parts of the house would be torn off. At one point, the wind moved one of the windows (it was almost all the way closed, then popped open a bit with a wind gust). Windows were closed and locked after that.

That's when we lost power for the first time.

4:55pm, back to normal - power is back on.

Sticks, large branches, leaves everywhere. Water getting into the basement from a pool forming at the man-door. Guess we need to dig a trench sometime soon.
We checked the weather report to see if the storm was gone and noticed band #2 was coming... would hit this evening sometime. We saw LOTS of red... kind-of like this (tho there were TWO strings of red rain storms for us:
That night, it was time to relax and watch a movie. Popped it in around 9pm and were joined by more rain. This time, there was quite a light show to go along with it.

You know how you can estimate how close/far lightening is from you by counting the space between the flash and the thunder? We were doing that most of the night. About 20 minutes before we lost power for the 2nd time that day, we had a flash-BOOM right outside our window. "Whoa, that was close". We didn't know HOW close till Monday afternoon.

10:30pm - calling the power company again. Something knocked out the power. Again. Hmmm, wonder if it will be back on in time to goto work tomorrow (Monday).

Funny how your day gets messed up with something as "small" as having electricity. Waking up Monday was easy - we set the alarm on the cell phone. But then what?
- Can't make coffee... even if we could boil water (we have a camp stove), we couldn't grind the beans (yes... coffee snobs!)
- Could shower and get cleaned-up for work, but can't blow-dry my hair.
- Until this weekend, I didn't know how to get the garage door open without the electric door opener.
- Can't turn on lights when you go into the basement or closet - something that I did EVERY time I walked into a room. It got to a point when I would just laugh as I got near a light switch because I'm so used to flipping them.
Oh yeah... one more thing...
- NO INTERNET! No e-mail, no weather.com, no FaceBook... NOTHING! Aaarrrrrrrrhhhhh! I'm totally disconnected.

Being without the computer was very odd. Not only were we disconnected, but we play games on the iMac, upload photos, watch movies... it's an integral part of our lives. If it wasn't so hot & humid yesterday, we might have gotten more done around the house since we couldn't compute.

To add to the craziness of Monday, while on our way home from breakfast, we get a call from Mom G. Her basement is flooded (2-3 inches across the whole basement floor).... can we help, she can't get a hold of Dad. Dogs and all, we head over there to help fix the sump-pump and clean/toss out the soggy stuff in the basement. I was happy to help - what else were we gonna do??? Couldn't do much at our place. Might as well try to be of use to them.

Got home around 3pm. Still no power and dead-tired. A cup of coffee and a small egg/croissant is not enough for someone who road her bike for 30 minutes that morning, then helped move/package/trash basement stuff for 2-hours while standing in the sun. I needed to relax and get some food.

I relaxed for a bit by sitting on the deck watching the birds. We have a couple female humming birds who fight for our feeder. They're pretty bold and don't really mind if you're around when they come to eat. I chose a chair close to the feeder to see if I could catch a photo of one when I noticed the tree.

Remember that flash-BOOM I mentioned earlier? Well, I found what was hit. There's a large beach tree about 30-feet from our house. It's large... 100 feet tall, maybe? At least 75, I would guess. Half-way up the tree makes a V. One half of the V is now leaning on some other trees (pointing away from the house) ready to fall at the next heavy wind/rain/snowfall. It will likely hit the power line that's near it when it does fall. (Yay! More loss of power!) Called the Electric Co. to alert them to the situation. They thanked us, but couldn't do much just then - they had far more urgent matters to attend to (like the 2000 people currently without power or these poor people in Springville who had a tree fall on their house).

The rest of the day was rather uneventful. Told our neighbor about the tree (it's on the border of their property, too). Went for ice cream (dogs had a baby vanilla soft-serve cone, one each). Read and got ready for bed. I was just about asleep when I heard the whirrrrrr of the A/C fan kick on and saw the blades of the ceiling fan moving again. It's back! HOORAY!

We set the clocks and went to bed. We kept the cell phone alarms on, too.... just in case. Wonder what wicked weather we're in for next.

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