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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

A hell of inconvenience

Some people might say 44 hours without power in 95 degree weather is hell.  It was a helluva inconvenience, I'll grant you that.  Had to buy battery lights and fans.  And ice, which for a few hours last night was more precious than gold in Fort Wayne. Threw away two and a half trash bags of NSFS (Not Safe For Stomach) food.   Projections for all of the city to be back on were as far away as the 4th of July.

But at 11:14 AM Sunday, we got power back.  And for us, hell was over.
There are a lot of people that got it worse than us, though.  People that will have to repair houses before they get power back, that will need homes before they get AC back.  We were under God's watchful eye.

We have two big trees behind us, and the only damage to them was one branch got pinned behind our shed.  At the corner of our building, a small tree (big enough to cause significant damage) fell away from the building.  Our car was parked right next to a little tree that survived, not 20 yards from a similar-sized one that snapped at the ground.  High voltage lines came down- into the canal bed and away from all but stupid people (which I'll elcuidate on later).  My son, coming home from work 8 hours later, was right behind a car that had a huge branch fall "out of nowhere" and crush their roof (Nobody hurt, thank God) as they were going down the street.

What the hell happened?  Still not sure myself.

We had returned from a shopping trip about ten minutes before.  There was a severe thunderstorm watch out, but that's all we knew.  The light flickered once, twice.  I was on Facebook, reading a post by Laurie's nephew:  "You know it's a bad one when the lights at work flicker."

Hmm, I said, perhaps I should consult the weather site.

I pulled up a radar image that honest to God showed so many lightning strikes I couldn't tell where the storm was.  I had just reset the screen to remove the lightning when the power went out.

(Just had a severe t-storm watch issued as I'm typing this.  Doo-DOO-Doo-Doo...)

I shut off the surge protector, and then Scrappy and I naturally went outside.  Then, it hit.
90+ mile-an-hour winds.  Horizontal rain.  A half dozen pieces of pea-sized hail.  We came in and I turned on the radio.  One station was on- even the weather radio station was knocked out!  The weatherman was just telling the host via cell phone that the storm had no history of tornadic action and there were no reports of hail.  Before I could shout "Bullshit!", his phone was cut off.  2 minutes later, the show producer told the host that the weather guy had just texted her that a tornado warning had been issued.

The rest of the night, we talked to neighbors, listened to horror stories about the storm on the radio, and took pictures of the small amount of damage our neighborhood actually got.

Across the street, near the basketball court.

Down the street.

This is the one at the corner of our building.

This tree survived flipping a car last spring.  Damn wind snapped it at the base.

Here's the star attraction.  Everyone in the neighborhood was out snapping pics.

Power lines in the canal.

The tree on the right looked like a giant wrapped his hand around the top and pushed down.  It broke the only window lost in the complex.

A good deal of its top 5 feet are in bite sized chunks across the canal.

Balcony of the building with the tree on it.

These two snapped on the way to get lights and batteries.

Bunny was making his rounds while we made ours.

Remember that "top 5 feet"?

Later on, we took a walk, having to clear remains of that tree from the footbridge.  It was a ways down from the area with the downed lines, which the park taped off on our side.  Of course, a group of idiots- five adults and a like number of little ones.  I was past them on the other side, keeping one eye out and assuming they had any brains at all.  BZZZZZZT!  Within moments, an unchaperoned perhaps-five year old was heading straight down the bank.  I yelled, "YOU KNOW THERE ARE DOWN POWER LINES THERE..."
"Huh?  Where?"
(Pointing at the high tension tower they were almost underneath) "RIGHT THERE!"
Pause.  "Oh."
Pause.  "Thank you!"

Next day, we decided to see how the woods came out.

Along the way, we watched them cutting the tree from the roof.

The other end of the downed wires were almost right across where we usually cross the canal.

Probably 70% of the soccer goals and trash cans at the Plex were... re-arrainged.  Bet they wished they hadn't spent all that time changing the bags out that morning!

Over by the retirement apartments, Ms. Deer sat for a photo session.

Scrappy used to love chasing deers.  Lately he's decided that just watching is okay, too.

Then we went in the south end of the woods.  Just before the hidden trail lay our first obstacle.

This is what we faced after climbing over the trunk.  Scrappy said, let's cut through the woods to the trail!"  I said, "Good call!"

And these are what lay astride the hidden trail...

Oh, yes, I have more pics, but I'll save them for tomorrow when I relate some of those horror stories I mentioned.

Hopefully, I'll do that... look at what's coming again!


  1. Wow! A little adventure came your way. Glad you are safe.

  2. Glad everything went safe for you. But, holy cow, what a mess.

  3. We lost power in Valparaiso as well. But not at home. I was at work at the time; traffic as a result was crazy! People trying to remember how to navigate intersections with non-working signal lights.

    Got the storm that rolled through earlier today as well; half-inch diameter hail, heavy rain, and very strong winds! Poor Bazinga, all that thunder crashing and she didn't know where to hide...

  4. Bloody hell so much damage being without power is terrible we relie on it so much. I am glad you are safe and wasn't hurt in any way by natures fury.

  5. That all sounds so scary and the damage is quite frightening.
    Glad you guys came through it ok

  6. CWM:
    I'll be honest with 'ya, borther...we WERE blessed!
    Those trees that snap at the base?
    ROTTED OUT at the ROOTS.

    ALways be on the looks for that stuff...low-lying water and ponding near trees.

    As for being prepared?
    Sometimes, it takes things like THIS to wake some people up...others motivated into ACTION, and still others to stand around, scratching their asses going "whuzzzzuuupppp?"

    I like to think people like us tend to be those that KNOW (or are willing to find out) WHAT to do, when to do it, and do it the best way we can in order to be safe enough to (maybe) help others later on, or just be there to chronicle such instances as these.

    BTW, at the "fortress", we DO have 2-way radios, and when emergencies hit, we go to channel *8* case you ever want to chat in the

    Glad you rode it out well enough.

    Stay safe (and stay cool) up there.