Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ike Strikes!!

You'd think being hundreds of miles away from the Gulf of Mexico, one would not be affected by Hurricanes. Of course, you'd be wrong. While not affected in the same way as those in Texas, Ike brought very gusty winds, which tend to bring down the old trees in this neck of the country.

And of course, these trees manage to find the closest power line to bring down with them. Always interesting in the aftermath. It happened to us when we were living in the St. Louis area, we had a house located in an area where it was us and another house fed by the one transformer.

A storm hurricane's aftermath traveled up the Mississippi and Ohio valleys, and caused a lot of rain, and wind. We had a 40 to 50 foot oak on an edge of a ravine, we believed the roots were undermined by the runoff thus providing a weak spot which the wind took advantage of. The tree came down, hit the power supply wire, which then pulled down the single transformer to large displays of blue light and noise, hilarity then ensued !!

We had water pressure, but no hot water, and no way to get out of the house as the tree also fell across the only way out of this little area.

This time, the tree hit farther away from us, but darkened the houses around us. At least we had a gas water heater this time. Because of the patchwork quilt of development in this area, our section of houses were without power, but as you go down the road, the next block had houses on the right with power, on the left without. And if you looked out my back window, you saw lights on in the houses down hill on the street back there. Look up, and you could see high voltage lights hitting one another with blue flashes every so often. Amazingly the power stayed on over there. We were without for about 22 hours or so, again, not as bad as Texas, but when it hits at dusk, you're searching for a flashlight, and matches to light candles with.

Of course, we had phone service as the cable modem for phone & internet has a built in battery, but that lasted for about an hour, then goodbye phone. Cell phones work, as long as you remembered to charge the battery. There is something to be said for the POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) that the local phone company offers, however, if you had FIOS, you'd be in the same boat as I was, as that modem also needs power.

There are still areas around here that do not yet have power; all the Home Depots and Lowes have long since sold all their generators, many within an hour after opening yesterday. I was seriously thinking about going to get our RV, and hooking up that generator to the fridge and freezer if power was not back on yesterday evening. If it was winter, I'd have gotten it the first day as it has a furnace and this house does not have a fireplace.

I cannot image what those who lived through Katrina, nor those currently surviving Gustav or Ike are going through, the small taste I've seen makes pray all the more for them.

And so it goes ....

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