Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Night the Lights Went Out

I've often commented on the bounty of trees in the North East. And now we're experiencing the other side of what can happen with this bounty.

Yesterday afternoon Wes, Kate, Sophia and I were out enjoying an afternoon in our kiddie pool. We'd been out there a while and so I said it was time to go inside and dry up. As I was gathering our things to take inside (since it seems to rain at least once/day here, we've gotten in the habit of never leaving toys/clothes outside), I looked into the Northwestern sky and saw dark, dark skies moving pretty rapidly in our direction. Not more than 5 minutes of being inside the house a storm tore through our area/city. It was the first time I was scared about a storm since I've had children.

The lightning and thunder were not far apart from each other and the wind and rain were pretty ferocious. We stood at the window in awe watching our sidewalk turn into a small river and leaves and debris whip around the skies.

I turned on the radio and heard them give a severe weather report. Our power went out at about 4:45 p.m. Matt came in around 5:30 with all sorts of stories from his drive home ... traffic lights out, large branches down, power lines down and water everywhere. Since his study has been upper-atmospheric thunderstorms he gets excited about these things.

I told him he'd have to take over dinner, since non-conventional cooking is his expertise. So I gave him the thawed hamburger, spaghetti noodles, sauce and almost-finished-rising-french bread, and said, "do your magic". Oh he was so in his element. To those who don't know, he loves dutch oven cooking and anything that makes you have to improvise.

Needless to say our spahgetti dinner with french bread by candlelight was delicious. He fried up the hamburger and did the sauce and noodles on our outdoor gas camp stove and baked the bread in a dutch oven (having to mold it into a 'U' to make it fit).
The power still wasn't on when we went to bed but when I got up at 1 a.m., it was back on.

This morning when I went for a jog there's a certain route I usually take and as I got further along it I heard the hums of generators and then came upon a still not-working traffic light. There were whole trees with exposed roots all over yards and branch, leaves, and just a big mess everywhere.

Later in the day we took a run to the store and I missed the exit on the way back and had to come through the old part of our town. WOW! Destruction was literally everywhere. From the looks of it, our neighborhood was saved the fury of this storm. It appears the middle section of our town is still without power tonight, and as we weaved in and out and around closed streets and police-taped areas with lines down to make our way home, we were so grateful for our safety.
Limbs and branches line the street after being hauled there for what, I assume, the city will start to pick up in the coming days.

Here's Connecticut's Governor, Jodi Rell, speaking with Connecticut Natural Gas workers.

The headline in the paper says that the National Weather service is confirming that it was a tornado that hit. It looks like it's going to be a while for everything to get back to normal in some parts of town. (Storm photos are from Courant.com)

5 comments:

J and M said...

Wow. That is a frightful look (the trees in the house) at how close you are/were to danger. I'm glad you were safe and that Matt has such excellent skills. We probably would have eaten cold canned green beans or something (:

Brittanie said...

HOLY COW!! I'm so glad you guys are okay. That is scary! The food sure looked go though! =)

angie said...

What a memory! I am glad your house and family made it through in one piece. Good to know you are prepared to cook delicious food in the event of no power! KUDOS!

Amber Baker said...

Wow, so glad you are OK. When we actually have to use our survival stuff, I speak Matt as a buddy. Of course, you need to be NEARBY for that to actually work....

jill said...

My word!! That is crazy! I'm so glad you were all okay. And in the house. Don't you love it when you immediately see the result of listening to a prompting (no matter how small)? Matt's survival skills are impressive. And Dave wasn't surprised to hear he was pretty excited about the whole thing.

(Can I just tell you again how much we miss being your neighbors? We vote you move back here as soon as possible.)