A big blowhard of a dude named IKE rolled into town yesterday, pretty darned unexpectedly, packing with him some serious gusty winds.
Little did I realize at noon, when I was off buying corn at the farmer's market, that in two short hours we'd be in the midst of the only hurricane to ever hit Cincinnati, and our power would be out indefinitely. But that's exactly what hapenned. Go figure!
I've seen plenty of tornadoes in my life, but I've never seen anything like this. It was sunny, but holy crap it was windy. It was not a nice day for a gauzy little sundress, that's for sure. The reports today are saying that we had gusts up to 85mph in the local area. All I know is that I've never seen my trees look like that, and I had never heard the sound of trees cracking and breaking before. That's a unique sound! Officially we didn't have hurricane force winds, more like a tropical storm, but this isn't a tropical place!
I've never seen my neighborhood this trashed, not even after a few memorable rowdy neighborhood parties. There is debris everywhere. There are trees on lawns, on cars, on houses. Unfortunately, there were also trees on people. One of Andy's co-workers got hit by a flying tree branch and ended up in the hospital for stitches. Sadly, four people died during Ike's loud and blustery visit. One lady had taken shelter in her bathroom, when a tree fell through her house, into her bathroom, and killed her. That's just so wrong.
While she was in her bathroom taking cover, however, I was foolishly in my wooded back yard taking photos. I tried the tripod, but despite the heft of my camera, the wind blew it over. So I resorted to hand holding, and despite the heft of my own body, the wind was blowing me over as well. So my photos kind of suck. I was trying to capture the motion of the trees, which would have been way better suited with a video camera, but that's about the only camera I don't have.
The power went off at 2pm, right as the Bengals tied the game up 7-7 with the Tennessee Titans. It's good that thats all we Bengals fans got to see, because as I later found out by sitting in my car and turning on the radio, the game, like the weather, was a total blow out. I swear the only person today who is grateful for that crazy windstorm is the Bengals team owner because all people are talking about today is how much the wind blew, as opposed to how much the Bengals suck. Had we not had a little mini-weather-disaster, the post-game wrath of the angry Bengals fan would have been full on. Go Colts. Anybody wanna trade an Ocho Cinco jersey for a Peyton Manning jersey? No, I didn't think so.
Anyhow, our power came back on this morning. Nearly a million homes and businesses were out of juice due to the storm. That's a local record for a power outage. The bad ice storms of 04 and 06 didn't even come close to this. Some people, including my friend Jan, will probably not get power back all week. That's just horrid. A tree branch took out the main power line connecting her house to the power at the street, so while her neighborhood might be up soon, her individual house may not have power until Tuesday. I expect that we'll see a lot of each other this week, given that she's got five kids, lots of dirty laundry, and no power. Ugh.
We were so ill-prepared to lose power like that. We should know better....actually, we do know better, but we were just bad. We're preparedness losers. We have no flashlights, well, we couldn't find any. And let's face it, if we did find them, the batteries would have been dead. None of our clocks had batteries in their battery back up system. We don't have a radio that's battery operated. But it wouldn't have mattered, because we don't have any batteries. We don't have a lantern. Fortunately thanks to the bazillion Yankee Candles that I got for Christmas last year, we did have candlelight and a good smelling, if not schizophrenic-smelling house. From mango, to strawberry, to cinnamon, to vanilla cupcake, the house smelled good as we played Scrabble by candlelight. Remind me when I can drive again, that I can't see in the dark like I used to. I think I need to get some reading glasses. This afternoon I placed an order for this:
It's a solar-powered, crank operated AM/FM/Weather radio/lantern, with a cell phone charger built in. Did I mention that I had just plugged in my near-dead cell phone to charge when the power went out? So I didn't have a cell phone either and just last week, I ditched our last wired phone, so could we make a call? That would be no, with the exception of Andy's cell phone which, fortunately, had more life in it than mine did. Do I have a car charger for my cell phone? Well, no I don't, but I might think about getting one. Miss Preparedness, that'll be me next time. You can bet your crank radio on it.
So have I been windy enough about the Big Blow of 08? I think so. I'll stop now.
Just a reminder that since the place where I'm scheduled to have surgery has power and is business-as-usual, I'll finally be getting my shoulder fixed tomorrow. I will not be drinking any water in the morning. Back in a few days.......