Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Big Storm of 2011

We spent the last three days without power after a huge storm on Saturday.  Two giant limbs came off the tree with that rope swing that's in the common area behind our house.  They landed on some wires and took out two telephone poles, one of which just missed one of our neighbor's houses.  All the debris, poles and wires landed in the four yards that are immediately behind our house.  

The Cobbler and I were unfortunately on a date when all this happened.  When we noticed how bad the storm was getting, we started driving home.  On the way, our babysitter called and said the power was out.  The entrance to the neighborhood was blocked by a downed tree when we arrived, but we were able to get into the neighborhood going the wrong way.  The street leading to our street was blocked by downed power lines too so we backed up on to the street and went a different way.  Going that direction, there was a telephone pole snapped in half and more power lines across the road there.  We finally had to exit the neighborhood and come in on an entirely different street before we were able to get to our house.  Fortunately, we had no damage to our house and there were no injuries that we know of in the neighborhood.  Our next door neighbor's tree in their front yard lost a huge limb that missed everything and landed on their front lawn.  The worst damage was to a house five doors down that had a tree crush their garage and the car in it.  Here's the playscape the kids normally play on in the common area.
 Here are some shots of our neighbor's yard who lives immediately behind us.  Notice all the power lines mixed in with the tree branches.

 Here's the tree that caused all the damage.
Notice how close the telephone pole is to their house.  That's where it landed!
 More downed wires.
The power finally came back on last night, but it's going to be a few days to get this mess all cleaned up.  I was able to save most of what was in our refrigerator by taking it to my uncle's house Sunday night and my parents let us stay at their house for a couple of nights since it was so hot out.  We're all just thankful that the damage wasn't any worse.  

In the end, the lesson I got from this is that we need to be better equipped for emergencies.  Despite the fact that I started on an emergency kit earlier in the year, it isn't finished and the kids had gotten into the flashlights and used up all the batteries playing with them.  Luckily, we had lots of candles.  What we really needed though was a big cooler, which we didn't have.  I need to add that to my list and get my kits finished up---and definitely restocked with WORKING flashlights!

What have you done at your house to prepare for emergencies?


The Reader said...

First, so glad you are all safe! that is a lot of damage!!

Second, prepare for emergencies...we have not done much, honestly. Candles, check. Matches, check. Pantry food items, check. Enough to last? Not hardly. Large cooler, check. Ice to fill it with? Nope. We'd have to hope the gas station had some. Mostly I do "what if...?" with the boys, working on them staying calm in an emergency. I figure we can work out the rest when it happens, but the Do Not Panic thing is key.

Oh, and we do have one flash light that is one of those "squeeze the handle lots to recharge it" kind, so we don't stress too much over the battery ones. Luckily though we live where we don't have too many weather emergencies like that.

Sock Monkey Mommy said...

We were in Luna Pier on Saturday evening and missed the storms completely. However, we did see the power outages all down Telegraph, but were blessed when the lights were back on starting at our block.

I am amazed that there was nothing more serious in your neighborhood, considering the pictures you posted. We were up at the church yesterday (they had power), but the property was a disaster.

Call me when you can.