Everytime a hurricane pops up and assaults one of our coasts, I never really realize what it's like. That changed this week with the remnants of Hurricane Ike blowing into town.
Sunday morning I go outside and run the electric weedeater, since the grass is only tall it patches and mowing would be more trouble than it's worth. Heavier winds than normal, and I just think a thunderstorm is moving in. After I clean up, RedFaery gives me a list to fetch things at the store (she's too sick to go out). I also need an oil change, so I tell her I'm going to be out a little longer to do that.
It's only then that I realize the winds are much, much stronger than they were earlier. I slowly approach an intersection where the lights have already gone out, but they suddenly snap to red on me as I'm halfway thru. I think, "Maybe they were only out on my side," and I back up to let the traffic thru and go when it turns green for me.
I get to the oil change place, and they only manage to pop my hood when theur power goes out with a loud BANG - the lead to their business ripped itself off the electric pole. No power to run their equipment or take my credit card, so I leave and head to another one on Dixie Highway that has power still. As I leave there, I'm chased (really! chased!) by two of their metal signs.
By now, I've called RedFaery once to let her know what's going on and to see if she's ok. She told me we lost power at home, but she was still fine. Since we really needed food, I elected to keep going.
We have three Kroger stores that are equadistant to the house, so I head to the closest one to me. No power. I head towards one past Iroquois Park, but a large tree branch and police clue me in that I wasn't getting any further up that road. So I change direction again and head to the one near Churchill Downs.
As I weave in and out of tree limbs and trash cans, I see an upturned port-a-potty. As I swerve around it, it lunges at me. I shit you not (pun intended)!
The Churchill Downs Kroger still has power, so I get everything on the list. Little did I know that most of that money would eventually go to waste, since our power ultimately stayed off for 36 hours.
During all this, RedFaery and I are trying to keep tabs on one another. But the amount of cellular traffic or atmospheric interference kept sending us into each others' voice mail. So I left her a message to tell her I'm still ok, picking up lunch, and coming home.
The only restaurant left with power was the nearby J. Gumbo's, so I got cajun food. The place was packed.
I return home and fight the wind getting everything inside. I went outside a little later when the winds dropped to 20 mph or so to see if we had any damage. We were very lucky - no damage. Lots of shingles and siding was missing from various neighbor's homes. A good-sized tree limb had fallen of a tree where our neighbor normally parks his van, but wisely moved it.
That night we went into my work. Power was already back on, so I e-mailed our out-of-town offices to let them know the situation, then went to our favorite sushi place. The bar was packed with people that wouldn't miss their football game - glad some things never change!
I typically use a CPAP machine at night due to my sleep apnea, but obviously couldn't that night! Since my snores are enough to rattle windows, I slept in the living room with the cats. The next day I was a zombie, but work wasn't too rough on me.
RedFaery fought the headache from her sinus infection for as long as she could, but I had to take her into the emergency room to get her a shot so she could finally get some rest. It was a longer wait than normal, and it looked like there were a lot of minor accidents that had occured thoughout the day. One guy's arm looked chewed up - my guess was a chainsaw kickback of some kind.
She woke me off the couch at 2am when the power finally came back, so I could come to bed and use my CPAP again. At our house now, it's as if there never was a problem - but I'm one of the lucky ones. Many are expected to still be without power for a few more days.
I never would have suspected the hurricane would have sustained that much power through half the U.S. I can't even begin to imagine what it was like in Texas.