Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mother Nature

There'd been no warning of severe storms.  But suddenly they developed at the south end of Lake Michigan and began moving north-east.  I'd been outside with the dogs and cats and watched the clouds on the horizon.  Finally when it began to sprinkle I said "ok, everybody in the house!"

In we went.  The dogs panted hard, a dependable precursor to a storm.  Sure enough, the rain came down hard.  And the lightening was constant, with thunder rolling in the distance.  We sat on the bed watching westward out the closed window; hail hammered the glass.  I popped on the television in time to hear the weatherman say "there's rotation in these clouds between Three Oaks and Galien."  That's EXACTLY where I live!

So I told the dogs "we're getting away from these windows!"  We moved into the living room, on the couch.  That's when I discovered that Luke had opened the screen after we all came in, and apparently gone back outside.  Now he was in the middle of a huge storm.  But there was nothing I could do at that point.

The storm raged on.  At one point I swear I heard that whoosh like a train that people always say they hear when a tornado races past.  The winds were massive.

And then a weird thing happened.  The power flashed and went out.  I live in the country and this is not so unusual, but it almost always comes right back on.  This time it stayed out.  And the weird thing was I heard a noise.  An electrical noise, right outside the living room window.  "Expletive deleted," I thought.  Now I'm really screwed.

It was pitch black in the house.  I felt my way around the dogs, past the dining table to the washing machine.  My rechargeable flashlight hangs in a plug next to the washer.  And it was not there.  So I felt my way back to the kitchen, found a candle and a match, then discovered the flashlight on the kitchen table.  Phew.  I immediately took the flashlight to the front door, and as soon as I called, Luke came racing inside.

Everything is a chore in the dark.  I searched around to find my cell phone, then searched to find an electric bill for the outage phone number.  Expected a message saying "we are aware of outages in your area" but no such luck.  Once that was finished, there was nothing to do but go to bed.

We all piled into the bedroom and snuggled up.  The dogs still panted loudly, and the cats were pretty clingy in the hot air.  Still, within half an hour we all dozed off.  Until midnight when there were voices outside.  The dogs set off the bark alarm.  I looked out the window and saw search lights coming up the road.

So out I went to the street to find the electric company guys shining their light on the electric pole across the street.  I figured they had things in hand and would have our power back on in a matter of minutes, so back to bed.  Where I awoke this morning still out of power.  And got the message that it was expected back on by 11 am.

Out with the dogs in the morning light, I finally figured out what had happened.  As you see in the photo, the lines on that electric pole snapped.  That must have caused the weird sound I heard, and definitely is the reason no power is reaching my house.  That's a corn field that pole is in -- no trees nearby.  Those lines snapped from wind.

Mother Nature is awesome!


The Old Red House said...

Glad to read that you and yours are safe. Micro-bursts/tornadoes are scary things.

MaryEllen Schneider said...

Yikes! That's truly frightening, Johanna. So glad everyone is safe.