Have you ever heard of straight line winds? Other than a vague recollection of hearing the term during some weather segment somewhere, I was largely unaware of (okay, mostly oblivious to) this particular atmospheric phenomena - up until last weekend that is. Saturday's weather prediction was for strong thunderstorms at night. Definitely not what any of us were hoping for, since we'd been getting the same soaking that plagued most of the rest of the country and nothing but cloudy skies in between. It started drizzling just before 6 o'clock, right as I headed outside to feed the furballs. I remember thinking, "Lovely. I so enjoy feeding in the rain. Blech." Grumble, grumble.
About the time I put my hand on the knob to open the patio door, the weather took a sudden and violent turn. The wind
kicked up drastically, the bottom fell out (torrential rain), thunder rumbled, lightning cracked and the storm outside became so loud I could no longer hear the radio that was playing right next to me. A few seconds later, the power went out. Awesome. I noticed that instead of seeking shelter, the horses were huddled up together outside of their stalls. Never a good sign. I saw them all spook (jump/get scared), mill around a bit and then tightly regroup. Hm. What seemed like an eternity later [10 minutes, in actuality] everything suddenly stopped.
While I knew it wasn't a tornado, I wasn't sure exactly what had just happened other than a humdinger of a storm just blasted through my neighborhood in record time. Thankful that everyone seemed to be in one piece, I took a deep breath, opened the door, and...
Ummm hello, Dorothy? I don't think we're in Kansas any more.
For one thing, we definitely had more tree in the front yard than I remembered...
And oh my, is that line there on the fence and all tangled in the tree what I think it is? Yep, sure is. Power lines.
Ruh-Roh. That doesn't look too good.
Yikes, whatta mess. I had to hop the fence and walk down our neighbor's driveway because not only were the power lines strewn all across our front yard, they were also across our driveway. Fabulous. Guess I'll be staying home for awhile, eh?
Nope. Doesn't look any better from this side either. The driveway on the right (the one with the dangling power line) would be ours. How special. *sigh*
There's part of the huge oak that came crashing down (the menfolk - ha always wanted to use that word - cleared what they could out of the way for the workers).
And that splintered stump would be what's left of said mighty oak. That was one BIG tree, eh? :o)
Nowadays when our power goes out, it comes back on fairly quickly. When Hurricane Opal blew through here in 1995, she knocked out 11 out of the 13 coop substations (talk about getting beaned). We ended up going without electricity for almost two weeks in mid-July, which was horrible (and welcome to rural living *laugh*). They made so many improvements when they rebuilt, we've rarely had much of a problem since then. Maybe it was because DH bought a generator. This, however, was a little bigger than a short term electrical hiccup. Turns out that about 30,000 people were without power as a result of that storm. Holy cow - this may take awhile.
Saturday evening turned into night, and I was thankful it wasn't July. Sunday morning rolled around and I went on a short picture taking bender since I couldn't go anywhere. I was grateful to have a crochet project to work on and alternated between that, watching TV and listening to the radio until it was time to feed the horses Sunday evening. I walked outside, and what did I see?
HOORAY! The cavalry has arrived :o)
One of the lineman came and asked me about the tree in the back. Wait. There's one in the back too? Oy. I walked around the house to look, and sure enough...
Well isn't that pretty? Yeesh.
As DH wandered up the hill to talk to the men in white hats (ha, ha - get it? ;o) it occurred to me that I should probably go hang out with the horses - otherwise entitled "man my post" - until the workers finished. Chain saws and falling tree limbs are not exactly horse-happy events don'tcha know and I'd just as soon keep everyone calm.
Taya, with her love of power tools (this post and this post), was front and center to watch the action.
Rina, Lady and Bella were not quite as enthusiastic.
And the boys? Well, they didn't care at all.
So. That was my wild and crazy weekend. Although I still haven't heard anything about exactly how strong the winds were, early estimates are that the damage will exceed that caused by Hurricane Opal. Crazy stuff, that. So what did you guys do for excitement last weekend? Hopefully, not the same thing we did ;o)
As always, thank you for reading this far and have a blessed week everyone! OH-OH-OH! Before I forget, I've added quite a few more photos to the "Feathers" Slideshow (it's here, if you're interested).