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Sunday, June 22, 2014

bad storms and the appreciation of electricity


We've been deluged with rain and thunderstorms here in northern Illinois for the past
two weeks. While it's been more of a nuisance than anything else (limited yard work due
to the constant rain, barrage of mosquitoes, and humidity so thick that you could cut
it with a knife), yesterday was a different story. It was mostly overcast but the sun came
out here and there. I helped a friend pack her kitchen items for her big move next
weekend and then we went out to a late lunch. When we got out to her car, we saw from
the raindrops on the car that it had obviously rained while we were in the restaurant. But
the sun was already out again. Again, passing storms - no big deal.

I got home and was busy doing things around the house, so I didn't notice that the
sky was turning black. Brian arrived home from work and told me there was a tornado
warning! We headed down to the basement and a minute later we could hear the torrential
rains and wind whipping everything around. We even heard a couple of loud crashes.
It was over in just 1/2 hour and we headed upstairs and outside to see what had
happened. Huge tree limbs were down all over neighbor's yards and the street.
 


Just two doors down and across the street, a massive tree fell on the power
lines.


My next-door neighbor's maple tree cracked and fell across his back yard. It just
missed his house.
 

The only damage in our yard was my overturned planter...
 

and more plants and my vintage window blown over.
 

The worst part was, the power went out. All us neighbors stayed outside talking
to each other late into the night until it was time to go to bed. However, my phone
was losing power and I needed to charge it up, so I got in my car and took a long
drive with my phone plugged into the car charger. It was almost midnight and very
foggy outside when my phone was still only at 38% power and I said to myself, 
"forget it" and went home and tried to sleep. With it being hot and sticky outside
and not even a fan to keep us cool, needless to say, we only caught bits and pieces
of sleep during the night.

This morning - still no power. Brian went off to work and I cleaned up fallen branches
all over the yard, swept off the porch and sidewalk, and bailed water out of the sump
pump. Neighbors gathered in the street again and one passed out bottles of cold water
while we all commiserated together (after all, misery loves company!) and watched
the work crew cut the fallen tree out of the electrical lines.


I then spent the rest of the day at my friend's air-conditioned house until I heard
our power was back on - almost 24 hours. I'm now back at home and Brian just got
home from work. We now have to go through our fridge and freezer and see if any
food can be salvaged. All in all, even though I'm exhausted, I am thankful that my
house didn't suffer any damage and that our basement didn't flood. We've been 
through that nightmare twice in the past few years and I never want to go through
it again! Onwards and upwards... 

34 comments:

  1. From OK here. We have lots of tornadoes. So glad you're okay and the AC is back on.
    Brenda

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  2. Hopefully if you didn't open your freezer, things will be okay in there. Glad your AC is back to work. We've had terrible humidity this past week. Ugh. The AC is what is keeping me alive. :)

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    1. We did indeed keep the freezer closed but did have to open the fridge a few times to get canned cat food and water. All was OK!

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  3. I'm so glad you're okay. I hope you were able to keep some of the food. Stay cool.

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    Replies
    1. Knowing the devastation tornadoes can do, in the whole scheme of things, we were lucky.

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  4. Hi Melanie,

    Wow! Glad you are all okay and that the house didn't suffer any serious damage! My brother's did, last year, a horrible flood in the basement, which they are now in the process of fixing. Toronto also got tornado warnings; this NEVER happened when I was a kid growing up in Canada! I wonder if all these weird weather appearances have to do with all the pollution over the past 40 years!

    Take care and take it easy. Everything will get cleaned up in due time. Stay safe!

    Poppy

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    Replies
    1. I'm used to tornado warnings, having spent most of my life in the Chicago area. It's the only time I'm glad we have a basement!

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  5. I'm glad to read there's no big damage for your house. It's amazing how we relate on electricity, isn't it?

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    1. I'm thankful our house didn't suffer any damage either. We couldn't even take a shower or flush toilets because our water comes from our private well.

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  6. I am so glad that no one was injured and there was no serious damage from what you said. I hope that life can return to normal with electricity and that you all stay safe! xx

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    Replies
    1. Yep, we're all back to "normal" now...thanks!

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  7. Melissa, I am sorry about the storm. I have been in two tornadoes when I lived in NE. A big tree fell on our house a few years back ( doing $35,000 worth of damage) so I can understand how you are feeling. Thank God it wasn't any worse and no one was hurt. Pilger, NE. was hit by those twin tornadoes last week. That is very close to where I have family and friends living. I pray this will be the end of the storms for you and your neighbors.

    Debbi

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    Replies
    1. Driving around our neighborhood and seeing all the trees down, it's amazing that none of them fell on a house (from what we could see). By the way, my name is Melanie. You were close. ;-)

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  8. Holy Cats Mel...Thank goodness you are ok and safe. We were out in the thick of it at Ravinia where it was scary when some folks thought it was a good Idea to stay on the lawn and take their chances. We got wet but still managed to gave fun. No fun cleaning out a refrigerator and freezer. Sorry pal. Love ya, Penny

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    Replies
    1. I can't believe people would stay outside during a storm...that's just stupid! Sorry you got rained out, but you and Tyke always manage to find the fun in things, even when they go awry.

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  9. Sad to see those big trees down but the upside is it brought neighbors together. Hope everything gets back to normal.

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    Replies
    1. I agree - it's nice to have at least a few neighbors who banded together to talk and offer support (mental and physical)!

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  10. Glad you are ok / sad to see that beautiful huge tree fall but a blessing that it missed the neighbor's house.

    We had a severe storm / no electric a few weeks back but at least it was not hot and muggy / I know what you mean about the humidity !

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    Replies
    1. The humidity here has been pretty awful...in the 70-80+% range even when it's not raining.

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  11. Oh no! We were lucky to miss the damage here. Yuck, I wouldn't want to sleep without air-conditioning the way the weather has been lately. At least the rain is keeping everything green.

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    1. It wouldn't have been so bad without AC if we could've had a fan running. You're right, with all that rain the grass is staying green and I don't even have to water my plants!

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  12. What a wallop in the neighborhood . . .
    Happy you were safe, minimal damage at your home . . .
    I think I need to send you and Penny SUNSCREEN . . .

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    Replies
    1. LOL...I actually have sunscreen and wear it most days...I thought I was going to be totally indoors that day, not standing in a parking lot for over an hour. (NOT Penny's fault...long story! lol)

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  13. It has been storming here lately too. We got a few good wallops storms, .lighting and thunder! Glad your electricity came back, last year we lost power for 5 days! I hate losing trees, but then better than losing a person! Hope you Penny and I can get together soon, I miss you guys!

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    1. Seems like we've had an especially stormy late spring and summer, so far. In fact, it's storming as I'm typing this. I can't imagine losing power for 5 days...that's crazy. I hope we can get together again soon, too!

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  14. This really sounded bad and I can see the destruction. I wonder how many mph the wind was. As I said, Michigan did not get hit bad...it may have died out over the lake. I'm just glad you were all safe. Crazy weather.

    XO,
    Jane

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    Replies
    1. I have no idea what the wind speeds were. Good thing you were out of town and missed this one!

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  15. What an awful storm Melanie. I know about going without power as ours was out for 5 day in February. It makes you think about how to cope without it.

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    1. Oh wow, another blogger friend that's been without power for five days. It's so hard to cope without electricity...virtually everything we have these days relies on that source!

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  16. Hope some of your freezer/fridge food could be saved/used. That was a bad storm. Thanks for visiting today.
    Joy

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    Replies
    1. Most of it was salvageable, thank God.

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  17. Oh my gosh, Melanie, I'm so glad you are safe and sound! What a scary thing to go through.I don't think w'eve gone more than a few hours without power and I swear, I would have flunked at being a pioneer woman. I cannot believe your vintage window got tossed about and didn't break! Thank goodness none of those trees landed on anyone! Glad you have your electricity and a/c back!
    Donna

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    Replies
    1. That vintage window is unbelievably sturdy...it even sat out the entire winter through the below zero temps and tons of snow!

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