March 06, 2007

Winter Weather

So it turned out the floods of last year were not the end of our wild winter weather. To go with our heavy November flooding, a massive windstorm tore through the area the week before Christmas. Gusts of up to 70 mph blew down trees all over the area, taking out power lines and substations, and knocking out power to over a million homes, mine included.

A Tree Divided The large old atlas cedar in the front yard was apparently rotten at a fork about two-thirds of the way up and a particularly violent gust ripped the top out of it asn John and I stood in his driveway. As we were fleeing for our lives at the sound of splintering wood, out of the corner of my eye I saw the top of the tree take out the power lines and literally bounce off the road. We wouldn't get our electricity back for 7 and a half days.

It's a strange thing to see an entire city without power. No grocery stores, no gas pumps, nothing. Everything was dark. Some places started getting power back after a few days, and the worst in some people came out as gas lines snaked around the block and generators were stolen from houses.

The Cause of it All And it was cold, down in the 20s some nights. With the fireplace and my warm weather camping gear, I managed to stay somewhat warm in my 35 degree living room, and after Microsoft got power I was able to take warm showers and use the Internet. Those were a life saver. It was alright for a few days, but after a week I was gettin pretty testy. It wasn't the cold so much as the boredom. What do you do without television or computers or Internet?

Driveway Carnage
Down Lines Next Door

But when the aftermath of the windstorm had ended and everyone had told their stories, we weren't quite done. In January we had a snowstorm that blanketed the lowlands. We usually get snow a few times during the winter down here, but this time it was cold enough to stick around for a week. Not that amazing to people from the east, but here in the lowlands it's pretty rare.

The House In Snow
View From The Driveway
Snowy 7th Street
Woodpile - What's Left Of The Treetop
Getting Artistic

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