Because of the storm that we got hit with yesterday afternoon, this post is being made from the air-conditioned family room of older daughter, Kara, and her husband, Adam. Though they live just half an hour away from us, their community was spared severe damage and power loss.
|The outside thermometer in my car|
registered 111° at about 2:30 p.m. on
Thursday in Ft. Wayne.
We haven't had but two-tenths of an inch of rain since the first of May and it's causing all kinds of chaotic nastiness, from field fires to cancellation of 4th of July fireworks celebrations to crunchy lawns (in JUNE!) to field corn tasseling out at just three feet tall. I've been praying for rain and yesterday, we got some. But we got more than that. We got WIND.
I was running the sprinkler all day in the garden and had just gone out to move it when I happened to notice the sky in the west. It looked kinda darkish. Looking straight up overhead, there was nothing but crystal blue and sunshine, so I figured the darker blue was just an optical illusion due to cosmic atmospheric weirdness. And then I heard the thunder.
I turned the sprinkler off because, by golly, from the looks of things, we just might actually get some rain out of this one. All spring, storms had been splitting when they got to the Ohio state line and gone north and south of us, but this was looking promising. Walking back to the house, I decided to go in and grab my camera to take some pictures of the darkening sky.
As I was doing that, BAM! Just like that, the wind kicked up and things started hitting my legs. I snapped a couple more photos just as the storm was ready to cross the road into our yard, then tried to go into the house. It took every bit of strength I had to open the front door and head for the basement. I didn't need the National Weather Service to tell me this was a serious storm (about which they'd apparently just put the word out, unbeknownst to me). A tornado warning had been issued for our county.
|The last photo I took before heading for cover. It was at this point that my|
legs were getting pelted with little bits of debris. No rain yet, just wind.
About that time, Romie got home and couldn't open the front door, so he went around back and he joined me in the basement. The power had gone out shortly after the storm began, so we used our flashlights to get around down there in the dark. We could hear the wind whistling above us and I thought for sure the next sound was going to be the second story crashing into the first and on into the basement, or worse - blowing away altogether.
After about 15 minutes or so, it sounded like things were letting up, so we emerged from the basement and took a look. Still blowing, but not a lot of rain , don't you know. We looked outside and could see branches coming down and trash bins flying. A little while later, it started to clear and we went out to assess the damage.
The first thing we noticed was the huge branch out of our 200-year-old oak tree in the front yard. There are several dead branches in it, but those remained and a healthy, live branch was lost. Many smaller ones were broken out, too.
Next, the front porch railing was slightly askew. The corner post was broken off at the base, so guess who's getting new front porch railing? Amazingly, the two flower boxes that were hanging on the railing didn't fall off.
The mess at the back of the house was another thing. Branches down, of course, but chairs and cushions had been tossed...
But WHERE WAS THE TABLE? And the umbrella that was in the table?
|Those poor tomatoes on the left, that were in the GrowBox, amazingly enough, |
did not have their main stems broken, in spite of the trellis attachment
coming completely apart.
The twirling tulip was on the verge of losing its petals...
The honeysuckle trellis was hanging on for dear life...
|We ended up having to cut the honeysuckle off at about a foot out of the ground.|
|There's a Rose of Sharon tree on a standard under there, on the left. |
It didn't break! Considering the prolonged dry weather, I'm surprised it
didn't just snap off.
Next door, the neighbor kids experienced a shipwreck...
The side addition to their storage barn ended up in our yard...
Back in Max's Garden, the Tom Torrens sculpture was blown over the fence...
After it was determined that the umbrella and table were in the bottom of the pool, Romie put his swim trunks on and went after them.
|Neighbor Tim helped with the patio furniture recovery.|
Once we got the immediate issues taken care of, we hopped in the car to take a look at the damage around us. Just a mile east, the entire mile of power poles had been snapped off like dominoes.
At the cemetery down the road, there was a common sight throughout the area...
Before the evening was over, we packed up two coolers with the contents of our freezer and I headed to Defiance, hopeful that daughter Kara had room in her freezer for our things. We had no cell phone or internet service and land line phone service was out as well, so there was no way to call her ahead of time to find out. Luckily, she had room in the freezer and room for an overnight guest.
The storm, called a derecho, left a swath of destruction from Illinois all the way to Delaware and Washington, D.C. More than two million are without power and there have been several deaths and injuries.
A derecho (Spanish: derecho "straight"), is a widespread and long-lived, violent convectively induced straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms in the form of a squall line usually taking the form of a bow echo. Derechos blow in the direction of movement of their associated storms, similar to a gust front, except that the wind is sustained and generally increases in strength behind the "gust" front. Derechos in North America form predominantly from May to August, peaking in frequency during the latter part of June into July. (Wikipedia)
Winds were clocked at 91 mph in Fort Wayne and the temperature dropped from 96° at the time of the storm's start to 65° right after it had passed through. Power may not be restored until Wednesday evening and temperatures are expected to be in the 90s for the next few days. Activities will definitely be different. Anyone for a game of Pick-Up Sticks?