Yesterday, September 22, 2016, my neck of the woods was hit with a hurricane-force wind storm. It’s been almost 4 years since the last one but this storm was accompanied with heavy rain. It was a pretty major storm. A tornado even touched down about 10 miles away, damaging two neighboring communities. Tornadoes are super rare here, maybe once every few centuries or so.
The wind damaged the backyard fence which now looks like someone who’s about to attempt a back flip. The worst part was we lost power for almost 4 hours. It made me realize how much I’ve come to depend on electricity.
The lost of electricity ruined my plans for the afternoon. Everything shut down just as I was about to begin my writing assignment for a class. The music stopped playing on my radio and suddenly, my laptop’s AC status became battery status, and my wifi icon was telling me I have no internet. Quickly, I checked my tablet to see if I could access my hotspot. Nope, there was no wifi for me to access.
I went upstairs as the wind started blowing. Shut all the windows, I told myself. I glanced at the stove for the time and rolled my eyes. There was no time! No power, remember? I had to remind myself a few more times before I stopped checking the time on the stove.
The wind was blowing hard. It howled and banged like someone was trying to break in. I sat at the kitchen counter and watched the trees getting blown sideways. The speed was at least 80 mph if not 100 mph. The fence flew back and never recovered its position.
I ran to the sitting room to see the situation in the front yard. It was worse. A few roof shingles scattered on the lawn while a plastic sled lie on the driveway. Should I go out and pick that up? I asked myself. I opened the door and contemplated further. I was terrified of the wind. After a minute, I stepped outside. Outside was cool and the wind seemed to have slowed. See, it’s not too bad, I thought before it was interrupted by another thought. Where’s the garbage can?
It was in my neighbor’s backyard. How did it get there? The wind blew it there. As I bent down to picked it up, a strong gust of wind blew by. I held onto the handle of the garbage can as I felt like I was about to be blown away. Meanwhile, plastic bags and other debris flung across the sky. With all my strength, I lifted the can and placed it on the grass. Then I hurried to the driveway to picked up the sled and placed it back in its rightful place.
Back inside the house, it was stuffy and hot. The thermostat said 80 degree F. There was nothing to do except wait. So I read. At least my kindle had power. I read and read while occasionally glanced at the stove. I wasn’t checking the time but checking if the power had come back on yet.
The wind soon slowed as heavy rain took over. It’s very rare that we rain like this.
I kept reading and quickly, the rain ended. I glanced up, anticipated for the power to come back on but instead, I saw a rainbow. “Whoa!” My mouth gaped and then I was running down the stairs to grab my camera.
The rainbow only last a minute but it was enough for me. After admiring the rainbow, I put on my shoes and went out the front door. There was damage all around. My neighbor’s front yard was full of roof shingles and broken branches scattered all over lawns and roads. Around the corner, a tree fell.
By the time I returned to the house with the mail, we were still without electricity. My piano book finally arrived and as I placed the shipping invoice into the shredder, I became suddenly aware that the shredder wasn’t on. There was no power! I let out a loud groan as I tore the paper by hand. “I’m too dependent!” I screamed. How did people live before electricity?
The power was still out when my mom got home. She kept pressing the remote control but the garage door wouldn’t budge. She assessed the situation while munching on some Asian pears that had fallen from the tree. Then it was talk of dinner. Everything’s electric, even stove. There was no way to cook. So we made our way across the street to the mall only to discovered there was no power there too. So we went home and used our portable stove to make dinner by flashlight.
The power didn’t come back on until 7:30 pm, almost 4 hours without power. It was hard but I’m proud that I survived.