Thursday, April 10, 2008

EEEEK! Wild Weather this Morning!

Here's hoping that everybody in it's path made it through fine. We just had a terrifically strong storm front roll through the area at 60 mph with hail, sideways rain too thick to see through, and winds up to 87 mph (UPDATE: Some light poles rated for 120 mph blew down!!! OMG!!!).

I was awakened just before 4 am by the terrifying "train rumble" that we all dread in Tornado Alley. Tore out of bed with Ski in my arms and headed for the bathroom. Fell over a small table and dropped Ski so I wouldn't squish him (I'm seeing Feng Shui in a new light!). There wasn't time to even THINK about rounding up the cats after that. Just as I made it to the bathroom there was an enormous CRACK!CRASH!

When the sound died down enough to even think about coming out of the bathroom, the rain was still sideways and a blank white - you could not see through it. The storm was coming in from the West, so my SE facing balcony allowed a (relatively) safe view of the carnage.

The first thing I saw was that the large Elm outside my balcony is probably kaput. More than 3/4 of the total canopy is broken off, right at the level of my balcony (explaining the CRACK!). There will be some VERY unhappy squirrels! (The sap in the spring is sweet, so they were nibbling the new growth as last year's acorns begin to run out. Ownership of the tree was valiantly enforced by the resident pair of squirrels, but poachers did occasionally get by for a snack.) The cats will miss the 'Reality TV' that these turf wars gave them. Alas, Alack, Alay!

Once the rain let up I checked out the view from my other windows. What is amazing to me is that all the carports are fine, even the huge old Live Oak that is in the same path as my Elm made it. No shingles down, just this one tree thrashed in the immediate vicinity. Looking out across the parking lot I do see some more foliage debris that will block us getting out, but it doesn't look too big to move out of the way.

Start to finish it was less than an hour.

I got the TV turned on and started calming the cats down (this, of course, involved a can of food!). We had a scary time but I'm praying for those up in OK and beyond that have already had a very full scary day of storms, now this - we were very lucky here.

My heart is still racing. The birds have begun the morning 'all clear' and life goes on...

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