Saturday, July 9, 2011

Stormy Thursday: A Story with Pictures

So, late Thursday afternoon the skies darkened. My weather crazy daughter, Katy, kept me updated on the forecast: "We'll be in red and maybe orange, Mom. Shouldn't be too bad."{It turns out that we actually went through the worst of the storm, purple on the radar. If I'd known this at the time...} She loves to track storms with the radar and she's really good at predicting what will happen.  Red and orange on the radar generally mean some thunder and lightning, and some rain.  We need rain. (Gosh, does that sound like a statement from my 92 year old granny or what?!)

I started dinner and puttered around. When I entered the bathroom, I heard annoying tapping on the glass. I couldn't imagine what was making the noise, so I pulled back the curtain. And saw hail. Grape sized hail. And rain pounding so hard, you couldn't see out the windows.

And then we noticed the wind. I stood in the hall, near the basement doors, and looked down the hall out the living room windows. I couldn't see the 4-lane road that is about 15 feet from my front door. I couldn't see it y'all. It was so strange! Almost as soon as I noticed that, the rain eased up and I noticed the wind. I had already texted my husband to warn him of the storm. He comes home from work for dinner each night and it was getting time for him to be heading out. I did NOT want him in this mess.  As I walk closer to the windows to study the wind (and decide basement or no basement) my phone rang. Husband said I was being silly, it wasn't raining at the plant at all.  I told him to be careful and that it would be shortly.

After watching the wind and remaining rain, the girls and I decided that the basement wasn't necessary. (I'll admit to being more afraid of their ensuing panic than the actual storm.) The girls realized that the rain had leaked in all around Erin's window a/c, so we cleaned up that mess. I checked the other a/c units in the house and found that the one in my room had leaked some too.  I went to finish dinner and wash a few dishes.

That's when I noticed that the garbage can (today was garbage day so it was out near the street) was on its side on the far side of the road. I watched it and waited for the rain to stop. I mentioned it to Katy and she offered to go get it. She took Erin with her out the back door.  Almost immediately they were back: "Mom, I think a tree fell down!"

My heart dropped - my Suburban is parked under a tree and I hadn't once thought to check it.  Thankfully it was fine - the branches that came off the walnut tree amazingly missed it!  In total that one tree lost about 8 branches, all at least 4 inches in diameter.  They were healthy branches too - laden with leaves and green walnuts.  This is the 2nd time in about a week that the tree has lost branches. I think it is time for it to go.

My husband arrived home and we ate dinner. We heard fire trucks and thought there must have been an accident because of the storm. Katy walked passed the front windows and realized that across the street from us a huge (walnut?) tree had come down and blocked a driveway and part of the 4 lane road. The firemen were out cutting on it and dragging it out of the road and off the power lines. (Which, YAY for having power lines on our own side of the street!)  Katy was thrilled when  I told her to take some pictures (at the bottom of the post.)  I chatted with our neighbor and her kids - they had taken refuge in their basement with their dogs.

So in looking around the yard, we realized that we've got about another 10 branches down as well as many shingles.  The landlord is going to have to do some work around here. We're planning to tell her tomorrow when we pay the rent.

And so, this is the story of a stormy Thursday evening - lots of excitement.  We don't understand how we didn't hear all the branches and the tree come down. Guess that tells you how hard it was raining and how windy it was!  Here are Katy's pictures, taken from our porch.

A backhoe, Mom!

The branches in the driveway/back stairs

shingle and branches in the side yard

From the walnut tree in the side yard - are we seeing a pattern here?!?!

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