Friday, July 6, 2012

The Derecho that stopped us in our tracks

Happy Fourth of July!  Belated.

What a crazy past few days it's been!  A bad storm hit the eastern US and damaged our house and also the house we rent out.  We lost power last Friday night until Tuesday overnight.  And when we lose power we also lose water, as we have a well and pump.  Also, just to complete the problem, we lost phone service in our primary house.

Between 9:30 and 11 p.m. last Friday night, one week ago, one of the most destructive complexes of thunderstorms in memory swept through the entire Washington D.C. area. Packing wind gusts of 60-80 mph, the storm produced extensive damage, downing hundreds of trees, and leaving more than 1 million area-residents without power.

It left a massive trail of destruction spanning from northern Illinois to Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey. This kind of fast-moving, long-lived, large, and violent thunderstorm complex is known as a derecho.

Derechos typically form when an atmospheric disturbance lifts the warm air in regions experiencing intense heat, causing thunderstorms and hurricane-force winds to develop. Traveling at an average speed of 60 miles per hour, Friday's storm took 12 hours to cover more than 700 miles before reaching the Atlantic Ocean.

It was a rough week after the storm with temps in the 90's and 100s F every day.  We hauled in coolers of water to water all the animals, but everyone was still hot and miserable.

We worked with the insurance company to deal with all the damage to the houses, to get tarps put on roofs for the short term and schedule repairs.  The rental house had a tree impaled into the roof.  There were so many trees down at that house, it was amazing.  It looked as if a hurricane came through.  The old historic house in which we live also had much damage.  I have some amazing pictures of all the storm damage.

And now, almost a week later, we have power to the houses, tarps have been put on roofs, repairmen are scheduled to fix things up, and the phone is still down.  Which means the internet is still down.  Which makes blogging rough.  I'll have to be blogging by alternate means these days.  The phone isn't scheduled to be serviced till next Saturday; not tomorrow, the Saturday after.  And who knows if it will actually be fixed that day, it may just be looked at on that day.  So at some undetermined time in the future I will download my photos from my camera and share the aftermath of this storm.

Stay tuned for more news...and the photos!


CaliforniaGrammy said...

Oh my gosh, I am so sorry! I am glad you and your hubby are safe and hope the kitties and feathered friends weathered the storm okay.

Chai Chai said...

Thank goodness you are OK. Things can be repaired and replaced, people can't.

Knatolee said...

Holy cow, I'm sorry you suffered so much damage in that storm!! I hadn't heard of derechos until last week. I hope everything gets fixed up for you very soon.

Country Girl said...

Glad you are OK. I am so thankful that all we got was a temp. loss of electric and cable. Mom and Danielle had some bonding time though! Ha Ha!