Monday, June 28, 2010

Microburst

I thought it was just the usual afternoon thunderstorm and continued my activities, unconcerned. But when the wind made a sudden right turn and slammed into the house I felt somewhat alarmed. Indeed, I was home alone, since Jon had taken all the kids to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg for the day and at first I was inclined to be frightened but decided I needed to hold myself together for the sake of the dogs.

This is Sancho. Does he look like a dog who handles stress well?

Sancho is anxious


I contemplated my options should this curiously violent storm become a tornado. Everybody knows you are supposed to go to the basement, but getting to my basement involves going outside and around the house and unlocking a padlocked door. From the look of things outside, I figured odds were even between getting to the basement safely or getting knocked unconscious by flying debris. The other option is to hide in the closet under the stairs, but trying to persuade Sancho and Luna to follow me into the closet when their doggy instincts were telling them to hide under the dining room table was going to be a challenge. Then I remembered that if this storm killed me at least I wouldn't have to be a nurse anymore. Buoyed by this cheerful thought, I stood by the window and placidly awaited my fate. Which turned out to be nothing more severe than enduring long boring hours with no electricity. A large branch broke off our walnut tree, but didn't hit the house. The entire top of a large oak in the park across the street had been sheered off and lay upside down on the grass looking like a dropped ice cream cone. The ground was liberally scattered with nuts, branches and other detritus.

It was inconvenient that I had set out to wash the sheets and while each bed now had clean and dry bottom sheets, all the top sheets were in a sodden lump in the dryer. Jon and the kids had arrived hungry but otherwise unscathed from Busch Gardens. I anticipated a miserable night, trying to sleep without air conditioning, but it was actually quite pleasant and the lack of sheets somehow made it feel like we were camping.

It really was quite a storm because two days later traffic was still snarled around the main vortex of destruction near the university and traffic lights were still out and trees still blocked the roads. I ended up trapped on the wrong side of town and had to drive in a huge detour around the city in order to get home. Thus is Charlottesville inconvenienced by the weather for what must be at least the fourth time this year.

5 comments:

  1. As of Sunday afternoon, there were still traffic lights around town that aren't functioning.

    The funny thing is, compared to the storm three weeks ago that was centered practically over my house (near Locust and the hospital), this last storm seemed tame by comparison. We lost power for eight hours or so and felt lucky that was all.

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  2. I try not to use the term LOL, but that is exactly what I did when I read this line.

    "Then I remembered that if this storm killed me at least I wouldn't have to be a nurse anymore. Buoyed by this cheerful thought, I stood by the window and placidly awaited my fate."

    Sorry your job is such a drag, but that was too funny.

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  3. That's too funny, cause I'd have had the same reaction, only prompted by not working at all anymore! Sigh.

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  4. HOW scary. Wind can be terrifying. I'm glad you pulled through it without damage.

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  5. I'm glad you survived even though it prevented your dramatic exit from the nursing profession.

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