Sunday, March 14, 2010

We Interrupt This Program for a STORM

Temporary Writers Block

A horrible storm or two colliding storms swept through Central New Jersey yesterday. Up until about an hour or so ago, my power was out. I just got back from going out to buy a battery operated alarm clock and another flashlight, but when I got back home, the electricity was back on.

That might not last as I have a pine tree at the end of my driveway about ready to tip over onto the power lines. And the pine tree on my aunt's property next door has already dropped some branches on the lines. I called the electric company, but they were swamped with problems already so they were not too impressed.

Yesterday, I was out driving in the storm itself. I'd gone to the Farmer's Co-op to pick up the magnesium oxide I had ordered. On the way I saw a sign already posted that one of the bridges over the canal and river I had to cross was closed. I made it over on another bridge, and on the way back I saw that the water was nearly up to that bridge as well, so I suspect that it closed later.

I stopped at the pet food store to get some cat food, then decided to stop in at Target just to look for my mint M & M's. (I did find them!!) One of the store's in doors was being repaired, so a worker was stationed at the automatic out door to let people in. It turned out she was a former student of mine. We moved partway into the store to chat a bit when suddenly, there was a loud explosion. The double glass doors of the store exploded off their hinges in one of the tremendous gusts of wind. Had we not moved inside, we might have been hit. As it was, my friend was really shaken up. One of the men in the store managed to right the doors again and apparently, they locked them after that and used side doors to let people in and out.

The wind was so bad the rain was horizontal. I had to detour off several roads to finally make it home only to find my power out. And worse, as I sat in the darkening house, I was watching one of the pine trees in the side yard tilting more and more in the wind as the roots started to loosen in the wet earth.

By the time I got up this morning (Sunday) I found four pine trees in serious danger of falling over. At least two would hit the power lines and the third, the same one I backed into with the car, would do some serious damage to the house. I said a quick prayer and called the tree guy who had done a job for be before at a reasonable rate, and he promised to get here before the day was done.

I went to church, went to lunch, came home to still no power. I called the power company who now informed me that my outage investigation would be done by Tuesday at 4 PM. That was going to be problem as my food would spoil and, since I have well water and pumps, I would have no water until then. I called my friend Bill to help me get my generator started so I could at least get my food cooled and the house heated. He got me set up just fine and I had some power to the house, so I felt a lot better.

Just about then, the tree guy showed up. He agreed we were in some serious danger of trees' going down, so we finally settled on a price for a major tree job--three pine trees, a huge maple tree, some other trimming etc.--and he and his team set to work. I guess they were here for several hours, but the main problem trees are now safely down. The pine by the road needs special care as it involves the electrical wires and the power company really should take care of it. (They are, however, totally involved in tree problems and power problems all over the place, so heaven knows when they will come. I did tell them it was their main power wire that would go down, but I guess that's their problem to deal with.)

Well, the tree guys did an amazing job. My yard is now full of safe chunks of pine trees. Everything is piled up out of the way and they will be back as soon as they can to clean up the rest and trim the rest of my trees. After they finished here, they were heading off to another set of jobs where people needed help.

I headed off to shop for some extra flashlights and a battery operated alarm clock to wake me up in the morning. When I got home, I was greeted with LIGHTS in my neighbors' houses, so I shut off the generator switch and put the main power back on in my house and...well, here I am again. Much to my surprise, my Internet connection is just fine, the cable TV is working, and I have power again.

Taking a nice hot shower is going to feel SOOOOOO good!


  1. Glad to hear everything's OK and you've got power back. We got storms, too, but not quite that bad.

    How scary about the doors blowing off! I haven't seen wind like that since I left the South and hurricanes. Crazy weather we've been having this year.

  2. These storms are something. We still have some very high winds today. Glad to hear you didn't lose electricity for too long. In like a lion out like a lamb, we always seem to be windy in the beginning of March I just hope it stops soon.

  3. Wow, you have had some wild weather this winter! Glad you are ok so far. I imagine the horses' ears are flicking back and forth rapidly listening for danger.

    Mint M&M's. I didn't know they had those. I will have to try them when I get back!

  4. Anonymous4:24 PM

    You guys have really been battered over the winter and into spring - hope things improve soon!

  5. that sounds scarey!

  6. I'm glad you're ok. That storm sounds kind of scary.