Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Exciting weekend - crazy weather edition

I last posted on Friday morning, after going to CrossFit for my 4th consecutive day. I went again on Friday, as planned and then hurried home that night. I will admit that I was pretty sore over the weekend from 5 straight days of CrossFit, but it was an excellent training week.

Saturday was mostly spent getting ready for the big storm. We did some grocery shopping, got some ice to help protect the contents of our large meat freezer in the basement, did some work outside, such as moving things into the garage. We rarely put our cars in the garage, but we did make room for one as this storm approached, and we parked the other car where no falling trees could reach it.

Our daughter wanted to stay overnight with friends, but with the storm due, we vetoed that choice, much to her dismay.

I spent so much time prepping for the storm on Saturday that a workout was never an option; there simply wasn't time.

As we went to bed on Saturday night, the forecast was still very ominous and we had no idea what to really expect. I woke up about 2:00 a.m. to make a trip to the bathroom and discovered that it was already raining lightly. I slept in on Sunday until about 8:30. It was raining harder when I woke up and we had some light breezes out of the north with some occasional higher gusts. But, by noon, the wind had died down and we were left with very heavy rain and no wind for much of the day.

We were trying to keep abreast of the storm on local news and the Weather Channel. Our satellite signal for TV was very intermittent during the heaviest periods of rain. At one point, we were surprised to hear the next town over and a particular local road mentioned on the Weather Channel. Apparently, the road had flooded and a bridge was gone. This was one of the two routes we could have used to pick up our daughter at her friend's house, so forcing her to stay home was clearly a good idea, at least in the adult world view.

During the afternoon, the electricity blinked a few times, which seemed odd given the lack of wind. The local radio station that I usually listen to for local weather details was off the air. We discovered later that they had some serious flooding issues.

In reality, we had no idea how bad the flooding was around the state. We live at 1100' and our property drains reasonably well. We had one minor roof leak at our chimney during the heaviest rains and some water in the basement, but no other issues on our property.

I was working on cooking dinner when the lights suddenly went out. Because we use propane, I was able to finish cooking dinner, and we ate by candlelight. We even played a game of Mousetrap with the kids, who delighted in killing my wife's mouse first and me next.

About the time it got completely dark, the rain was diminishing, but the winds were picking up. We had a couple hours of gusty winds, but nothing super strong. As the winds diminished, the house was amazingly quiet with no electricity to fuel gadgets.

I used my cellphone to keep up with local events on the web, but eventually, I needed to save some battery life. So, by 9:30, we went to sleep. We knew there was no school for our daughter the next day and my offices were closed, but I could work remotely if the town had power.

On Monday morning, the drive to town wasn't too bad. The local golf course had flooded and a few businesses and houses had been damaged, but we seemed much better off than the rest of the surrounding towns. And, according to the power company web site, our power was due to be restored by 10:00 p.m. on Monday, much better than radio projections of weeks for some people.

And then, around 1:00 p.m., downtown went dark. The power company had apparently discovered some issues with cables near a river and they needed to take the entire town, plus some neighboring towns, offline. We were told that the best we could hope for was Wednesday, and Friday was quite possible. Now I had a new concern. I have a large freezer that I use so I can buy local grass-fed and pastured meat in bulk. It had about $1000 worth of meat in it.

I contacted some friends who had extra freezer space and power and then packed up and took the meat to their house. Meanwhile, my wife and kids went to visit some family locally, for dinner and a shower.

And then, around 9:00, the power came back. I have no idea why it happened so soon, but I won't complain. So, I'm an hour away from home, our meat is nearby in a friend's freezer, and my family is at home. My wife's office is closed today. My daughter's entire first week of school has been cancelled. We have friends and neighbors without power and with extensive property damage.

We managed to survive unhurt, with no property damage, and at most, lost a couple hundred dollars worth of refrigerated food. Compared to what many other people are going through, we were very lucky.

Today, I hope to get back to the gym. I was disappointed to miss the CrossFit Total workout yesterday, which was the test workout after our 12-week Wendler Cycle. I may do it on my own later in the week.

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