Thursday, July 20, 2006

LIGHTS OUT!!

"It's 98 degrees and no chance of a storm."

I said those words yesterday. I honestly did. That was just a few hours before our area got nailed with what has been termed "the worst storm in recent history". Brick buildings fell on bridges, semi's overturned on bridges, the airport roof landed on an interstate. At Busch Stadium, the dugouts had 3 feet of water in them and the walkways had water neck high.

Then there were the trees. Falling. On cars, houses and across powerlines. Knocking out the power. They've called out the National Guard because we've got 480,000 people without electricity.

And where was I, the predictor of "no chance of a storm"?

I was with a friend sipping wine at a local restaurant. We were safe, we were dry. If I opened my cellphone, I could see to eat my salmon and spinach salad in the now darkened restaurant.

What, me worry?

Then the sirens went off and the wind got worse. A hanging planter banged into the window.

I called a friend at home, Judy, to ask if the storm was anyplace near and if we needed to take shelter.

She said the kids were over, they had turned off the TV and it appeared the worst was over. Oh, look over there, blue skies. All is well. We looked out the window and didn't see blue sky anywhere. What was she smoking, we thought?

At some point in time, the proprietor threw us out. OK, he really asked us to leave as the backup generator was losing juice and the lights were dimming. We carefully drove home, dodged downed trees and noticed a lack of electricity. Except for the lightening.

My house was dark, and Kathy said she'd give me a call when she got home to let me know whether or not she had power. Thankfully, she did, so I packed up by candlelight and headed to her house.

1. Searching through your closet by candlelight can be very dangerous.

2. Colors don't look the same in candlelight. That is why I showed up wearing pink and lavender pajama bottoms and a teal blue pajama top. Only it wasn't a pajama top so much as it was a t-shirt that was in my pajama top drawer. Thankfully, I didn't have to stop on the 3 minute drive to her house.

We had an uneventful evening watching "Sex in the City" reruns on TBS.

The next morning, I did stop by my house on the way to work and YAY! electricity!! I had a text message from Kathy that her office was closed because they have no power.

And I talked to Judy while I waited for the bus. Remember, she was the one where the worst was over, there's blue sky on the way, etc. Well, her son's girlfriend's kids were over during the storm and were very scared, so she was downplaying it. To me, who was calling to find out how bad it was. "I see blue sky!" This morning, she said, "Donna, it was one of the worst storms I've ever seen."

If we'd known that, we would have had more wine.

Here are some photos that were submitted to KSKD's website by local residents.

This is a picture of what someone calls "storm" damage.




It was submitted by a Ladue resident who apparently doesn't get out much.


This is REAL storm damage.





And this is the damage from Stadium Eye View.

13 comments:

Kafaleni said...

wow.

Glad you're safe!

motw said...

"What time is it?"
"Time for a new Timex."
Take that plastic chair, throw it in the swimming pool, and call it hurricane damage. *sheesh*

*click!* Cheers, sly!

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear you are safe as well. In my area of Affton, had tons of rain,near hurricane winds of 90 mph. Ripped a door off my apartment building and broke the windows.
In fact, uninformed me, not aware of any rain in our forecast...I was in my apartment pool on a float, had my eyes closed..One moment I was calm and coool, and next rain and winds about dumped me in the pool. The storm came up quick.
But back to funny storm damage photos, some people don't get out much indeed. Some of the reader submitted photos were indeed questionable.

neophyte said...

{{Sly}} Very glad you are ok.

Leetie said...

Get any storm damage, Cletus?

Hell yea! That storm dang well toppled my lightweight plastic deck chair! I'mma gonna have to git out there and right it this weekend. How about you?

Peri said...

Holy crap, sly!

wysiwyg said...

Glad to hear you got through it ok Sly, although I'm not so sure I would have been driving anywhere while it was actually happening.

But let me get this straight - in relation to the photo of the storm at the stadium - I've heard of sports fanatics, but have you all been living in the path of tornados for so long that you don't think twice about STAYING at the stadium with that sort of storm on the horizon?

Slyeyes said...

Wys, Good to see you!! The storm came up suddenly, As "anonymous" from Affton mentioned above in his/her comment.

A co-worker was at the game. She was on the phone with her mom as she was walking into our firm's suite at the game and her mom said she was glad she got there before the storm broke. My co-worker said "what storm?" Her Mom said there was a warning on TV that said a storm was coming down the river. Liz turned and looked and saw the black cloud looming down. It wasn't there when she walked over from the parking garage.

And as far as the green deck chair damage in Ladue; that town is sometimes called "Lah-Do" -- they don't allow garage sales, etc., but DO allow "estate sales" -- just no yard signs to advertise it. So, the "damage" in that picture probably wasn't so much the overturned green plastic deck chair, but the existence of a green plastic deck chair in Lah-do.

Slyeyes said...

Later today, I'll try to reformat these pictures. I may have to borrow a chainsaw and trim down a couple of them to fit into the margins.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Love the Stadium pic. Scary stuff!

Our storms were amazingly local - Yonkers had about 3 inches of rain while White Plains, 10 miles away, had less than a tenth of an inch!

It seemed to hit mostly the urban areas yesterday - 2 inches in New York, 3 in Newark, not a lot in the surrounding areas.

But the highways were flooded and one had mudslides closing it for hours.

Meanwhile, the poor people in Astoria and other parts of northwest Queens are in their SIXTH DAY with no power.

Con Ed is really on the case - NOT!

Oh, we could get another two inches today. The problem is (besides the flooding) that we've had so much rain that the ground is saturated and even a moderate wind can push trees right out of the ground.

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