"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.