Dear fellow Gizars,
I’m writing you all this email, which I intend to copy and post on the website forum, and on Facebook, to update you all on why you haven’t heard from me in three days and why I need several more days to dig out and catch up.
If you have not heard by now, the metropolitan area where I live was hit with a massive storm last Saturday night. Little Miss Shiloh and I hit the storm shelter at about 11:40 PM Saturday evening after I heard a weather report on the radio advising everyone to take cover as a massive storm was approaching with very high speed straight line winds. We were not in our storm shelter for two minutes than the storm sirens started blowing, and the blew until midnight. At midnight almost exactly, the storm hit. The storm consisted - quite literally - of straight line winds of about 100 miles per hour, and one place reported it was up to 117 miles per hour. The storm was also severely electrical. The wind was literally a “wall” that for the most part struck the entire width of the city and county. In other words, it was much more devastating that a tornado as it was not localized.
Shiloh and I had to stay in the storm shelter for about an hour and a half, because even after the wind-wall had passed (about 20 minutes or unbelievable roaring, then it calmed to a less ferocious roar which kept up for about the next hour and ten minutes); the electrical lightning activity was quite unlike anything I’ve seen or heard and was perpetual throughout the entire storm.
Our city instantly lost power for about 220,000 people, and I was one of those. The power only today (Tuesday evening) came back on after three days of darkness and unbelievable heat in the daytime.
When Shiloh and I emerged from the storm shelter, a large tree in my front yard by my driveway had lost a major limb, which - Christo Deo gratias - had fallen literally right next to a corner of my house, but not on it. (Last week, during another storm, the same tree lost a limb which shattered my windshield which I had to replace. As a result of that incident, I had an appointment just today for someone to come and give me an estimate on cutting down the tree. As a result of this last storm, there is another branch which is semi-severed and fallen on a branch beneath it, which is currently holding it up.) On my street, whole large trees were literally uprooted by the wind, and these in turn fell on power lines. Many of you also know I always get my elderly neighbor lady’s mail as she has had a hip replacement, and her house had a branch fall on her roof, and poke a hole in it. My neighbors across the street also lost a large tree which, again, did not fall on their house.
The entire city has had trees and power lines down, and some areas will not have power or internet restored until Saturday. Gas pumps don’t pump, ice is scarce, and literally the whole city is struggling with downed power lines and trees. The storm literally blew across the whole north-south county width, and pretty much uprooted trees, roofs, and in some cases severly damaged building.
But our homes are safe, and we’re alive. I apologize for having to write you all in one fell swoop, but it is simply easier for me to do so, as I am not out of the woods yet, because I must try to get this tree cut down. It is now hazardous with that branch, my yard looks like a war zone, cables are sagging, and with everyone cutting trees, getting anyone out here is going to take me some time on the phone. Thus, please bear with me. I am cancelling this Friday’s vidchat as I simply have too much to do and I cannot respond to everyone individually at this time. I will try to monitor things as best as I can on the website for this and next week, but please understand I simply must get several things done to clean up, make the property safe, replace spoiled food as soon as the streets are relatively clear to enable me to travel to the grocery store, and so on. I will try to update in the coming days as I can, but do not be surprised if there are no blogs next week. I will try to post the vidchat schedule for July as soon as I can, and the current vidchat I will make up as soon as I can, so please keep checking the forum for schedule updates.
Thank you all for your patience!
Joseph and Shiloh