Monday, July 21, 2008

What a Day

Cue Jack's Big Music Show! LMAO

Seriously. It has been one heck of a day. Wow. I feel like it's been a week! I'll start at the beginning.

Natalie woke about 6 this morning to nurse. I got up to use the restroom while DH got her diaper changed. When I came back into the room, I noticed that it looked SUPER foggy outside. You could hardly see anything. I commented to DH about it, then went about my business nursing Natalie. About five minutes pass when the wind picks up and the storm sirens go off. So, I whisk Natalie up, and DH gets the other two and we all head down to the basement. I felt bad having to wake them up like that, but we knew we had to. Just before the sirens went off, I could FEEL the wind shaking my house as I lie in bed nursing Natalie! It was no surprise when the sirens were activated! On our way down the stairs, we were able to witness the kids' easel blow across the porch from one side of the house to the other, passing the front door. It was wild. We tried to get Sawyer to come downstairs with us, but he was too freaked, so he stayed in the kitchen. We were down there 5-10 minutes when the sirens went silent, so back upstairs we went. I finished nursing Natalie, and DH got the other two settled when the sirens went off again. Another 5-10 minutes went by before silence was heard. Then, DH got ready for work and the kids and I started our day. (Well, except that DH put Natalie down for a nap before he got ready for work.) Oh, and the power went out shortly after Natalie waking up. I don't remember exactly when - but I think it was while I was nursing her. I know for sure it was before the first siren went off.

So, we (the kids and I) spent the day trying to stay occupied. We played in the morning, and read some books. I found 8 C batteries to power a portable radio we have, so I was able to keep up on the weather and news. First estimates, around 9:30, were that most people should have power back within 72 hours of when power was lost. At first I thought that wasn't so bad, but then I did the math - that's THREE DAYS! Yikes! I was hoping we'd be on the early end of that, but so far no good.

According to the news, it was a storm that involved straight line wind. Here's text of the story from KWQC, our local NBC affiliate:

Severe storms ripped through the Quad Cities on Monday morning, leaving significant damage and nearly 180,000 homes and businesses without power in the QCA.

Meteorologists from TV-6 and the National Weather Service agree that the damage was a result of straight line winds. A 94 mph wind gust was reported at the Quad city Airport in Moline.

The National Weather Service surveyed the storm damage and confirmed the wind estimate of 90-100 mph. While the damage was not a result of tornadoes, the winds woudl be equivalent to an EF-1 tornado.

Meteorologists stress this is an example of why it is so critical to take severe thunderstorm warnings seriously. "It doesn't matter if it is a 100 mph wind from a tornado or a 100 mph wind from a straight line wind." says KWQC Chief Meteorologist Ryan Burchett. "The damage is going to be the same. If anything, the damage may be more widespread from the straight line wind event. The big difference is the structure of the storm. And that doesn't matter much to the people whose homes are struck by the storms."

The National Weather Service has posted more information about their storm survey on their website.

We are fortunate. No damage to our home or anything - just the loss of power. While an inconvenience, it's trivial as it could be so much worse. A few houses down, a tree fell on the house - can't tell if it damaged the house, but I'm sure it at least scratched it up a bit. We had a tree removed from out front last fall. Man are we glad that happened - as it was DEAD and likely would've damaged the house if it was still here! The worst news out of today was of a campsite that had trees downed, and a 4-year-old boy was killed! :-( The tree fell on the tent in which he was sleeping. Two other kids, a 9-year-old and a 9-month-old, were injured. One was sent to Peoria. Please say a prayer for the family.

There are tree limbs and power lines down EVERYWHERE here in Moline. Our mayor called a state of emergency and asked that everyone stay home as much as possible. No problems there. the garage door opener is out - I'm not going anywhere! LMAO John Deere Road, a MAIN road here in the Illinois side of the Q-C, is closed. There are several power lines down along the road, as well as the poles holding said lines. So not good. The kids and I have made do. There's not much choice - nothing nearby is open. No one has power. I did my best to avoid opening the fridge, until 1 p.m. rolled around. I decided at that point that most of what's in the fridge likely has spoiled already, so I'm having my Dr Pepper! LOL (The local Red Cross is saying 2-4 hours is the longest you should go with stuff in the fridge.) We had crappy breakfast and lunch - crackers, dry cereal, canned fruit, bananas, peanut butter, etc. But, hey, at least we have something we can eat.

So, where was DH in all of this? Coralville, Iowa, for work. He had some water sampling to do at the "lake" there. It was kinda rough not having him around, but it also ended up being a good thing. He was able to go to a Lowe's there and get a generator. (I am sure there are NONE to be found here in the Q-C!) So, now we have minimal power. We have the fridge hooked up, the chest freezer in the basement, the wireless router (of course LOL), a fan in the living room, and a window a/c unit in our bedroom. And, praise God, that flooding in Iowa last month left us with LOTS of money from the OT he put in. So, we were able to pay cash for the generator. Bad news, though, is that it's gone - all of that OT pay is gone. Oh, well. At least we can wait out the power loss somewhat more comfortably - and eat, too! LOL

You know, the biggest praise is that we hadn't spent that money yet! We can be a bit less frugal than we should - but by some amazing miracle, we had not spent it yet! Praise God! Of course, this all happens as we begin reading Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Figures it would work out that way, huh? At least we were able to avoid going any further into debt than we had been prior to starting the book, and likely the TMM! :-) Although, I had been hoping to use the OT for Baby Step 1 - the $1,000 emergency fund. Oh, well. God will provide. And, hey, had we not had the OT, it'd be that much harder, right?

When DH got home, he got the generator going. (I have a minor vent there, but will save it for a time when I have less-limited resources!) Then we swung by McDonald's (in Iowa, as no where anywhere near us has power yet) and got some dinner, which we brought home. The kids are now in bed, and DH is out buying more gas for the generator and another power strip to allow us to have the fan running AND the laptops charging simultaneously! :-) God is always faithful.

As for the power, the last I've heard is that MidAmerican (our power company here) is still in the assessment part of things. That means they STILL have no real idea how long it'll take to get everyone's power up and running. *sigh* They are still saying that most people should have power back within 72 hours. BUT, and this is HUGE - IMO - it could be as late as Thursday or Friday! YIKES! We live in part of the hardest-hit area, so I'm nervous that maybe that'll be us waiting ALL WEEK! Eek! So, do we stay or do we go? We could head to Winfield to stay with my parents for a few days while power is nowhere near restored. Or we could just hang out with the generator for a week. I did check, and our vet could board Sawyer until Friday. So, we can leave if we want to - after Abby's dentist appointment tomorrow morning. We shall see - DH and I will discuss when he gets back, which I hope will be SOON!

Well, I've run out of brain power right now, so I'm going to go. Plus, I probably should check in at FROGs and let them know I'm OK.

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