Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Major Storm

I salute you, Major Storm of June 14, 2011. (HIMYM fans should get that joke.) You came out of nowhere. Normally I know about storms (especially spring ones) days and weeks in advance. But you knew I had my guard down - recently home from vacation, I had a lot of housework and new real estate work to do, so I didn't have the tv on. Gary England didn't call to warn me.

I left home at 5:45pm and it was hot & sunny - 100 degrees to be exact. We were inside a training facility when it started raining, maybe around 7 or 7:15, then we heard a little bit of your hail. "Well, that sucks," we said. Then the skies turned a little darker, the rain picked up, and then the wind. Whoa, the wind! I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I've only seen such things on tv when watching hurricane footage. And the funny part is, the trainer never missed a beat. She just kept on talking like nothing was happening. We never lost power, but the lights flickered a lot. We were about 5 miles from home, so of course, my mind was wondering what you had done to my house.

We were dismissed around 8:40 and I was super anxious to get home. The skies were a vast array of colors - beautiful clear skies and sunset to the north, gray clouds directly above, and dark, blueish black skies to the south - it was creepy. I wish I had my camera. As we drove home, traffic lights were out everywhere, homes & buildings were dark, the hospital by our house was operating on emergency lighting, an intersection near our neighborhood had a downed power line that apparently had once blocked the road and even gone onto I-35. You have created quite a mess, Major Storm.

Still, I wonder, what will our house look like. Surely we won't have power. The rain had stopped for awhile and the temperature dropped 30 degrees. (yay!) But as we pulled in the driveway, it started back again. We wanted to pull our call into the garage in case we got more hail, and guess what, we could, because we had power! I love OEC and our underground utility lines! So as we scurried to do that, I decided to look on the right side of the house and to my dismay, a tree had split and it was now "resting" on our fence. and our roof. Crap.

We didn't know what to do. Everyone was saying storms were about to hit us again in 10-15 minutes, so do we risk being outside cutting the tree down during the storm, or do we risk the storm causing the resting tree to push over the fence, possibly causing damage to fence, roof, and possible bedroom window? Plus, we didn't have a chainsaw. And neither did our neighbors. But, our neighbor's father did, a few miles away. So neighbor's wife jumped in car with 3 kids to drive over there and get it for us, and 20 minutes later, Bobby, and two neighbor men were out there cutting down our broken tree, and I held the flashlight. Fortunately we never got that second round of storms.

We think we got away with minimal damage. The roof is still yet to be determined because we do have a couple damaged shingles on the edge. But we know we were spared, once again. We have a lot of clean-up to do, but manual labor is good, right? (ha! not in 100 degree weather!) I think it is so strange that tornadoes come and go around here all the time, we've have blizzards and ice storms, and a crazy thunderstorm sweeps through and does more damage than all of them combined. Major Storm indeed!

According to the experts, Major Storm was considered a microburst, which can have effects of a EF1 tornado. Yeah, no kidding.

As you can see in the previous photo, the cats are quite curious about what has happened in their yard.

The next photo shows where the branches landed once they were cut. these were once on our roof. and that is our bedroom window. also, the area between the bended tree and fence is where my hammock hangs. It was once a shady area. :(

The following photos show the damage done to our window screens and flowers.

Again, we know we are very fortunate that this is all we have. Many people in Norman are still without power, siding was ripped off of houses, fences & roofs totally destroyed, etc.

Finally, watch this video of a storm chaser driving through Major Storm, and prepare to be amazed.


meggo said...

I'm so glad your house wasn't more damaged, or your fence. That was a crazy one!

Jillian said...

Yikes, glad you are okay!!