Apr. 30th, 2011

wren08: (Browncoat)
We're fine, no damage and everybody is ok. No power, no water nd no phone. I'll be back when everything is turned back on.

Day 7704

Apr. 30th, 2011 10:50 pm
wren08: (Default)
By now I'm sure you have all heard that an F-4 tornado went through my neighbourhood. We were so very lucky- we were inconvenienced but were far enough away that we don't even have tree limbs down.

I'm going to put the pictures in a separate entry because 80s took quite a few on his first jaunt out- I didn't know to take the camera when I first went out and it was even worse. We were without power but that's not uncommon here for a little while after a big storm so I didn't think anything of it. And then we were driving through trees and over powerlines and through the remains of houses- it was awful. These people are my friends, my neighbours and my customers and I was horrified to see what had happened to homes and yards. I hadn't been able to hear any news reports so I had no idea that we had been so badly hit so close to home.

All the people I know are ok, as best as I can find out but several people have unlivable houses and one friend of my Mom has no home at all- he escaped with only a cut on the head, thank all the powers that be.

Our worst problem was water. Since we have a well, no power means no water and no water is hard. One doesn't think too much about water- until there isn't any. Water for drinking is not so bad- they sell cases of water for drinking at every store. Water for washing- hands, bodies, dishes, clothes- that's where it gets hard. I finally went to the army-navy store today and invested in a camping shower and a camping percolator (we melted the lid of my stovetop percolator- go figure). When we got home, we had power in less than an hour but I will have it for next time so I don't feel like it was a waste. I also went to the laundromat and washed clothes- Mom reamed me for that after the power came back on but I didn't know we were so close to getting it back- they were saying 3 weeks so I was setting up to manage for three weeks.

As a matter of fact, I had come up with a clever plan of filling my 5 gallon shower unit at work every day and then we would have had enough water for everyone to have a shower every evening. If we showered into a mop bucket, that would also give us enough water to flush the toilet- something else that takes a good bit of water that no one ever thinks of.

While we were at the laundromat, a fellow quilter told me that SewBeeIt- the best quilt shop in the south-east- had been destroyed. I knew Ringgold had been hit pretty hard but that was very sad news. I hope they rebuild- they had just expanded. This comes right on the heels of our other local quilt shop closing so it's doubly bad just now.

All the cooking we were doing on the grill- including coffee which was annoying. I'm practically useless without my coffee so trying to light a fire and set it up to brew first thing in the morning was interesting at best. If I was trying to do it before dawn, that was even worse. We didn't have a problem with too little food but rather too much since the freezers were defrosting and we were trying to cook and eat things before they went bad. I'm not much of a griller so 80s was doing most of the cooking- he's very good at it which was fortunate.

With all the damage, we've had a problem with looters and gawkers out here- so the police shut the roads down. That wouldn't have been so bad but it was Saturday before they managed to find a way to tell who to let in and who to turn away. At different time I have had to detour 30 miles out of my way and/or show my driver's license to be allowed through. At other times they were not letting anyone through because the roads were blocked my work crews or by downed and live power lines.

Strangely enough, Eliz didn't seem to have any problem getting through to see me and make sure we were all ok. I think she was most concerned about Mom- which is as it should be. She's the one who would have the most difficult time. They had lost power twice for a short time but were otherwise ok and power had already been restored at their house. She and Ross took video on the way over and she promised to email it to me- I'll post a link if I can but it's pretty horrible too.

On Friday, they had the whole neighbourhood locked down- no one in or out- to the point that the policeman in front of my house would not let me out to go to work.. although another one did later when I told him that I had to go pick up medicine for Emily. Which I did, I was not fibbing... and 80s need medicine as well. Fortunately Mom did not- I had just brought home her medicines a few days previously and there is nothing that I must take every day.

Right now (Saturday night) we still don't have phone and internet so I will have to save this and post it later but given a choice between no phone and internet and no power and water, I'm happy enough. The previous entry was made possible by a station at the elementary school. They were giving away food and water and helping people with injuries- and also giving out cards to residents to get through check points without trouble. At the back of the school they had a tent set up with charging stations for all kinds of cell phones and other electronic devices (Emily got to charge up her PSP there which made her very happy) and courtesy internet connection. It was through the school's wifi which meant that both LJ and Facebook are blocked sites but one of the kids told me how to get around that. (It figures that the kids would know how)

Amusingly, the mail has still been being delivered- they're letting Rita through- but we can't get the paper. ???

Just before this happened, my living room light fixture (that I just had fixed) started flickering and popping again so while the power was out, 80s and I replaced the fixture (it looks just the same) and now that we have power again, it works well. We were joking, while we had bare wires hanging down, that it would be just about right for the power to come back on while we were doing that but we were either lucky or not so lucky, depending on how you view it.

I planned for this to be an unplugged weekend- I just didn't plan for it to be quite like this!

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