Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hurricane Ike & Ohio = DISASTER!

Let me just start this by saying I don't understand how anyone lives in areas that get hit by Hurricanes, and I really don't know how they stay in their houses instead of evacuating. I say this because Sunday us central Ohioans got a little taste of Hurricane Ike.

Apparently Ike went through Texas and Oklahoma and right into the jet stream which just happened to come right through Central Ohio.

It was sometime between 2 and 3 Sunday afternoon when the winds started to pick up but I just thought a storm was on it's way in. It had been cloudy off and on all day and they said we were supposed to get rain so no biggie. By 3:30 the wind was blowing so hard the kids were starting to get really scared and by 4 it was just nasty out. Dave left work early because they lost their power and he said there were tree limbs down all over the place and the winds were really bad.

A little after 5 we lost our power and the winds kept picking up. The trees in our yard were blowing all over the place and large branches were coming down. I was trying to clean up the dinner dishes when I heard this really loud BOOM. Unfortunately one of the old huge trees in our back yard snapped in half partially falling on the neighbors house and partially on our shed.

A few minutes later a large piece of our neighbors tree fell on our roof and another large chunk fell on their porch. This brought us out of our houses and Dave and the neighbor pulled them our into the yard.

No damage was done to our house but the neighbors lost their fire pit with that branch. At some point between the time Dave got home and when our trees started to fall a large tree along the road also fell blocking the street. This brought the power crews out to cut it up and move it out of the way enough for traffic to get through.

As a bunch of us were outside talking and snapping pictures when we started to smell smoke but it didn't smell like a house or building it just smelled like wood burning. the next thing we knew our yards were filling with the smoke from this fire.

By this time the wind was whipping around so hard that Emma couldn't stand up without someone holding her. I think it was at this point that Dave said the winds had to be close to 80 miles and hour which we later found out was very accurate, We decided then that staying in our house might not be the safest place with all the trees falling so we packed the kids up and headed over to our friend Joe's. Of course not before Dave had to track down the fire. It turned out to be a mulch plant about 2 miles from our house that somehow caught fire during the storm and the firefighters were able to get it out so they were just letting it burn.

We spent the next few hours at our friends house. Around 9 the winds finally died down so we headed home even though the power wasn't on. We let the kids sleep downstairs on the couch mainly because I did not want to carry them up the stairs and through their messy rooms in pitch black. I had every intention of going to work on Monday so I took a shower by candle light and used a flashlight to pack the kids bags and find an outfit for myself to wear.

That last part was not easy since all of my work clothes were in the washer in the middle of being washed when the power went out. Once I had everything together I set my phone alarm and went to bed.

About 5:30 Monday morning my phone rang and it was the babysitter calling to let me know their neighbors tree fell on both their cars so she wouldn't be babysitting in order to take care of all of that. I noticed when she called that the power still was not on so I reset my phone alarm to wake me up in enough time to call off work which is exactly what I did and what Dave did.

We spent all of Monday morning on a frantic search for ice because the radio was saying it may be 7 days before power was restored. It seems our power company sent a very large number of employees down to Texas to help so they didn't have the man power to get our problems fixed. After the fourth store we realized that we weren't going to find any ice and accepted the fact that all the groceries I had just purchased on Friday were going to go bad.

On our way back home we stopped and got some lunch from Wendy's. After we ate and relaxed for a little while we headed outside to clean up the yard as much as we could. I took that time to clean my flower beds for the fall and winter. I figured if I didn't do it now it wouldn't get done this fall (I'm really bad about that). Once the yard was done it was back inside where both the kids fell asleep for a few hours and Dave and I played Battleship and Scrabble. Then it was a quick dinner of Hamburgers on the grill so they wouldn't go bad. Once dinner was done it was off to Emma's gymnastics class that had it's power. That was a very nice change of pace but it didn't last long enough.

We were hoping to come home to power but that wasn't the case so it was more candles and an early bedtime. The babysitter had power back and the tree was moved so the kids went there today and Dave and I went to work. It was nice to be somewhere where I had access to the outside world other than the radio. It was a bit of a nightmare driving in though because the traffic lights were all out and people are morons. In case you don't know when the traffic lights are not working you treat it like a 4-way stop!

After work the kids and I went over to a friends house. We had planned this last week and since she had power and we didn't it worked out really well. Her husband fixed spaghetti and meatballs and we hung out and talked while filling out the Baby Shower invitations for our friend and the kids played. When I pulled up to the house tonight our front porch light was on and I thought I could cry. It was so nice to see the power back on and to know I could take a shower with light and watch some TV. One of our neighbors happen to be getting something from his car and he let me know that the power had come on about 5 minutes before I got home. I guess I had good timing.

Well there you have it my story of Hurricane Ike and it's destruction. Now I am off to shower and go to bed.


Kelly said...

I completely, totally, 100% understand everything you posted about!!! I'm happy to hear there wasn't any damage to your house and that you have your power back on!!

Kelly said...

09/17/08 - stop on by; I have a little somethin, somethin for ya!!

Jen said...

WOW! What a scary experience. I didn't know you all got it so bad!