April 14, 2006

Storm trek

After the worst of the storm had moved on to the southeast, I decided I should probably go out and reconnoiter my domain. So I took a meandering 85 mile trek to see what I could see.

The answer, not much, even though there was a lovely full moon and clear star-filled sky.

I headed out I-280 going west and then went out Rt. 92. I was going to zig zag through the rural area and end up in Aledo, but I headed out further along the river until it turned south by Loud Thunder. I took a left and inspected Edgington, then screwed up and continued east until I hit Taylor Ridge, which I knew was past the road I wanted to catch, so I backtracked, and then caught SR19 south, hit Aledo, and then headed east again into the darkened town of Viola. I then headed back on SR61, but took a side jaunt in Preemption to inspect Reynolds. The road from Preemption to Reynolds was flooded on both sides and there was a lot of water in the fields which shimmered in the moon light. At one point, the water had overflowed the road leaving big mounds of chaff and debris from the farm fields. Reynolds was in the path of the worst of the storm, though when I finally found it, I didn't see any major damage from the road.

From Reynolds, I had no idea where I was at, but finally hit a sign that said this way to Taylor Ridge, so I took that, headed to SR61 from there and then back to Milan and home.

What I did see was evidence of a very severe storm, with debris washed over the highway in several spots, power crews out trying to restore power, the ditches along roads full to the top, sometimes 3-4 ft deep, flooded fields with large lakes of standing water, a Rumler sign still up in Edgington and one in Reynolds, two county cops sitting out on a desolate stretch of highway near the Edwards River flagging people around a fallen power line, and a half blown down billboard in Aledo.

One thing that was kind of eerie was that the entire town of Viola was pitch black. Not a light on for miles. I considered doing a little looting, but the town looked like it needed everything it had, so I kept moving on.

I'm sure that the light of day will bring more complete reports of the extent of damages.


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