July 22, 2008

A bit breezy

Hey! A new low-rider!

I'm sure this Chevy can haul a lot of lumber... but this is taking things a bit too far.


For more images of the crushed cars after crews had cut away most of the limbs, see post above.

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Dope Manor was without flowing electrons for 33 hours and 5 minutes, due to the rather breezy conditions early Monday morning. Power just went back on about 10 minutes ago, and it's nice to be reconnected to the wider world again, and to not have to strategize about where to score the next round of ice to preserve the lucky refugees from the fridge.

SOME of you (grrrrrrrr) may have been lucky enough to have never lost power. So to those folks, it seems like no biggie. But this is the longest I've gone without power in about, well, several decades, and I can tell you, it sucks. Bad.

It's boring as hell, which is probably the worst aspect, and then there's trying to save food, hunt for ice, and repeatedly flipping on light switches when you enter darkened rooms (you're in the dark to begin with) and then feeling like an idiot. for doing it AGAIN. Arrrrgh! I think I did it about 10 times. Did any of you beat that?

I have a lot of pictures, as I ended up going out and about shortly after the storm ended. I had no clue as to the severity of the storm or how widespread the power outage was, and was just curious to see how many people were without power, thinking it was probably only the neighborhood.

The further I drove, the more it became apparent this wasn't an ordinary thunderstorm. A tree had fallen across a busy street, limbs and clusters of leaves everywhere, and then power poles and lines down and draped across roads.

Then reports started to trickle in through the car radio. 94 mph peak gusts recorded at the airport, Milan hit hard, John Deere Rd closed due to power lines down and laying across the road, and the Moline Marina having several of the slip roofs ripped off and scattered around like pieces of aluminum foil.

I have a LOT of pictures and a video clip or two.

For starters though, a few shots of the parking lot of a small apartment complex on the east side of 60th Street in Moline just south of 34th Avenue.

An enormous old oak, which turns out to have been hollow as can be, toppled over directly across a line of 6 cars, as if intending to do maximum damage.

If you're a fundy and think like Pat Robertson or Rev. Hagee and think God controls the weather according to whether he's pissed at people or not, then this apartment complex must have been a pit of depravity and sin. But somehow I doubt it.

You literally had to hunt for the cars among all the limbs and leaves.

The tree was big. (click to enlarge)





There's a Honda in there.



And this was a nice Acura...until the tree decided to come in through the back window and out the side.



This area was particularly hard hit, all along 34th avenue and to the south to John Deere Rd. from about 41st street over to Black Hawk College.

This was the scene directly next door to the crushed vehicles.



More stuff later after I get things put back together around here, including shots of the marina, a clip of the multiple power poles down across 41st street just east of Moline High School, and various scenes from the aftermath.

In the meantime, share your experiences with the storm. How long was your power out? (and if it's still out, I guess you wouldn't be reading this.) How did you while away the hours without any modern conveniences or the flow of drivel from the tube? What damage did you experience, if any?

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