Ahhh... so that's what a super derecho is. Did you miss me? lol

by sbucciarel Banned
19 replies
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So Friday night I'm trying to finish up a client's project and I bought a big file. I live in the country and have to go into town (McDonald's) to download it. It's about 9:30 pm, I hear distant thunder, but no wind and no rain, so I hop in the truck and head off to town. I didn't get far.

The road to town is a narrow, heavily tree lined paved road, with one large area with nothing but corn fields on both sides. I just got to the corn field section when an 80 mph wind ripped through that corn field and was flinging debris at my truck. I thought I might be on the edge of a tornado, but couldn't see a funnel, but the wind and debris was dangerous.

I turned around to go back home. Too late. Trees came crashing down behind me and the road to home was now blocked. I turned around again to try to make it off that road. Too late. Trees came crashing down in front of me and now I was wedged in from both ends. I had enough road in between downed trees to back up to an area that had fewer trees, hoping that one wouldn't fall on the truck.

It's pitch black and debris is flying everywhere and it's pouring down rain and the wind is like something I've never experienced except for when I was in a hurricane in the Outer Banks, NC.

I had my cell phone and called 911. Told her what my situation was. She said "well honey ... just sit tight and stay in the car unless it becomes too dangerous in the car, then get out of the car. Trees and power lines are down all over the county so you're going to be there for awhile."

And I was ... until 3:30am. I finally make it home because some people who lived on that road arrived with chain saws and started removing trees from the road.

Naturally, when I get home, the power is out. There are at least 3 power lines strewn across that road, along with too many trees to count and many more downed trees and power lines throughout the state. Something like 2M without power.

... in a record breaking heat wave.

So, we have well water. When the power goes out, the electric pump doesn't work, so we have no power and no water. We have animals that need water and of course, I can't survive without coffee ... all day long.

In the morning, I get into the truck to try to find water. Back on the road of devastation that I was stuck on til 3:30 am. I head towards town. Right at the end of the road, there are two huge trees that fell across the road together, parallel, but they got caught by other trees when they fell, so they formed like an overhead bridge. I didn't have a clue how stable they were, but I took a chance and drove underneath them. I made it.

Went into town and there's not a drop of water at the Food Lion. It's already been sold out, as most people around here have wells. So I grab some coffee at McDonald's and download those files I wanted ... remember the files? lol.

From Friday night until just an hour ago, no power ... in 100 degrees temperatures every day. Miserable. Finally got water from a friend's house. The animals were very happy.

Eastern U.S. swelters with heat wave, power outages | Reuters

This is the first I've ever heard of a super derecho, but I'll never forget it

Intense Storms Called a "Derecho" Slam 700 Miles of the US
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    Wow, scary stuff! Glad you are all right.
    Thanks. Really looking forward to a good night's sleep in air conditioning.
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  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    Yep, you are not too far down the road from us.....hit us near Richmond and most of my family up in NoVa.
    Pretty disrupting but its times like this that you become thankful for how lucky you are.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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      Originally Posted by KimW View Post

      Yep, you are not too far down the road from us.....hit us near Richmond and most of my family up in NoVa.
      Pretty disrupting but its times like this that you become thankful for how lucky you are.
      I feel bad for the people in DC. They are saying they may not have power restored until next weekend and in this bone melting heat, people will die there. Nothing but concrete and not much in the way of municipal/public pools. Hopefully they will have places to cool off.
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      • Profile picture of the author Sue Bruce
        Glad youre safe Suzanne.

        What an experience!

        Saw the devastation on the news. Millions without power til later in the week."Off the grid" is sounding more and more appealing.
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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          Originally Posted by Sue Bruce View Post

          Glad youre safe Suzanne.

          What an experience!

          Saw the devastation on the news. Millions without power til later in the week."Off the grid" is sounding more and more appealing.
          Thanks. Right now I'm going to appreciate on the grid (AC) tonight.
          At least I made it through it fine. Some people got killed. Trees fell on the roofs of two women's houses and crushed them. Trees fell on top of moving cars and killed some. One man (for some unknown reason) touched a downed live wire and it killed him. Some other deaths, about 17 around here, I think. So I'm lucky.
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  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    My wife said our insurance company (we lost part of our roof and some siding off the house) told her that they were aware of 13 deaths in this area so far.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    Oh wow, that's scary, particularly knowing now that some people have died. Glad to hear you and your animals are ok, even though I'm sure a bit shaken up.

    Do you live on your own Suzanne? That would have been incredibly scary on your own
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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      Originally Posted by Sheryl Polomka View Post

      Oh wow, that's scary, particularly knowing now that some people have died. Glad to hear you and your animals are ok, even though I'm sure a bit shaken up.

      Do you live on your own Suzanne? That would have been incredibly scary on your own
      Pretty much on my own. An 83 year old father doesn't really count .... lol. He kept going to the electric stove and trying to cook. Takes awhile for things to sink into his brain cells.
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    So, we have well water. When the power goes out, the electric pump doesn't work, so we have no power and no water. We have animals that need water and of course, I can't survive without coffee ... all day long.
    back up generator for the power / water supply.
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    | > Choosing to go off the grid for a while to focus on family, work and life in general. Have a great 2020 < |
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    Glad to hear you're safe - storms like that can be a scary thing.

    Power lines - I think there are a lot of people who don't realize that the wires on power poles that carry the current are uninsulated. When we see an insulated wire, we've learned to at least be a little careful. But bare, twisted cable is what they use to anchor poles sometimes, right? What's wrong with touching that?
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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      Originally Posted by SteveJohnson View Post

      Glad to hear you're safe - storms like that can be a scary thing.

      Power lines - I think there are a lot of people who don't realize that the wires on power poles that carry the current are uninsulated. When we see an insulated wire, we've learned to at least be a little careful. But bare, twisted cable is what they use to anchor poles sometimes, right? What's wrong with touching that?
      Yeah ... I know. Can't for the life of me figure why he would touch it. I tried to sneak in to my home from the other end of that road, but it was blocked with a big tree plus a wire. I backed up away from there pronto.
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      • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
        Bloody hell Suzanne that sounds like a nightmare.

        I have to say though, I would have thought cat woman would have just exited the car and flown home, or something?

        I'm very glad you're safe, you got through it and the animals are happy.
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  • Profile picture of the author waterotter
    Hydro One crews head south to help states battered by deadly storm - CityNews

    My brother is one of them.

    Best of luck to you Suzanne, and stay safe.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Glad you're OK Suzanne. Must have been a scary time riding out the storm in your pickup.

    Glad you're OK too, Kim.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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      Originally Posted by Richard Van View Post

      Bloody hell Suzanne that sounds like a nightmare.

      I have to say though, I would have thought cat woman would have just exited the car and flown home, or something?

      I'm very glad you're safe, you got through it and the animals are happy.
      ... if only I hadn't left the cat suit at home.

      Originally Posted by waterotter View Post

      Hydro One crews head south to help states battered by deadly storm - CityNews

      My brother is one of them.

      Best of luck to you Suzanne, and stay safe.
      Thanks. It's so good to have air conditioning today ... the lights blinked out twice and I nearly had a heart attack both times. It is soooo hot.

      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      Glad you're OK Suzanne. Must have been a scary time riding out the storm in your pickup.

      Glad you're OK too, Kim.
      Thanks Dennis. It was, but it would have been maybe even scarier in a small, lightweight car.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Glad you are safe - the heat is unbearable there without a/c. For the first time I can remember, the heat here in the deep South is not as bad as in states north of us.

        Because you are on a well - have you considered adding a generator sufficient to run the well pump? Not only could you water the animals whenever you had a power outage but you could sit outside in a water mist yourself and stay several degrees cooler.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jacqueline Smith
    WOW! What an adventure!

    I'm glad you (and your animals) survived.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      Glad you are safe - the heat is unbearable there without a/c. For the first time I can remember, the heat here in the deep South is not as bad as in states north of us.

      Because you are on a well - have you considered adding a generator sufficient to run the well pump? Not only could you water the animals whenever you had a power outage but you could sit outside in a water mist yourself and stay several degrees cooler.
      I've been pricing generators since this experience. We've had a few outages, but none ever lasted more than 5 hours. The electric co is calling the damage to the grid catatrosphic and indeed ... our road looked catatrosphic and photos from around the county the same. It was the strangest wind I've ever been in. It came on suddenly full force in a straight line through the county and then left within an hour, leaving the downed trees and power lines behind. Those trees were not uprooted. They were snapped like a twig, and many of them were very large. Powerful wind.

      When we got some water in, I kept myself soaked. It was the only way to get some relief from the heat, and worked pretty well, but yeah ... an emergency generator is something I'm looking into.

      Originally Posted by Jacqueline Smith View Post

      WOW! What an adventure!

      I'm glad you (and your animals) survived.
      Thanks. I'm glad it happened in the evening when my chicken and turkey flocks were battened down in their coops and the dogs and cats were inside. I did lose a whole incubator full of turkey eggs because of the power outage, but at least everyone else was ok.
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