Saturday, June 19, 2010
The meteorologists called it a "Microburst" which is Mother Nature throwing a big fit in a small place. Like the Pond neighborhood. Actually a microburst is as powerful and destructive as a tornado but the powerful force is not circular but straight down then up and out after smashing into our sphere.
56 trees down, 14 roads closed, multiple smashed cars and houses ( not mine) and countless grand old oaks and maples splintered. 15 thousand without power, the civic center opened to provide a staging area for the Red Cross and air conditioning for those having no other way to escape 97 heat.
If you are home when the environment is crazed you have a sensory perception which tells you to get to a safe place. Pronto. It isn't just the black cloud, or the knock you down wind gusts, or the lightening screaming across the sky horizontally. It isn't even the sound of the first marble sized, then golf ball sized, then fist sized hail pounding onto your roof and threatening to break your windows. Nor is it the terrorizing sound of 75 mph winds whipping the treetops
or looking out the window to see giant trees bend down in submission to this mega force.
For me it was the change in the air.
Like all the oxygen had been sucked out of it.
Like a tsunami sucks all the water off the beaches before returning in a rush to smash all in it's path. Only this was like the skies heaving in all the air and holding it for a bit before ejecting it back to Earth in an incredibly destructive manner. It made me turn and run for a small, hallway between master bath, bed and closet. A place where doors can be closed to all areas having glass. It was not a thought, it was an instinctive reaction. During the air uptake. Just in time.
The world shook, then the rains came cascading in sheets like I have never seen. 2 inches of rain in 40 minutes is not just another thunderstorm, it is an experience.
I saw a graphic on the weather report, showing how microbursts can slap planes out of the sky.
This one slapped the daylights out of my neighborhood. And it worried the heck out of Blowfish who feared I would be home alone and maybe in an emergency situation without help. He need not have worried. I am fine, our home is fine. 2 of our grand old trees have terrible damage but probably will remain standing. The huge limbs ripped from the trunks fell onto land or street.
Not even any of the fencing is down. Ours the only street for blocks with electricity. Spared.
Amazingly, like in the movies about the end of Earth as we know it, all of my neighbors and I opened our doors and went out to assess the damage at the same time. As if it had been choreographed. There is debris everywhere, roofs, lawns,streets, drives, walkways, hanging from the Magnolia like oddly conceived ornaments. Like the big messes in Florida after a hurricane. There were neighborly calls to affirm everyones safe status and then, with no commentary we each began the clean up.