Ogden's Windstorm

Yesterday was one of those days where I had a million things that I needed to get accomplished.

But I completely underestimated Ogden's windstorm. . . . and the impact it would have on my day.

Photos from standard.net.

6:39 am- Rebecca posts on Facebook that the wind had woken her up early in the morning.

7:30 am- We look out the window and see that our garbage and recycling bins have been knocked over and that trash is being blown up and down the street.

8:15 am- Phone call from preschool teacher, canceling preschool; her power had been out since midnight.

8:20 am- Phone elementary school and is told that there is no power outage there; school will be held as normal.

8:30 am- Steve drives Rachel and Lucy to school.

8:45 am- I restart a load of laundry for the fourth time. Power keeps flickering on and off and we finally turn off all lights and unplug desktop computer.

9:15 am- Steve gets call from server saying that he doesn't feel comfortable going outside in this weather. (Steve and I laugh. But I think it is actually still laughable once you know which server it was.)

9:19 am- I post on Facebook that my friend should bring her little twin babies over to my house to stay warm.

9:21 am- Our power goes out. My laptop is out of batteries and my phone is at less than 50 percent.

9:45 am- Steve assesses damage to yard. Plastic has been blown off hoop house, and wind is still far too strong to put back up. Trash cans blow over for a second time.

10:30 am- Drive Steve to Fresh Market to pick up some things for the restaurant.

10:40 am- Get out of the car to take this picture of downed tree blocking traffic on Harrison; wind is still crazy strong and I get hit in the face with a stick.

Quite a few peripheral roads are closed due to downed trees and power lines.

10:50 am- Start seeing pictures on Facebook of smashed cars, etc. Read about a friend whose windows in their Pilot were blown out by the wind. Read post from Ogden Police warning people to drive carefully because there are lots of power lines down. Or better yet, stay home. We are told to expect 24-48 hours before power is restored.

11:00 am- Look over at van parked twenty feet away from me in front of Sonora Grill and watch it sway back and forth and feel my Pilot rock back and forth. Think to myself what I would do if van flew up and slammed into me.

11:08 am- Watch things blow around outside. Hear sirens from ambulances and fire trucks. Send text message to Steve saying that maybe he should close the restaurant.

11:20 am- Drop off Adam at neighbor's house so he can go play at the gym with his friend, Madey. (I know that sounds like a strange thing to do and I really did try and talk them out of it, but they love going to the daycare at the gym. Gold's Gym had power and was open, so Madey's mom still had to teach her cycling class.)

11:30 am- Drive around neighborhood to look for major damage and check on some neighbors to see if they need any help.

12:00 pm- Go to Rebecca's house to charge computer, cell phone, eat lunch, etc. Pass this sad site at Beus Park on the way:

1:02 pm- Steve posts on Facebook: We have been getting a lot of phone calls today. Sonora Grill has power and is open for business! The wind has died down enough to drive so come down and enjoy one of our lunch specials starting at $6.99. Come charge your cell phones, use our wi-fi, and stay warm. You can even bring your hair dryers and curling irons and get ready in our restrooms!

3:20 pm- I leave Rebecca's house to pick up kids from school and soon realize that it takes a very long time to drive across town when all of the traffic lights are out. Slowly learn to avoid main roads and approach busy intersections from peripheral roads to get through intersections faster.

3:50 pm- I finally make it to the elementary school to pick up Rachel, Lucy, and neighbor kids.

4:15 pm- I arrive home to a chilly house and turn on the gas fireplace. Warn kids that they must not open the refrigerator or the freezer. I am very concerned about the $12 worth of ice cream I bought from Farr's the night before.

4:35 pm- Decide that there's not much to do at home without power and get ready to go to the gym. Pack clothes to shower, but drive by neighbor on the way who informs me that we have a gas water heater, so we should have plenty of hot water at home.

5:02 pm- Neighbor texts me to say that power is back on. (Nope, not ours.) I walk on the treadmill and watch some awesome coverage of the windstorm.

6:53 pm- Return back home to a very dark house. Lucy is scared. And to be honest, our block is a little spooky when it's pitch black. Quickly gather pajamas for the kids and drive back to Rebecca's house to eat dinner, bathe kids, and make cookies.

8:45 pm- Pick up Steve from Sonora Grill.

9:00 pm- Steve calls around to check on people in our ward and tries to coordinate some sleeping arrangements for employees without power or other sources of heat.

9:15 pm- I put Adam and Kaleigh to bed. (Adam was our bravest child and went to bed clutching his cute little lizard flashlight.) Rachel and Lucy get set up to sleep in sleeping bags in front of the fireplace.

9:21 pm- I take temperature reading of milk in refrigerator: 55 degrees.

9:30 pm- Steve declares that our garden is ruined. Dreams of eating fresh lettuce in December are crushed. He goes back to work.

10:20 pm- Steve is on his way home and tells me that the Christmas Village looks crazy bright.

10:29 pm- I post on Facebook "Dear Neighbors: your houses all lit up with bright Christmas lights seem to be mocking us." It was very odd to be wearing headlamps and crowding around the fireplace while our neighbors across the street had full power.

10:35 pm- Rachel and Lucy continue to have a great time eating ice cream while Steve and I quickly go through refrigerator and freezer. Milk, meat, and leftovers all get thrown away. Vegetables, cheese, and condiments get moved outside. Our fridge is emptied.

10:47 pm- Power comes back on!

. . . . .

So that was only thirteen hours. I am quite embarrassed of how disrupted our life was by not having power for half of a day.

I spent today being very appreciative of all of the conveniences I enjoy because of electricity. I have new motivation to wash the dishes and start the laundry at night before going to bed, instead of waiting until the morning like I usually do. A sink overflowing with dirty dishes and mountains of dirty laundry is not a good way to start a power outage.

And I feel badly for those who are still without power. I delivered dinner and firewood to some friends who have been without power for over 40 hours now. They are at home with their brand new baby, just four days old.

I called Steve right after I left their house and told him that I was actually a little jealous. Everyone was sitting on the couch and the fire was crackling and it was just so cozy. And my friend has a way of slowing life down to a pace that allows you to feel and see and notice things.

I clearly need to take some lessons from her.

P.S. Our insurance agent called us today to check on us to see how we were doing and ask if we had any damages. Impressive customer service!


blakeandcourt said...

That is pretty crazy! We had some wind out here but nothing like that. I would be terrified to have that kind of wind...we have several HUGE trees in our yard that I have been paranoid about someday falling on our house. Mabe it's time to finally get them trimmed...

Kayli said...

Ho.Ly.Cow. Those pictures were impressive. I have a sister who lives in Ogden and she had some crazy stories too. Nature can be sooo wild! I sometimes think it's the one thing that in our advanced-technology age that keeps us humble. Not much we can do to keep the wind speeds down. I'm glad you're all alive and well and with power!

@udj said...

Those are some crazy pictures. It is amazing how we can be protected, safe, and warm both physically and spiritually in the comfort of our own home, while the world is disrupted by all sorts of storms. I wouldn't have learned that if I hadn't had a tiny baby that I was not about to take outdoors.

I am indeed grateful for you, as well as activities for some restless boys, two delicious meals, and firewood to help keep those comforts kindling.

You are awesome Emily!

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