Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Remnants of Hurricane Ike Hit Southern IN

We knew it was going to be windy today but as the morning progressed it got worse and worse until we had sustained winds of 50 mph with gusts up to 75 mph. The worst hit between 2:00 and 3:00 pm. We were supposed to have our Main St. Picnic today and that got called off when the set up crew arrived at 1pm and found the tent wrapped around a tree on the grounds of the Culbertson Mansion. One guy was standing under a tree there and decided to move. One minute later, the tree fell down in that exact spot.

Early on, there was a transformer that blew after a tree fell two houses behind us taking a power line with it. That produced a bit of smoke and I called 911. The wind blew the fire out, fortunately.

Then this afternoon we had a big scare. A limb had fallen next to our neighbor's house and taken a power line with it and was leaning against his roof. All was okay until our power went back on, having been out for about 3 or 4 hours, and ignited that tree limb. His next door neighbor happened to be outside and smelled it and called 911. They arrived and said nothing could be done, they couldn't even put the fire out if it became full force. It was really scary. I started packing up the scrapbooks and cds of pictures just in case we had to evacuate as they couldn't guarantee it wouldn't spread to our house!

Fortunately, it blew the transformer with another very loud kaboom and they were then able to extinguish the smoke with water. Meanwhile, we were getting very hungry having just had some cheese and crackers for lunch since there was no power! I called around and eventually reached KFC and they said the lines were to the back of the dining room and around the building in the drive thru! Many places were closed. We never did make it out especially when Tim discovered the scroll on the tv advising no one but emergency personnel to be out and if they were they could be ticketed! I finally gave in and made a casserole and some cookies. I took some over to my neighbor who was still without power.

Tim and I went out to survey our area tonight and man, it was not good! We had heard talk of the St. Mary's Catholic Church steeple leaning and the bells falling in to the lobby, a tree hitting the carriage house of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, awnings damaged downtown at businesses and we saw it all. It wasn't pretty. Many trees are down, uprooted, etc. Huge old trees. The only damage we had were two potted plants that blew off and the pots broke...sigh....but we are very thankful that was the extent of it.

Sadly, mom found out from her neighbor, as she was here with us, that her beautiful weeping willow in the back yard was uprooted and had landed on her porch roof. He said a few shingles were blown off too. He couldn't really tell if the tree had hit her house roof too or just the porch roof. So, she has to face that soon but couldn't go today with the driving restrictions and no traffic lights working on the main roads to her house. He did mention gutter damage and glass broken from tables on the porch. Sigh....

I haven't experienced such winds and weather (it never really did rain) since 1978 when a tornado came directly through our street back in VA. This was pretty scary today. The weather people finally admitted that they had only been predicting 25 mph winds and they did hit hurricane force (Category 1) today, as well as what a tropical storm and tornado would yield. There are power outages to over 450,000customers in Louisville and So IN, the hospitals in downtown L'ville have no power and are using generators and they don't expect it to be fully restored for at least a week. Many schools are closed tomorrow. State of emergencies have been declared all over.

I am glad today is over and that we are all safe and well. We have a lot to be thankful for that is for sure.

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