Well, gentle readers, I'm finally back. I have had extremely limited internet access for the past week or so because of the events of last Tuesday night.
You may recall that last Tuesday, I went to visit Grambi and Aunt of Ken. When I got home, I decided to jump in the pool for a while. I had only been in the pool for about 15 minutes when Mother of Ken came out to tell me that we were under a tornado warning. Since the sky was blue with just a few puffy clouds, we thought that was strange, but the weather can change quickly around there.
Anyway, we spent the evening as we usually do and I took a picture outside after the sun went down just in case a bad storm came so that I would have a "before" picture for my blog.
At about 1:00 in the morning, a relentless noise woke me up. I thought that it might have been a tornado siren, but it didn't seem loud enough, so I rolled over and went back to sleep. Thirty minutes later, I decided that I should get up and see what was going on and I ran into Mother of Ken in the hallway, coming to tell me to "get my robe and slippers" because we needed to go to the basement to take shelter.
I put on my robe and my OKAbs (better than slippers in this situation since they are skidproof and waterproof), grabbed my purse, phone, and computer, and herded the dogs downstairs to the mudroom. The power had gone out, the house was pitch black, a storm was raging outside with strong winds and lightening, and the siren kept stopping and then coming back on, but it still didn't seem very loud. It also shouldn't stop when the power goes out, which I found suspicious.
Anyway, we gathered on the steps going down into the basement, Piper freaked out and ran out the dog door and we couldn't get her to come back, and Boomer plastered his 80+ pound self between me and Mother of Ken. Pretty soon, we noticed that the dog door, which is on the north side of the house, was blowing steadily straight into the mudroom and then the ceiling began to leak. I don't know how long we stood there, listening to the rain and wind with the tornado siren going off and on, but we eventually went back into the house to wait the storm out in more comfortable surroundings since it seemed less and less likely that it was a tornado.
As we looked out the front door, the lightening revealed that several limbs had fallen from the trees in the front yard. We went back to bed around 3:00 with the siren still occasionally sounding, the rain still pounding the house, and extremely strong and loud winds. As Great Grandmother of Ken used to say, "I didn't shut an eye all night."
I had a feeling that we were going to have a lot to clean up on Wednesday morning and I was right. I got up at about 6:30 and here's what I saw:
Thankfully, we didn't have any serious damage at our house--some limbs down, lots of small branches and twigs in the yard and in the pool, and some water damage to the ceiling in the mudroom. Piper was slowly drying out after coming in from the storm soaking wet and we were all walking around like zombies because we hadn't gotten much sleep.
A little later in the morning, the rain finally stopped and I went outside to start cleaning up the yard:
Apparently, the weather antenna was struck by lightening and that's why our weather radio didn't sound. Only one of the tornado sirens sounded, also set off by a lightening strike, so there wasn't actually a tornado threat after all. It turned out that it was just a really bad storm with straight line and microburst winds that did major damage to a few buildings in town.
Here's a house up the street from ours with far worse damage than we had:
The lightening also fried the modem at Father and Mother of Ken's house, which we reported to AT&T on Wednesday. We were told that someone would come to fix it between 8 AM and 8 PM on Thursday. That did not happen. To make a long story short, it ended up taking five days, seven separate phone calls with seven different people, and a lot of patience to get it going again. Needless to say, we aren't very happy with AT&T right now.