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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Riders of the Storm

My goal was to get to bed early last night. I'd only had about four hours of sleep on Sunday night and I was beat. It was about 9pm that I logged off, but that was right about the time that all the local television stations broke in to announce this huge, dangerous storm was headed toward the Twin Cities. There were parts of the cell that were so filled with hail that it showed up eggplant purple on the radar.

This made me nervous. I don't like storms anyway, but this one really was something. They'd measured winds that had gusted up to 100mph in the outstate area before it reached us. After about 45 minutes or so, it became obvious that it was going to pass off to the Northwest and I wasn't going to get anything. Good, right?

Well, kind of.

You see, behind storm 1 was storm 2. At this time, it was still out in St. Cloud, but it, too, was barrelling South and this one was probably going to catch me because it was further to the west than storm 1. They estimated it would roll in around 11:15. At this time, it was 10:30 and I figured I'd better catch some sleep while I could. Storm 2 would likely wake me up and I might have to grab stuff and head for the basement. I have two folding chairs down there, so it could end up being a really long, uncomfortable night.

Of course, I was too keyed up, waiting for the imminent arrival of the second wave to really sleep, and sure enough, at 11:03, as the storm came in, I woke up.

Lots of lightning with this one again, lots of torrential rain, and lots of wind. So much wind that my hummingbird wind spinner is gone. I think it might be on the shepherd hook still, but down around the deck railing--I'm not sure, though, because even with my deck light on this morning, I couldn't see that far out and it was dark!

I never lost power--definitely a good thing since the last report I heard said about 31,000 people were without electricity. I don't make a good pioneer. I had little pellet-sized hail, but not the two inch hail that some places got--another blessing. The wind also left my trees alone--at least as far as I could see in the dark.

I spent about an hour--between 11:03 and midnight--flipping around the local television stations, trying to get the different opinions on how intense this thing was going to be. I saw that the freeway--my freeway--had flooded in a couple of places and that cars were floating. Now I have to begin worrying about the morning commute as well. Will this water drain away or am I going to end up detoured? As it turned out, it was gone when I went through although the pavement was still really wet.

As the storm eased up, I was finally able to sleep, but I'm hugely tired again today. I can also give you a report. Most annoying weather coverage: The guy who kept warning me to be "sky aware." Over and over he said it until even the anchorwomen were using it. Grrr.

Second most annoying weather coverage was the guy with the co-weatherman helping him by controlling the radar. He had to keep telling his cohort to switch views and then thanking him. It got to the point last night where if I'd heard sky aware or the name Patrick one more time, I was going to lose my mind. Good thing the storm was abating by then and I could go to sleep.

Storm damage was out there. My neighbors across the street lost two branches off one of their trees--one of them was pretty darn big. There was also other branches down as I made my way to the freeway, but we probably won't know how bad things are until the sun comes out.

And that's my story for this morning. All's well, but I'm darn sleepy.