Sunday, July 30, 2006
If you've been watching/reading the news for the past couple of weeks, you know that St. Louis got hit with a HUGE storm about 10 days ago, leaving up to 500,000 people without power. (That's the latest estimate from our terrible electric company, which is called AmerenUE.) Then, just a few days later, ANOTHER storm came through and blew out the power for 200,000 MORE people! We were blessed not to lose power for more than a few seconds, but the storm was really scary. James was in the operating room in a neurosurgery, so he didn't see it, but I was home all alone, and it was one of the scariest storms I've ever seen. The entire sky turned into a huge, low black cloud...in fact, we live on the 20th floor of our building, and we were so high up in the cloud that I couldn't see the ground...I could barely see across the street! I rushed to bring my plants inside from the outside balcony, and I made it with just seconds to spare. In fact, on my last trip inside, the storm was blowing so hard that it held my screen door shut, and I couldn't get it open no matter how hard I tried. It scared me because I was really afraid that I could get blown off the balcony - the wind was really blowing that hard - it was like being inside a tornado. Between gusts of wind, I finally wrenched the door open and made it inside.
When it was finally all over, I looked outside to check the damage, and there were huge trees blown down EVERYWHERE - on top of houses, cars, and telephone lines (many of them were setting the huge trees on fire, burning houses and cars, etc.) We had a close shave - my car stays parked inside under the apartment building, but James's car stays parked on the street, and he missed having a tree fall on it by about 4 feet!! The car behind his was smashed!!!!! I copied the pictures above from a friend's blog so that you guys could have an idea of how things looked, but these pics are from after most of the damage was cleaned up, so it was really much worse. I couldn't believe that we kept our power - everyone else I know lost it for at least 4 days, many for much longer. I think that since we are on the same part of the grid as the huge hospital complex, our power lines are more protected. Amazingly, even some of the other hospitals lost power, so they had to ship their patients to Barnes. Most of the grocery stores did, too, so there wasn't alot of fresh food in town. Not that the city had refrigerators to hold it anymore.
Okay, well back to work...