Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mother Nature's Fury

The weather yesterday was fun. The day started at about 85 degrees--yes, that was the cool temperature early in the morning. After work, the car's thermometer read 110 degrees--this is on a blacktop parking lot with no shade or anything to break the heat. After driving for a couple of minutes, the temperature cooled to 102.

After work, the 3 of us joined my inlaws (MIL, FIL, SIL, BIL) for dinner at Yen Ching in Richmond Heights. At 6:30, it was still over 100 degrees. While we were eating, the power started flickering, and I assumed that the city was having brownouts from all the power consumption of all the air conditioners. Apparently not. Right as we were finishing, the power went out completely. The restaurant has no windows, but luckily they have enough emergency lights that it was merely dim and not black. We paid in cash and headed out to our cars to find that the temperature had dropped 30 degrees, there was a very strong wind, and it was starting to rain. And the sky was black.

We said quick goodbyes and hopped into cars before the deluge started. We drove home through strong wind, lightening, and driving rain. Of course, by the time we reached our subdivision, there was not a trace of the rain (the clouds, lightening, and wind-yes, water-no). As we were pulling into our driveway, friends called us to warn us that the neighborhood was without power--except that we could see our front porch lights on. Apparently 2/3 of the neighborhood was without power, but we are in the lucky 1/3.

I was finishing my conversation as I walked into the kitchen, and saw to my horror that our brand new patio table was not on the deck where we left it. Looking outside, we spotted it on the ground a full story below the deck, upside down, and missing 2 legs. We just bought the set over the 4th of July. The umbrella was also on the ground, no longer in the table, and apparently unharmed. The wierd part is that the umbrella had been screwed to a heavy stand, and the stand was still on the deck. It had not been open, but the wind must have been enough to pick up the table and umbrella, clear the deck railing, and separate the two items before dropping them on the ground. Oddly enough, the old plastic patio table hadn't blown away, and none of the flower pots on our front porch had budged (usually they go flying down the hill in storms).

We kept our power through the night, so our should may be pleasantly cool this afternoon. We may be hosting some friends whose houses are probably roasting in the 100 degree weather. I guess we have to inspect the siding and roof when we get a chance as well--if the winds could move a 6-foot long metal table, who knows what they would do to asphalt shingles. Then again, maybe the damage was limited to the table. What a wierd storm.

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