First, we hopes that Mistrie Rose is okay and that there wasn't too much wind by the time this storm got to the Big Piney Woods. We have a new frog in our yard, but there's no pond. I hope Mistrie wouldn't get blown around like that!
We are furry grateful for the fact that we had a semi-warm home and food and places to sleep and water to drink and that we didn't have to be outside. We are really happy now that the heat is back on! Momma is going to take over now...
Okay, this is Mom-Bonnie and I wanted to continue in my own voice rather than dictating through Gemini and Cheysuli. We are all really grateful for what we see as our good fortune. There are so many trees down in this area. If you've never been to the Seattle area, you have no idea. We take our large firs and our large cedars for granted and there are many even in the outlying residential areas. We live in Sammamish, which is sort of the edge of civilization. We have about 35,000 people in Sammamish proper. To the east, there is the beautiful Snoqualmie Valley. Many of the people living there are living in very rural conditions, though there are a few towns. Snoqualmie is growing by leaps and bounds as people attempt to find affordable housing in this area. North Bend is no slouch either. Issaquah--once the middle of nowhere is a thriving commerical center.
I drive State Route 202 for about 20 minutes to get to my office and it's the most beautiful drive. If anyone remember's Twin Peaks, this was the route that they showed Agent Cooper driving on as he approached the main building (which is Snoqualmie Falls Lodge). I drive that route three or four days a week and I pass that lodge. North Bend is home to the "Damn Fine Cuppa Coffee" as they used to say and that diner is three blocks from my office. The trees and smell that so enchanted Agent Cooper's character are every bit as wonderful as he made out.
Unfortunately, because this is a rural area, most of the power lines are above ground. Even Sammamish, Issaquah, Bellevue and Redmond have above ground power lines. When the winds blew, a lot of those trees came down and hit the power lines.
We lost power at 8 PM on Thursday--just as Survivor started. I was hoping to make it through the show, although I was a bit surprised that we managed to have dinner at home. We pulled out the oil lamp, the flashlights a few candles that I have the glass domes for (so they give off more light) and transistor radio to hear the news. We learned that the brunt of the storm would hit a little before 11 pm. I feel asleep listening to the news upstairs. Our bedroom faces the front of the house. At about 1 PM I woke up to the sound of the wind. It was so loud you could almost feel it buffeting the house. Frequently trees would blow so hard that what little light was coming through the house, in area without power, that everything would get even blacker. It made you hold your breath. I feel for those people in Louisiana!
Komo 1000 said the wind was coming in from the Southwest and our bedroom was probably on that side of the house. We had no trees that would hit that area from the bedroom which made me feel better that the 11 large trees on our property and the two on the neighbors would probably not fall on us as we slept. One of them had the potential to have chipped the far edge of the house, but we're basically over the garage so there was a large driveway there and no real big trees.
I heard something about 2:30 that made me think that something had been hit. I got up and looked out the window and one of the 80-100 foot trees that lined the edge of the neighbor's house was no longer silloutted there. It looked as if it had fallen into the driveway of our next door neighbor. When I heard them yelling, all I thought was that it had hit something important, so Dennis and I pulled on sweats and shoes and ran outside to see if they needed something. The tree had missed the truck in the driveway, falling on the empty side. They had moved the other car a few hours earlier, worried that if one of those trees fell, they'd hit their car.
They stayed up through the storm and pulled around their cars to shine light on the trees and cut up parts of that large tree so that at least there was room for a car to drive into our culdesac. The people who lived in the house where the tree fell reported the next morning hearing a chain saw awful close by and thinking a tree must have gone down close. Were they surprised to come out and find it was one of theirs!
The morning light showed that one other tree across the street was partially uprooted. Two trees had gone down between two houses on the edge of the culdesac, but had only pulled down the fence. Another tree had fallen and hit the house behind us but hadn't broken through. She just lost some glasses. There was no structural damage to her house. The people behind us had damage to three of their cars when the tops of two our trees and the top of our next door neighbor's tree fell over--mostly in the culdesac but some of the branches hit the cars and broke the windows and likely there was some structural damage to the back of one. Our fence came down.
The woman across the street summed up the fact that although we had four large trees come down and three get topped, our culdesac was incredibly lucky. It could have been far far worse.
Through out the last two days, they have come around offering food that she has cooked over a gas grill at her sister's house. We have listened to Komo 1000 for two days straight and heard from so many people representative of the million plus homes without power in the area. People called in offering places. People with generators offered rooms. People who had power back on quickly offering their supplies to those who couldn't find them. People gladly offering information on where to find things like D batteries and gasoline and propane (though good luck on the last one!).
We feel lucky to have the power back on today. There are still hundreds of thousands of our neighbors without it. Most of them are either to the east of us or in pockets just to the west of us. I don't know if I'll be able to work next week at all as they are still saying days for North Bend to have power. Believe me, I have a lineman who's a patient. I'll be giving him a free treatment and offering one to anyone else who works with him! These guys have been out steady for three days now.
The linemen weren't out in the wind because it was too dangerous to be out in the wind--they might try to fix one thing and have another line come down and be injured. However, they were out by daylight Friday morning as soon as things calmed down enough to be safe assessing what needed to be done. Trees were mostly cleared by Friday in most areas and then power was gradually brought back on. I suspect they are working west to east so that there is power to bring into the more rural areas.
We were doubly thankful that when we looked out on Saturday morning we had a package that at first I couldn't figure out what it was and then it was like, oh my it's their bed from Latte! I really missed not having a computer at that moment to blog and say Thank you immediately! It's so perfect for Cheysuli. Right now our camera is getting recharged so it will be a few days probably before I'm caught up enough to do justice to the photos. Chey seems to know it looks nice against her fur because she's been using it more than the other two cats...:)