Life in the Wight House

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Wind Storm

A huge wind storm hit our area on Friday June 29th around 9:30pm. We were watching a movie and relaxing for a camping trip when I heard the wind against the windows. My first thought was rain and I remembered the windows were rolled down on the car. So I went outside to roll them up. It was very eerie outside and fear over came me quickly. To my surprise there was no rain, just strong wind. It was completely dark with fierce lighting flashing in the distance. No sound of thunder, just lighting and the sound of the tree branches being thrashed together. I quickly drated back inside and that was when the electricity started to flicker. It went on and off a few times. The kids started to get scared so we turned on the local news and a learned that a severe wind storm had just hit Roanoke with winds clocking at 80 mph and the storm was now hitting Lynchburg. We listened to the news report for the next hour with our basement door open if by chance we needed to take cover. Once the winds slowed down the kids started to drift off to sleep. I shut the TV off about 11 and went up to bed. The next morning we had a lot of branches and leaves to clean up in our yard and a little bit of trash. Not much. After breakfast the kids and I went out, cleaned up the yard, and chated with neighbors who were going the same thing. Within an hour we had our yard picked up. And then we headed to the church because it was our Saturday to clean it.

view of our back yard

our pile of branches

As I was getting to one of the the main roads in Lynchburg (Wards) to head to the church building, I was surprised to find it extremely packed! There was a line for the McDonald's drive- thru almost two blocks long. Kroger's parking lot was jammed full and there was five car lines at each of the gas pumps at each of the gas stations on the road! All the restaurants were just as full. What in the world was going on, I thought. It was just a little wind storm, not the end of the world. After cleaning the church I started calling around and news soon spread that at least 90% percent of the city was with out power. We were one of the lucky 10% with power and Wards road was the only commercial street with power. And people were after breakfast, and ice for their freezers, and gas to leave town, and generators to turn their ACs on. It was a HOT day to be with out power. The temperature was above 100 degrees plus humidity. As the time ticked on the city ran out of ice and generators. The power company said that power would be restored in a week. We invited friends over that needed a place to stay, a place to cool down, a place to plug in their deep freezers, a place to charge their phones and laptops, or a place to do laundry. A friend dubbed us as the Wight Hotel. The kids had a blast having friends over on into the night. They thought this was the best week ever. I know the rest of the Lynchburg won't have agreed.We had one family with a new born that stayed with us all week. They were one of the last to get their power back. They were great with the kids, we loved having them. A few nights they told the kids bed stories and they taught RJ about the Periodic Table. RJ was so sad when they're power returned. But I am sure they were excited to get home.

We felt very blessed. It is funny how things work. We had been camping and since it was the end of then month our fridge was about empty. I had plans to shop on Saturday. But with the traffic jams and packed stores I decided to wait till Monday. However all our friends needed fridge and freezer storage. We were able to offer that as well as a place to stay. Some dumped their food on us and then left for the week. I ended up not shopping for another week. And then the following week we still didn't have to buy too much. It was an extra blessing on our budget.

Here are some pictures from around our neighborhood and the neighborhood next to ours.

compare this branch pile with our branch pile. This pile was by a house just one street over from ours. 

This house in on our street, they were without power for at least two weeks. A big tree had ripped the power line directly into their house, out.

This house is at the bottom of our street. This big tree luckly fell towards the street and not their house but others weren't as lucky. 

The city put stop signs up all over the place where power lights were out. People in VA don't know how to drive! They have never learned to merge onto the highways and this week we learned that they don't know that a down light means a four way STOP!

This house is not too far away from us. It was completely destroyed.  So sad.

This is the road I take just about every week to the library and other areas.  This massive tree stayed int he road for almost an entire week before the city was able to clean it up. I was surprised that it didn't hit the house across from it, some how it feel just slightly to the side.

Three weeks later there are still piles of branched in the yards, but overall most has been cleaned up and power has been restored. It was an adventure I don't want to relive. This was just a wind storm I can't imagine going through a tornado or hurricane.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

JellyStone Park

Our last few days of June were both fun and eventful. It started Wednesday night, June 27th. The weeks had been very comfortable weather wise and we found a Groupon for a great deal at Jellystone, a camping spot we had been interesting in trying out. So since the weather was perfect for camping and we knew it was going to drastically change Friday to 100 degree plus humidity, we decided to pack up and enjoy our last few days of pleasant weather camping. Jared already had Friday off, so he took Thursday off as well and we packed up and left after work Wednesday.
We had so much fun at Jellystone. Thursday we cooked breakfast; eggs, bacon, and marshmallows (the kids just had to have a fire and you can’t have a camp fire without marshmallows). After we cleaned up we headed to the flag pole where we met Yogi and Boo for the pledge. Zachery saw them arriving from a far and shouted, “I love you Yogi” but once we were close, he wouldn’t go near them.

After the flag ceremony we played a little mini golf. Zachery and Savannah got a little board and played on the nearby beach while we finished up our game.

It was getting rather Hot at this point. So we headed back to camp, changed into our swimsuits and spent the rest of the day at the pool, splash park, and racing down the water slides. It was SO MUCH FUN! And since it was Thursday it wasn’t extremely crowed.

Once we were swimmed out, we roasted Hot Dogs and smore's the drove up to Natural Bridge. We had been there before, 3 years ago when we first moved to Virginia, but we hadn’t enjoyed it at night. Once it was completely dark, they lit up the bridge with different color lights and played a recorded narrative of the Creation.  Apparently this program was developed and has been ongoing since the 1900. It was very neat to sit in a crowd of people from all walks of life listening to the first chapter of Genesis accompanied by the beauty of one earth’s natural wonders.

On Friday we took down the tent and then enjoyed breakfast in the mess hall with Cindy Bear followed by another flag ceremony. It was getting pretty hot by now, so we hurried and cleaned up the rest of our camp site and played in the pool till noon.
After lunch we went back up to Natural Bridge cooled off with ice cream, enjoyed the Butterfly area, the toy museum, and cooled off again with a tour of the nearby cavern. We drove our non-AC van back home and crashed.
Once we were all rested and comfortable again, outside of the heat, we gathered around the TV. The kids wanted to sleep downstairs (I guess they weren’t finished camping) so we pulled out the sofa bad for them. Jared and I were about to retire to bed when the storm rolled in. I remembered that the windows in the car were rolled down so I went outside to roll them up. I excepted rain, because that is what I thought I heard against the windows. Turned out I was just hearing the wind blow. I saw lighteing in the distance, I can’t describe how erie it looked and felt outside. I quickly rolled up the windows and darted for the indoors. The lights began to flicker and the TV turned off. After a few rounds of flickering lights, we turned on the news. Sure enough an 80 mph wind storm was upon us.
We stayed up till 11 glued to the TV till the storm stopped. RJ was afraid of a tornado, but was soon quieted as the storm slowed down and was fast asleep an hour after it all started.
The morning brought with it some interesting details, that we were fortunate enough to  have escaped.