Location: Oregon, United States

Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Storm

Well, it's time to do a little catch-up. I find that when the kids are home from school, it is harder to get quiet time on the computer. The computer is in the same room as the television, which doesn't help. In addition, the kids want to use the computer more and more lately, so I have to wait my turn. I hate waiting...

The Storm. Thursday, December 14th, we had a tremendous windstorm, with gusts up to 60 mph. The coast had gusts up to 100 mph, and waves up to 40 feet. There was also a ton of rain. I was scheduled to volunteer at HomePlate and as I got ready to leave, I happened to go in Thomas' bathroom. Water was POURING in the (closed) window from above the sill somewhere. A quick look outside leads me to believe the caulking job is faulty and couldn't hold up under horizontal rain. But no way to tell for sure, and even if that is the problem, no way to fix it until the rain stops (i.e. - June or July).

HomePlate meets in a well protected basement. The power faltered a bit, and was out for a few minutes but was then restored. I got a call from Paul while I was there, and they had lost power at the house as well. Then the woman who comes to HomePlate to pick up the leftover food to bring to a needy family arrived, and said power lines were down everywhere. This made us all a little nervous, as we had no handle on how bad it really was out there. When I left, not one traffic signal was working, and there were clumps of emergency vehicles stationed around several areas where power lines or trees were down. Creepy.

When I got home, I looked around to see how the house was faring. We have a patio just outside our family room door that is the lowest point on our property. This was flooded, and quickly approaching the sliding glass door. I tried in vain to redirect the water by digging trenches, but the ground was already saturated and this did nothing. Eeek! Where are the sandbags when you need them? (No water came in, although you can see the flood line on the door...) The power remained out until around 1 a.m. at the house, but we were one of the lucky ones that got our power restored relatively quickly. You can read all about that in the paper. To top it off, school was cancelled because several buildings were still without power. Early Winter Break!!!

That was Thursday. Sunday, the power faltered again, although there was no sign of rain. How weird is that? It was off for a bit, then back on, then off, then we had a brown-out, then it was off again. We decided that the neighbor's incredibly bright Christmas display must be taxing the system, but later checked on Paul's (conveniently battery operated wireless) laptop and discovered that a transformer had caught on fire. Actually, it exploded - one of the youth at HomePlate was a few blocks away when it happened and said the fireball was above the 100 ft. tall trees. "Intense," he called it.

We actually enjoyed the time without power and are considering going "powerless" (i.e. no phone, computer or t.v.) on a regular basis in order to preserve sanity and appreciation for one another. In theory, the kids are in favor of this as well. We'll see how it goes over when the time actually comes to turn things off...


Blogger ~kelemira of gondor said...

whats the differance between a brown-out and a black-out? lol.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Lydia said...

Young padawan, a brown-out is when the power is only kind-of working. Your lights will turn on, but it is as though you are using a dimmer switch and only have it on half-way (hence the term "brown-out" as the light appears brownish). It also wreaks havoc on things like your computer. During a black-out, you have absolutely no power at all.

9:03 PM  

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