Doral Chenoweth III | Dispatch
Last Sunday, from about 3pm to 9pm we were blown witless by dry, swirling winds of 60-75 mph; roughly equivalent to a Category One hurricane—but without the moisture. Greetings from Hurricane Ike!
No rain but just gusty, powerful winds for 6 or 7 hours! No one seems to remember anything like it before.
News reports claimed 286,000 Franklin County residents were without power. Many are still in the dark, including much of my neighborhood. Despite AEP’s best efforts the last remnant may not have their power restored until Sunday, the 21st.
Six hours of the eerie sounds of cracking and crashing tree limbs, power lines snapping and sparking on the ground, electrical transformers blowing out like small bombs and things flying through the air that we are unaccustomed to seeing in flight.
Six hours of anxiety.
DORAL CHENOWETH III | Dispatch
It was as if France’s famous mistral wind had somehow reached across the ocean. In his novel A Year in Provence Peter Mayle talks about local legends of the mistral inducing madness. Now I have a sense of how that could be.
We were very fortunate—our power stayed on; but many of our neighbors were not so lucky. We had virtually no damage, just a few twigs down. Most of our trees are young and flexible and healthy. Here at Nine Pines, we invest in regular trimming, fertilizing and when necessary anti-bug and anti-disease treatments to keep them in good condition.
In our subdivision dozens of bright orange extension cords lay across streets like tiny speed bumps as neighbors offer neighbors the means to keep their basic vital systems running-freezers, refrigerators, health appliances—even fish tanks. It’s an ill wind indeed that blows no one good.
Part of the shock of this event was the strangeness of it. No flooding, no eight-foot snow drifts, no freezing or super-hot temperatures and yet the county has been paralyzed for nearly a week. Some schools and businesses are still closed.
COURTNEY HERGESHEIMER | Dispatch
It makes you think.
When we don’t prune in the garden, Nature does it for us through wind, ice, hail, fire, and flood. One way or another, the boughs will be shaped or strengthened. If we don’t prune away the stress and plow under the useless in our lives, pain will do it for us. Make no mistake; I think pain is a wretched gardener. Her cuts stun and sting. But after pruning, and preferably voluntary, we’re able to discern what’s real, what’s important, and what’s essential for our happiness. – Sarah Ban Breathnach
One other side effect—look for a baby boomlet mid-June 2009 with a greater than expected number of the little tykes named Ike or some derivative.