Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tales from life in a disaster area.

Still here, just too busy to spend much time online.  I'm reading a post here and there, but with the aftermath of the tornados, the end of school and a wicked stomach bug going around, life is a little bit surreal at the moment.  The tornados really didn't impact us much.  The power grid is still fragile, so the fridge is clean and mostly empty and there is almost nothing in the freezer but ice.   The cars are always full of gas now, because  full tanks of gas mean when power goes out and the gas stations can't pump, we can drive to a hotel with air conditioning and hot water.  Cause hot showers are the most wonderful thing ever.  And the air is set to 76.  Now to some, 76 might seem cool enough, but in the deep south, it's not the heat, it's the humidity that's the problem.  76 is just barely cool enough to keep the walls from molding, let alone the people.  And once that starts, it almost can't be stopped.

We spent some more quality time in the basement last night.  We bolted out of bed around midnight, grabbed clothes and cats and ran for cover.  Pretty sure the circulation was directly overhead before the sirens went off, but it never descended, so no damage.  We knew what was coming so most everything necessary had already been moved to the basement.  Getting kinda sick of the whole process.  This will slow down a bit soon, right?

Last night got me thinking about April 27th.  I found this map with all the warnings from the day. 

Tornado Warnings.............................92
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings...31
Flash Flood Warnings..........................7

We were in the basement off, but mostly on, from about 5am to well after 7pm, three waves, each one did damage somewhere.   Even the National Weather Service people here in town took shelter for a while.  Man, I do not want to live through that again.

And here is the latest tornado track map.

We watched the EF5 go past.  It was dark green and calm at our house, but we could see the intense lightening move across the horizon to the north.  It was rain wrapped, but you could tell where it was.  All our friends in that area survived, but a lot of people didn't.  And loads more are homeless, living in tents and under tarps next to the rubble of their homes.  It's surreal how life goes on for us, while so many so close are in such pain.

That EF5 is the one that took out all the feeder lines from the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant, which then caused the plant to lose load and perform an emergency shut down, just like it was supposed to, no problems. Right now we are still our getting power via a couple of big orange extension cords from Tennessee.  All I can think of is A Christmas Story, the extension cord with all the cords plugged in, and all the sparks.  We are buying a gas grill and three solar showers.  Oh yeah, not doing the charcoal grill thing again.

Last night, before the storms hit, the guy on the radio read the weather and then said., "OK.  Seriously, do you have batteries in your radio?  Are your flashlights powered up?  Lets all stop and get some batteries on the way home.  And get some gas while you're at it."  Yeah, good advice.


Gene Black said...

Ha ha... In addition to the full tank of gas, I have spare batteries on hand AND a couple of oil lamps.

The solar shower is a great idea, I need one of those too.

pj said...

Oil lamps, Wonderful idea! And I know many of us started dreaming about hot showers after day 3!

Looked for you last night at the Mohr4's farewell concert. We only knew them a short time, but we'll miss them.