Creativity Magazine

Dreaded Derecho

Posted on the 02 July 2012 by Msadams @HilaryFerrell

D.C. derecho 620x394 Dreaded Derecho

I had planned on using today’s post to give you a wrap up on our vacation in Disney World.

Mother Nature on the other hand had quite the different plan.

Let me set the scene.

We woke up on a beautiful sunny day in Disney’s Bay Lake Tower on Saturday morning, thankful to finally have a sunny day after says and days of torrential rain. It was our last day in Disney but we were just happy it wasn’t raining.

I turned to my nightstand to check out my email and the land of Facebook and Twitter, only to be greeted by frantic postings from family and friends about the previous night’s storm.

Apparently, while we were sleeping a derecho, with winds up to 70 mph had swept through Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and DC, leaving over 1 million people without power.

We were hopeful that we would have power since we didn’t lose it during the blizzard or Hurricane Irene but we were worried about damage from the storm as our entire neighborhood is filled with old trees.

We immediately called our landlord who told us our building was fine (thank the Lord) but our power was out. Relieved that everything was unscathed we went about enjoying our day in Disney and prayed that our power would be back by the time we got home.

Our flight arrived in DC at 8 that evening. We took our time in the air conditioned airport, suspecting that we surely were still without power. This suspicion was later confirmed on the metro ride home as we railed through community after community in complete darkness.

When we arrived at our front door, we knew the power was out–no front door light. Once we got inside, we knew there was no way that we could stay. While we have gas cooking and water, our ac was out and the apartment had reached 90 degrees.

Not only had our area been wrecked by the freak storm but we were also facing a record setting heatwave with temperatures in 100s for days on end.

Luckily, our relatives had power and were gracious enough to let hs crash in their cool air. When all was said and done, we didn’t end up getting to bed until well after midnight.

When we woke up the next morning, it wasn’t until after 11, guess we were a little tired. Once we freshened up, we headed up to my parents’ house. They had been without power for over 24 hours and they weren’t home from Disney yet. So we headed off for a freezer recovery mission.

My parents lost the entire contents of their freezer during last year’s hurricane so we were hoping that we could prevent it from happening again. My parents’ house is notorious for losing power so we figured they would be out for at least a week.

When we pulled up at their house, amazingly their porch light was on and they actually had power. So after calling my Mom with the good news, we started on the hour plus drive back down to our apartment, fingers crossed the entire time.

When we got to our neighborhood, things were already looking bad. There was a new traffic light out so odds were we were still in the dark. Unfortunately, the ominous signs were true. We still had no power.

At this point, it was already 5 o clock and blazing hot in our apartment. Our bags were still packed from Disney and our fridge was starting to smell.

We spent the next few hours figuring out a plan and cleaning up the place. We were lucky enough to have several friends and family members offer up their homes (thanks so much to everyone for their kindness. We really appreciate it!)

Once we had a plan, we ventured out to the store to stock up on food, mainly anything that wasn’t perishable. We had spent the last week eating out and I physically couldn’t imagine eating out anymore so we had to make do.

We got back to our house around 8 and unpacked everything. With everything in its place, we gathered up our stuff to head out and get some dinner. Just as we were about to head out we heard the magical sounds of power.

I instantly starting dancing around. It’s amazing how happy power can make you.

We spent the rest of the night relaxing in the cool air and rushing to do laundry (just in case we lost power again).

We are super grateful that our power came back so quickly because the initial estimate was that it would take up to a week. We really dodge a bullet.

I know there are still lots of people without power so I’m sending prayers your way and offering up our home if you need anything. We are also sending tons of prayers to the utility workers, who are working so hard in this awful heat. We hope that you continue to stay safe.

Thanks again to my Aunt and Uncle for letting us crash at their house. Love you both. We are so blessed to have such gracious family members so close.

I hope all of you stayed safe in the crazy storm.

Anyone else have a crazy derecho story?

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