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Monday, May 2, 2011

What a week.

Since most of the people that follow me know that we are ok. I just had to share the crazy week we've had in detail. It's one that I don't particularly want to ever replay, as I'm sure most of North Alabama would have to agree.

Wednesday morning around 5 am the first crack of thunder rolled through our house. Which leads to a set of feet running down the hall as he is crying all the way. I never "liked" thunderstorms as a kid, but I don't remember having the level of fear that Will does. By 7:15 am that first line had moved through, with just some strong winds and rain, mostly what we usually do around here. So I figured before the next line hits Will and I were going to run to the grocery store and get our groceries. Which entailed going to Target and Publix. As I was walking out of Publix putting the groceries in the car the sirens start going off, again. We headed home and get home before anything hit.

We made it through that round, and the news was reporting that we would have a lull of storms until that night.... wrong. At 11 am, me being the crazy pregnant girl decides that I have to have Subway sandwich for lunch. So Will and I head out to Subway which is all of 2 miles away. Standing in line while the wonderful Mr. Gordon (who give Will free cheese) is making our sandwich, the sirens go off, again. We get home again, and can see some dark clouds coming. We are watching our news waiting to see where the warning was coming from.

Then all of a sudden it starts to Thunder, no lightning, just thunder and got so dark. I got creeped out. So Will and I grab the dogs and head downstairs, I put Will in the shower and am shutting the doors when I heard the wind pick up a little. Will came out of the shower looking for me, and standing in our den downstairs we watched as our huge grill was moved about 4 feet, it was hailing and the strongest wind I've ever seen. Then comes the fun. All I hear is the crunch, snap, and THUD. I figured it was just a big limb from the old trees we have in our yard. And within 2 minutes it was gone. I went into our dogs room and went to turn on the light... NO POWER. Looking out the window to try and find which tree lost the limb.. I found this:
The left side of the picture is the larger tree that took out our power, and then you can see 2 others snapped and covering the road.

A few minutes later my mother in law called and asked if we were ok, because she was watching on the news and said they had "significant rotation" on Weatherly (which is 2 blocks south). They also said that they were registering 90-100 mph winds. By my guess it may not have touched down but was probably tree top and around our house. Since around our house and down behind our house had all the trees down and on peoples houses.

Michael finally made it home in between pop ups and I convinced him that we needed to go buy a generator before they were sold out. I'm glad we did, we bought the last one that the store had, and it was our lifeline and sanity for the proceeding 5 days. We got it set up and shortly after heard the sirens blaring again, we have the radio on and hear there was a confirmed tornado cross the parkway and around lily flagg rd. (2 blocks north of us). A hired company had come around and was cutting the power lines free from the tree in our yard that fell. Michael ran outside and made them come inside our house, because I couldn't have lived with myself if I hadn't made them come in and something had happened. One of the workers said he heard the roar, but it never even rained or got windy. While they were cutting the tree, they noted that our power line was still connected at the line by the road, which meant that our power line was ripped out of our meter box attached to the house, but caught in the pole that goes to the top of the house.

After they left we sat in the dark listening to the sirens going off time and time again. Until one tornado took out power to TVA line (local nuclear plant) that supplies power to Northern Alabama. Which took down power to thousands of homes, including the emergency siren system. At one point Madison County had 5 tornado warnings going off at once. I've never seen or felt more helpless and scared not only for us, but for everyone as you listen to the radio calling out the same towns and communities that had already been hit and not even have the security of the sirens anymore. The radio is what kept many people safe and informed of where all these storms were tracking. By 9 pm, the last storm cell had come through our area. Only 14 hours of warnings. Will had only had a 20 minute nap, in the car as we drove to buy the generator. We were all exhausted. We finally crashed.

Thursday we woke up and started trying to check on all our friends to make sure they were ok and no damage. Then we proceeded to start cleaning up. We had 4 men come by and see the trees down covering the road from our yard, and offered to help cut 1 of them down. It was such an amazing generous offer. Yes, I did take them up on it, and am so grateful. After all the storms we were very lucky to have 4 days of beautiful weather. Since we had to spend most of the day outside, cutting up trees and dragging them to the road. Yes before you scold me, I'm 15 weeks pregnant and was dragging branches and trees to the road. I did take all the smaller ones. But I couldn't just sit there and watch Michael do all this by himself.

Today came the fun part. Overnight our section of Huntsville got power. We had already called an electrician and confirmed what was wrong and he was coming today to repair the problem. He showed up at 8 am, and went to check the pole... The wires in the pipe were live and very dangerous. He said that someone had to have been watching over us because if 2 of the 3 wires had touched each other or the metal pipe they were enclosed in, it would have caused an explosion to the side of our house. So he clipped them, and we tried to call the Utilities to report a live wire. With no luck, my father in law called his friend whose a police officer and he came over, and somehow called it in and Huntsville Utilities to come over. But while they were here to cut the power to the line, they figured the would just go ahead and restring the power line. Meaning we got power back after 5 days.

We are very lucky that no one we know was seriously hurt. And only 1 of our friends had some damage to her house. Which I'm hoping insurance or FEMA is going to help her and her family out

Here are some photos of the trees and cleanup that we have gotten to do right now.
This is the tree that goes WAY back, because I couldn't climb over the tree to go back and see how tall it was. In this picture you can't even see the end of it. But it fell within a foot of hitting our barn.

This is what's left of our plum tree. To give you an idea. This pile is eye level with me, and I'm 5 foot 9 inches.

And this is the panoramic of the cleanup from all the trees and branches that we've cleaned up. This pile is over my head all the way down our street. And we still haven't touched the biggest tree or the one next to the barn.

So that was how my week have gone. We are very thankful and grateful for a solid roof over our head and a family that is all safe.

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