Monday, July 02, 2012

Storm and aftermath

Post derecho sunset, Tilghman Island
by J J Cohen

Shortly after I composed this blog post on a house held by too much calm, Wendy and I took off for the little town of Saint Michaels on the Chesapeake Bay. It's not very far from this Green World I wrote about in May. We had an anniversary to celebrate, and wanted to be away from the stillness of the house for a while.

We knew a line of powerful storms was sweeping eastward, but had no idea how fierce a derecho could be. Here is a time lapse of the storm's progress via radar: you can see it sweep across West Virginia, where our two kids are at camp (they huddled in a shelter while it struck; they still do not have power in those mountains), onwards to DC (where it battered trees to the ground that took our electric wires with them), then across the bay to where we were staying. The derecho lost some of its force by that time, but when the storm hit we heard a relentless keening wind, and saw more lightning than we've ever witnessed. We returned yesterday to a warm house that by some miracle suffered no damage, but we don't know when electricity will be restored. The power company's website says Wednesday at noon, but they are notoriously unreliable. And just at the entrance to our neighborhood a large tree is leaning against the wires and about to take them down; that will make matters much worse.

So I'm at my office, working on my introduction to Prismatic Ecologies, but also preoccupied with thoughts of Alex and Katherine in the mountains. We get a daily update from the camp that assures us all is well, but it's hard not to be anxious. Realistically, I know they will come filled with joy at the experience: there is something bonding about such intensities of experience. And I trust that they are being very well taken care of. Yet a part of me wishes they were here: hot, bored, tired, complaining no doubt, but here.

Keep your fingers crossed that the power company restores electricity quickly. The DC area is experiencing a heat wave, and there are many elderly people who have stayed in their homes. We don't need the death toll from the storms rising through the lingering warmth.


Anne said...

Even the sky looks bruised in your photograph. I'm so relieved that your children are safe - now for this word and shape and phenomenon of "derecho," described as having the shape of an archer's bow!

Anonymous said...

waiting for news of my daughter's safe arrival in Amman - I wish she was in ..... 'summer camp'...... but however hard I wish I cannot stop her growing up and away.