Monday, August 23, 2010

We Don't get tornadoes in Idaho

But we sure do get some nasty wind storms every now and again, which could be just as damaging as some tornadoes. The storm started at about 9pmish last night and lasted until about 11pm. Wind got as fast as 70 MPH in our neck of the woods. Tim and I had to go out there and round up some of the kids' toys that were flying about like the pools, plastic toys, chair cushions, trashcans, etc. At one point I told Tim I was worried that the branches from the trees in the backyard would fall on the power lines (that we unfortunately, have a lot of in our backyard) and he assured me they wouldn't. He left to go on a ice cream run for mom and I and I kid you not, 5 minutes after he left a big branch from one of the trees fell on the power line.

At first it wasn't a big deal, but then it started sparking and it didn't sound right. So I called Idaho power but it said if there was potential danger from the storm to call 911, so I did. I told them what was going on, and they said that if it hadn't caught on fire, to go inside where it was safe and to call them back if it ever did catch on fire. So I hung up, and right when I did that the branch caught on fire. I called them back and told them and they told me they would send someone out.

An hour passed as Tim and I waited and watched apprehensively with our neighbors as the branch would catch on fire, die out, and catch on fire again. Sparks were flying every witch way and we were just waiting for one of the houses or the other trees to catch on fire as well. Finally, Tim asked me to call back 911 to see what the ETA was. They said that they had closed out that case, because I said it wasn't on fire. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!??

So, they reopened it. At this time it was 1.5 hours since the original call. I tried calling Idaho power, but they were so busy it just kept saying "the line is busy, for only 95 cents.....". At about 2 hours into the ordeal another branch fell on the power lines (one that was only an eighth of the size of the first one), and it must have hit just the right way because it was lit up by electricity and it sounded like the poor stick was electrocuted. After about 30 seconds of that there was a HUGE pop and then the power went out. I'd like to say thankfully, because at this point we didn't have to worry about the neighborhood going up in smokes. But it caused a whole different realm of problems.... no a/c, no lights, food spoiling, kids freaking out. It was not fun, and not comfortable for the remainder of the night.

But no houses burning down.

And it was at this point, or about 10 minutes later the fire department rolled up. Yes, 2 hours after the fact. We found out that over 40,000 homes were without power tonight so we were not alone