As is part of my morning routine these days, I was checking the weather for our area. I could see a line of strong thunderstorms headed our way. It looked like it would be a couple hours, so I continued working on bring up some servers in Houston (likely brought down by the same storm). It was definitely coming through though and it looked to be more than the normal thunderstorm. The kids were still sleeping and soon it would be breakfast & then school time.
In general, we rarely watch broadcast TV or listen to the radio (preferring Netflix and MP3s), so we don’t get the hazardous weather notifications. About mid-morning, our cell phones started buzzing with a tornado warning for the area. The sky grew darker, the wind was picking up and we could see lightning in the distance. Again our phones buzzed with another tornado warning. Watching the radar, I could see that we were minutes away from the arrival of the storm. At this point, it looked like 10pm outside. The sky was completely dark.
The entire family was here at home. Work, school and home emergency preparedness was rolled all into one. Following the instructions in the tornado warning, we moved everyone away from the windows and into the interior ground floor room (which was easy with a single story dwelling). I powered down our computers/server. Emma had her flashlight in hand. I took this time to discuss the reason for being prepared is because of the risk (high probability) of adverse conditions and not just the existence of those conditions. Seemed that everyone felt at ease even as the wind dramatically pick up in speed.
Just about that time, the electrical power went out. We could hear the buzzing of battery backups (we have several) around the office and living room. I walked around and turned those off (with the exception of the cable modem and router). We were able to track the storm and see discuss topics that the kids would bring up. A lot of sarcasm as would be expected. The whole weather event lasted about 30 minutes and within an hour the power came back on.
We were fortunate as there was little damage to our property. It was primarily a lot of limbs down and only one section of our fence. The bird feeder survived as did my grill. After work, I picked up the limbs and toured my lot. During my evening run I could see that there were quite a few trees down around the neighborhood. A few very large trees came down, but fortunately I only saw one house sustain damage (and it was cosmetic). Most people had already pilled up the limbs along the road.
Looking back on the events of the day, it was good that we were able to walk through the weather event together as a family. We were able to discuss things with them and respond to their own reactions to the extreme weather. I felt reassured that our cell provider sent out the notifications to our phones. Overall it seemed that it was a good dressed rehearsal for other emergencies that might come up in the future.
Had a little problem with my road bike the other day. My front wheel slipped down into a slot between two sections of concrete and scratched the aluminum rim of my bike. Fortunately I was moving very slowly and managed to get my foot unclipped before hitting the ground. Surveying the damage, it looked pretty bad. There was some pronounced scratches all around the front rim on the left side. With lots of burrs to catch the bottom side of the break pad, it wasn’t even useable anymore. Continue reading Working on My Bike Rims→
What started as a pretty moderate summer has really turned hot during the month of August (and the later part of July). The temperatures are up close to 100°F with the humidity close to 90%. When you put those together, you get a series of warning by the National Weather Service. There have been several heat exposure warnings. Seems like we get at least a month of this weather every year and sometimes two months of it.
I’m not big on watering the grass in the lawn as it just seems counter-intuitive, but I like to make sure that my trees get enough. Last thing that I want is a weakened tree right next to my house. The grass around them will get a little freebee out of it. Connie’s had to take extra care in watering her new landscaping though. It hasn’t had time to establish a good root system yet.
Staying hydrated has been my big issue these past few weeks. With cutting the grass, running and riding my bike, it’s been difficult to drink enough water to just to replace what I lost. On top of that, it also necessary to keep those internal body temps down during the long runs / rides. I’ve come back feeling pretty weak a couple times and thankfully I haven’t had any problems during an outing. Regardless, it’s something to keep an eye on during these hot weather waves. Remember, stay hydrated. Come on Fall!
On Sunday, Hayden and I were out riding our bikes in 70+ F weather. It was a great ride though maybe not the fastest one, I had an awesome time visiting with Hayden. The sun was shining and we were in short sleeve and shorts. Monday the temperature dropped 30 degrees over the course of the day and now we have freezing precipitation and a freeze warning. Go figure.
It’s pretty bad timing for those heading out to the parades in the area. Although memorable, it will most likely be remembered for all the wrong reasons. It looks as though New Orleans will be spared the worst of it and it will just be a cold and raining day (instead of sleet and ice).
Seems that the trees, grass (or weeds in our yard) and bushes are trying to figure out what’s going on with this start and stop Spring. On that bike ride Sunday, I noticed that many of the trees were budding and flower bushes blooming. Not sure how this will effect them, but hopefully it doesn’t get too cold and damage the buds. Before we know it, Summer will be upon us and this will all be a fond memory.
The mail came early today (about 4 hours) as the USPS was trying to get ahead of the weather. I’d say they’ll probably make it as it is just now starting to sleet and we picked up our mail some time ago. I would expect that the FedEx and UPS are also trying to get their priority packages delivered (just saw a truck pass by). From the look of the driveways of my neighbors, most people stayed home from work today. For me, it’s just another day working at home. We’ll see how the weather progresses, but hopefully it will be a non-issue.
Update: Yes, the interstate system was shutdown yesterday. It remains closed today with a lot of the other major roads. Our neighbors are home again today though when you look around here it seems kind of silly. I suppose that’s the real danger though as people just assume that all roads are just like their neighborhood roads and hit those ice patches. The kids were bummed that we didn’t get a lot of snowfall (only the little flakes mixed in with the sleet). We’ll eventually make another trip to Colorado and they can enjoy some real snow.