Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stormy Weather Aftermath

On Tuesday, May 24th, we had a brief but nasty thunderstorm here in VA Beach a little bit after 4 PM. The winds were so strong that I feared rocks or even tree branches might have flown through the windows. My mom was on her way home in the middle of the mess but she made hit back safely, save for being drenched. My sister was out with her kids and she made unscathed. Same with my father.

I was getting ready for work when the storm came. The power kept flicking on and off when around 4:30, it was finally knocked out for a good, long while. It wasn't just my neighborhood that was without power. A good chunk of VA Beach was without electricity. There wasn't much to do at my job because the back up lights don't give you much to see and there's only so much you can do when your power is down. I was at work for about 2 hours then was sent home.

The power gradually came back in different places. Streets lights were also off in certain intersections. Combine that with many folks in VA Beach not knowing how to drive and crossing a street becomes very risky business. I have to say though, it was one of the few times I encountered some generous people behind the wheels of a car. There have been times I've had the signal to cross and idiots have pulled out in front of me, nearly making me lose a limb or worse.

We had Papa Johns Pizza for dinner with candles lit. Fortunately, we had some flash lights with batteries so seeing where we were going was not a problem. The real struggle for me was finding something to do with no electricity.

I was a bit sleepy so it was one of the rare occasions that I climbed into bed earlier. It's been taking me a while to fall asleep lately and it was after 10 when I laid down. When I woke up, I was annoyed when I looked at my clock to find out that it was only ten minutes until 12 AM. The power was, of course, still out. I think I begrudgingly fell back sleep a little while after that realization.

The second time I woke up, it was going on 3 AM. Still no power. I did have my sansa fuze + MP3 player to listen to and I was listening to some music on that to help get me to sleep, but when you're a night owl, going to bed early is hard. Staying asleep is even harder. There was also my DS to keep me occupied. I finished Gunstar Super Heroes after about an hour of playing with one of the characters. I didn't feel like finishing it with the other because one of the stages had irked me enough for one night.

I'd heard of people reading books in the dark with the aid of a flashlight. Never thought I'd do it, but I was done gaming for the night and I had some reading I'd been wanting to catch up on. So I passed an hour's worth of time reading a Guinness Book of World Records book (more on that in my other blog). As much as I enjoy gaming, the company of a good book is quite nice and even better when you've got some good tunes to hear. It was probably one of the best parts of doing without power, the other being dinner with my mom, dad and two nieces, something I don't get to do much of since I work a lot now.

I didn't want to completely drain my MP3 player's batteries or those of the flashlight so when the chirping of the birds became more frequent and daylight ever so slowly crept in, I went to sleep for the third time. I woke up a little after 10 and the power was back on. That had to be the longest I've ever gone without power in terms of bad weather. As bad as it was, it was a cakewalk compared to the people who were struck by that twister in Missouri. Some people still don't have power, but at the very least, many of us do have our lives.  

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