Monday, September 15, 2008

Those crazy Ohio hurricanes

Following the news and track of Hurricane Ike last week, I expected to be watching it on CNN over this past weekend. I certainly did not expect to be watching it out my windows in Ohio. No, it wasn't officially a hurricane by any true definition of the word. But we did get treated to one hell of a destructive storm yesterday afternoon and evening.

Winds lifting shingles from the roof in my apartment complex

The remnants of Ike combined with a cold front made for quite a rare and nasty day. Sustained winds grew throughout the day and at one point were steady at 55 miles per hour, gusting to 84 in a nearby town. That's hurricane-force gusts, folks. We might get strong winds like that in front of severe thunderstorms on occasion, but nothing like we saw yesterday. The winds started to pick up around noon and remained that strong until six in the evening. As you can imagine, buildings and trees and pretty much everything down here is not built to withstand those kind of forces.

Winds blew this tree down on the house and peeled the paint right off

With the winds calm again, there is now a ridiculous amount of cleanup that has to take place. Power is out pretty much everywhere - except the office, of course. I literally live less than a mile away from work and can see the building from my apartment and it was (quite sadly) glowing like a Christmas Tree last night. I, on the other hand, have been without power for over 24 hours now and they're saying it could take until this coming weekend (5+ days) to restore it to everyone. The county and city declared a State of Emergency this morning, followed by the Governor doing so for the entire state this afternoon. I read that only 1/3 of the traffic lights in the state of Ohio are working right now.

Metal siding that was ripped from a pole barn next door

Trees two to three feet in diameter are snapped in half and collapsed on top of power lines all over the place. I know of at least a couple people at work who have had (or have family members who have had) trees fall on their houses and cause major damage. Shingles and siding were ripped right off in my apartment complex. It's not a pretty sight down here and there are very few restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, and other useful businesses open right now. So if you don't see much from me or have trouble reaching me this week, now you know why!

Video from the wind storm

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