Search This Blog

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Aftermath

Wow. What a night. And day! Let me give you a run-down of what's happened around our house in the past 20 hours or so.
John and I went to bed last night around...10:30 or so. Didn't fall asleep for awhile. I was anticipating a delay (hopefully closing) and he was dreading having to get up early so he could make it to work on time. I think that John left around midnight on his first fire call. First of many. He had only slept about 10 or 15 minutes. I woke up around 1am. I think all the scanner chatter woke me up. I went to the bathroom, then listened to the scanner as I started to fall asleep. I heard John at a structure fire. Then all of a sudden I woke up because there was this bright flash and loud noise...I don't remember what kind of noise, but it woke me up. I got out of bed and looked out our bedroom windows. Nothing. Looked out the living room windows. Nothing. Looked out the laundry room window - and saw wires down, laying in the road at the end of our driveway. I called the police department, and they said they already knew. I'm sure lots of our neighbors called too. I kept watching for awhile outside, and suddenly realized that I was seeing fire reflecting off the ice and stuff. Something was burning a little ways down the road. I opened the window and smelled the awful electric burning smell. I saw neighbors out there with flashlights, so I wasn't too worried, but I knew I couldn't leave the house because of the wires that were right in front of our driveway. Then fire broke out closer to our house, basically right behind our shed, from my view. I guess it was actually several feet away, but I was scared everything was going to catch fire! Here's a picture of the reflection of the fire behind our shed:

I spent about an hour watching this out the window. I had the portable scanner too, listening to all the fire calls. They were constant. Let me tell you, if you have a volunteer fire department in your town, give them a big thank you. They were out (atleast in Rotterdam) all night for wires down, trees down, trees into houses, structure fires, flooding and many other things. These guys worked all night, obviously with no pay, so that we could be safe. I have a new appreciation for what my husband and many other people do. They put themselves in harm's way for our benefit, and I'm so thankful for them.

Anyway, around 2am I was still in the laundry room watching the fire department watch the wires. :) All of a sudden I heard a loud cracking noise, then a huge crash and our entire house shook. I was so scared that something was going to come crashing through the roof. I walked into the kitchen and shined my flashlight out into the backyard and I saw...well, I'll show you what I saw. Bear in mind I took this picture later, when it was light out. This is the view out our kitchen window:

That's our garage on the left and that massive branch hit the roof of the garage, and hit our grill (with the blue cover). I'm thanking God that it didn't hit our house! After this fell my adrenaline was pumping and it took me forever to get in bed. I didn't sleep. I kept hearing branches fall, and getting up to check and see where they hit. John was out on fire calls until 5am, then he came home, showered, and had to head straight to work. I slept for maybe an hour after he left, but then I got a call that work was closed (yay!) and I couldn't sleep anymore. I got up and took some pictures.

This is our patio, covered with that huge branch, plus others that fell. They took out our fireplace:

Where the fireplace used to be (more of the patio):

The icy branches on the right side of the picture are my lilacs. :( I hope they bounce back. One branch was broken, the rest are just so weighed down with ice they're touching the ground:

This branch fell in our front yard around 5:30am:

Branches covering our driveway, plus the wires down:

Wires smoking and sparking (we saw lots of flames too):

Backyard view of the back of our house and garage:

Damage to the roof of the garage:

Live wire right by our fence:

Through rain, sleet, snow...and everything else! :)

Amazingly, we actually had power, even with those power lines down. Around 2:30pm National Grid showed up and cut the power to work on the wires. It took them quite awhile to repair everything, and our power was back on at 8pm. Soon after that our cable, internet and phone were back on too. So life is back to normal. Now I'm going to sleep because I'm tired. No sleep will do that to you. Hope all is well with all of you!

1 comment:

Kristen said...

All I can say is WOW! And yes, I am thankful for my volunteer fireman, that lives in my house...and for the many others that don't live in my house. That would be awkward. :)

Thanks again for coming to the tea yesterday. It was so great to see you all, and it reminded me of how much I miss each of you. Very thankful for your friendships!