Earlier this month we got nailed with a dereche, a line storm that knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes in multiple states, overwhelming the capacity of the electrical utility companies to respond.
“Definition of a derecho
“A derecho (pronounced similar to “deh-REY-cho” in English, or pronounced phonetically as ““) is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.
“Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to that of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath. As a result, the term “straight-line wind damage” sometimes is used to describe derecho damage.
“By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers) and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho.”
The power companies flew in hundreds of linemen from all over the country to deal with the damage, setting up camps for them, including locally at a fairgrounds. Still, on our ridge, the electricity was out for 5 days. It came back on for 10 hours at our house then we got hit with a conventional thunderstorm that knocked it out for another day.
Personally it isn’t too bad for us. We are on city water so had running water and as we live in a cell phone shadow we have a land line so had a phone. Two years ago I realized I didn’t have the energy any more to can much so gave in and bought a freezer to preserve garden produce. At that time I was afraid something like this might happen so I bought a 3500 watt generator so we wouldn’t lose everything to an outage and have the freezer defrost on us, so we did have some electric.
We ran an extension cord to the recirculating pump on the solar hot water heater so we even had hot water.
As we hadn’t started freezing much yet this season, we had room in our freezer and were able to invite our neighbors to bring stuff over as well.
What didn’t work so well was the computer. I have a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Source) with a battery so when we do get power outages (which are not uncommon here) I have about 30 minutes to save whatever I am working on and turn off the computer. I hooked that up to the generator thinking I could still use the computer but it didn’t like the electric it was producing.
The UPS has a line conditioner that smooths out spikes and brown outs which after about 10 minutes started tripping a breaker so I had to stop using it. I could have bypassed the UPS but figured that protection was there for a reason so chose instead to take a vacation from computing.
By the time 6 days had gone by my daily routine was altered into a new pattern. The habit I had of blogging was replaced by exigencies in the garden and I have found it difficult to get back on the horse. I have Asperger’s syndrome, a form of high functioning autism, and it is hard for me to alter a routine once established. Blogging just fell by the wayside.
It wasn’t truly writer’s block, as I still had ideas just lacked the will to impose them on the screen. We will see how it goes from here.
Here is a picture of storm damage to the black walnut tree in our yard I eat the nuts off of.