Thursday, December 30, 2010

Crazy Windy

Yesterday we had another huge rainstorm pass through. It rained long and hard. Once the rain stopped, massive wind kicked in. The wind was so strong it reminded me of the wind in the city I grew up in. Growing up, it would be so windy that our backyard fence would blow over on a regular basis. The wind was also so strong growing up that I can remember walking home from school once, into the wind, and then suddenly laying on my back on the ground. Yeah, I blew over!

Last night, according to some news reports, the winds were gusting at 60 - 70 MPH in some areas. I'm thinking it was gusting almost at that speed at my place. I began to hear the wind and the trees blowing and for a moment thought it was rain. I then went out to my patio and noticed that the tarp draped over a patio chair (thanks to painters that never picked it up) had blown off the chair. I should tell you that the patio, where not fully enclosed, is pretty enclosed and generally protects from the elements. I knew the wind was strong when I saw that tarp on the ground.

Flash back a few years ago. Rain and winds were the norm and one night while sitting on above-mentioned chair in rather enclosed patio, I began to hear an eerie sound that I can only describe as "scraping". I looked around and noticed that all of the tall and huge trees in the complex courtyard were moving back and forth in the wind and thought that the scraping sound must have been the trunks scraping against the awnings of the upstairs units. This noise and weather continued throughout the night and in the wee hours of the morning, I recall being stirred out of my sound sleep by a noise. I immediately fell back to sleep, but when I did get up that morning, got ready and began to head out, I noticed that a very tall palm tree had crashed to the ground, with the top of the tree laying on the ground outside my bedroom window.

So, last night, I heard that same "scraping" sound while in my kitchen and did open the sliding door to the patio to listen. I didn't hear anything at that point, so I was really unable to determine just where that sound was coming from. This morning, as I was hitting the snooze button on my alarm, I became aware of the sound of work going on outside. The loud sounds of saws and power machines and noisy vehicles. I kept thinking, "what the hell are they doing so early?" The city I live in has an ordinance that states loud work cannot begin until 8am, yet this was well before that.

When I finally did get up, shower, feed the cats and get coffee, I opened the kitchen window blinds and saw the cause of the early morning noise. A huge tree in front of my kitchen had blown over, completely blocking the street. It landed on two cars parked across the street. No one was hurt.

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