In the middle of the storm we could see our neighbors come home. I have no idea how they drove in it. We found out that the winds that came through were 80 to 100 miles per hour. It was truly the scariest weather experience Ive been through.
When it finally ended we went outside to check to see if there was any damage. There was a tree down across the street blocking part of the road and another a bit further up. Our neighbor two houses over had a huge tree come down on their car and part of their house. The neighbors and their house are ok, but the car was totalled.
We decided to sit in the car and listen to the radio to find out what had happened and where the damage was. Most of the radio stations were not working so we took a quick drive around. Trees were down in many areas, street and stop lights were not working, and power lines were down.
Saturday morning we got up early, tried to get a very old generator to work and then made a quick internet search for a new one. I have to give a huge thank you to Jeff at the Danville, VA Home Depot. Not only did they have a generator, they let me pay for it over the phone so we knew it would be there when we drove two hours to get it. Jeff carried it up to the front of the store for us and helped us find a cord and accessories to go with it.
The generator kept our lights going, worked a small air conditioner to keep our house at about 85 degrees. While this may seem hot, it was over 100 outside. Our power was out from Friday evening until Wednesday around 12:30. We did everything possible to try to keep our house cool. Andy went onto the roof and covered our skylights with a reflective tarp, we hung blankets over the window blinds, and closed off rooms. In the evenings we would open the windows and move the portable air conditioner into our bedroom so we could all have a cool place to sleep.
At the height of the power outage there were well over 200,000 in our area without power in day time temperatures of over 100 degrees. We have heard so many stories of good will and people helping each other it's been very uplifting. The National Guard, ECK Supply, Taylor Brothers Lumber, and Thomas Road Baptist Church and has been giving out ice to anyone who needs it. This man stood on the corner by Taylor Brothers in the incredible heat holding a sign to let passersby know they could get free ice:
There are still people without power and who won't have it until Saturday or Sunday. There are many cooling stations and shelters set up. If you know anyone who needs assistance, the Red Cross can help. If you are able to donate, I know the Red Cross can really use help. They have been inundated with the wind storm in the MidAtlantic and the Fires in the Western States.
We ate breakfast out this morning and our waitress was telling us that her husband is one of the many AEP workers who have been out since last Friday night trying to restore power. We thanked her and said to thank her husband as well. She said that people are complaining about the workers not restoring power quickly enough. They are working in extreme conditions, outside in unbearable heat, in bucket trucks, dealing with high voltage wires. Please be patient with them. They are really doing the best they can.
Ive only taken a couple of pictures of the local damage. It's really horrible and not something I wanted to photograph.
Carol's Restaurant lost their roof. It was metal and the wind peeled it back in one huge piece.
Trees down on Graves Mill Road