Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We Interrupt This Blog....

Heavy winds have dominated our lives since Tuesday night, and caused an interruption to this Journal...

Last night as I was feverishly writing my reviews of "Midnight in Paris" and the Windy City Gay Men's Chorus Pride Concert, all of the power went out.

We were not the only ones to lose electricity in our home:  ours was one of about 300,000 to be left in the dark.

Early in the evening, heavy dark clouds hung on the horizon over the high school football fields.  Lightning stabbed the darkness and the air hung as hot, heavy and humid as a jungle.

Then the wind began to blow.....

We lost out lights, Internet, TV, refrigerator, radio, stove, everything but our hot water and our phone.  We had one lantern flashlight. The clothes I had just taken from the washer and put in the dryer, were now simply wet and immobile in the dryer. Much of our food in the refrigerator would go to waste, so we donated it to my parents, in exchange for the use of their clothes dryer. 

It seemed like the whole world just stopped, without our electricity, save for the horrifying winds pummeling the front of the house, bending the nearby enormous pine trees to their breaking points.....

I felt a kinship with our ancestors, who had nothing but fire as the darkness surrounded them. They began to tell made-up stories, so as not to be consumed by the fear of darkness, or driven insane with inactivity.

This morning we listened to the radio in the car as we drove through town at 6am to get coffee.  Storms downed trees all over the suburbs.  Wind gusts measuring 80MPH were measured.

We could not even believe what we saw driving down our neighborhood streets.  I have never seen so many broken  branches, limbs and trunks.  It was unsettling seeing our neighbors, stunned as they tried to drag heavy branches to the parkway where the Village workers could remove them, or attempt to axe or saw big logs, some of which had damaged the gutters, roofs, and windows of their houses.

It is especially sad, these large magnificent trees stripped of their branches and their dignity, some completely damaged, others looking wounded, waiting for their jagged and torn parts to be cleanly cut. 

Mt. Prospect is a "Tree City USA".  You can tell from the photos what the town has lost.  Mark got some pictures of the storm-ravaged neighborhood, all within a 6-block radius surrounding our home...Check them out below...

It was disclosed by the National weather Service later this evening that Mt. Prospect was hit by a small tornado, of a 5-minute duration, traveling a path about 200 yards wide over two miles.

We heard from the Mayor of Mt. Prospect say on the car radio that due to the unusually heavy damage, power may be out until Friday morning, or even Saturday in some areas. 

Our house--our whole street--was spared the heavy damage.  Ironically, with the field across from us, we had less to barricade us from the wind.  Apparently, the tornado or microburst was well behind us...but not far enough to prevent the power outage.

Tonight I am writing from a hotel room in Evanston... Tomorrow, after work, I will look for a comfortable place with wi-fi, and post my long-overdue reviews....


  1. Good heavens! Glad you and yours are doing all right.

    Because I was only in high school at the time, I found the power outage doing the last major hurricane here exhilarating. For a week we roamed the flooded, tree-downed streets like we were in an 80s post-apocalyptic flick. So awesome. I feel like I wouldn't think so if I was a homeowner, though.

  2. Glad you made it through. Those microburst are rough. Had one down the road a piece a few years back. Scary stuff!

  3. Walter...We are fine. It took longer than expected to get the power back on...and that plus Mark and I both had bad chest colds made for an uncomfortable week. I think I have my momentum back!

    Dave...we didn't know it happened until we listened to the car radio the next morning!! Unfortunately, the local storm sirens never went off....

    Thanks for checking in with us, both of you!!!

  4. Wow looks like it was incredible.

    I know it's sad to see formerly strong trees ripped out of the ground by the wind but at least we know that's an essential part of the circle of a tree's life, the wind clearing away older trees giving space for new, young ones to grow. I just hope that at least one sapling will be planted for each tree lost.