Storm of the Century?

Thursday night, while watching “Terminator 2” a powerful storm came across the lake. I remember saying to DH, “I betcha we are under a tornado warning.” He thought I was nuts but turned on the Weather Channel anyway.

We were under a tornado warning and immediately the storm became violent. We rushed downstairs and just as we turned the TV on, the power went out.

This terrified the little guy but DH was in heaven. Both DH and I LOVE storms and enjoy watching lightning, but with the possibility of an impending tornado, I thought it would be much safer for the kids and I to just hang tight in the basement. We grabbed the transistor radio and multiple flashlights and camped out downstairs for the night. DS1 wanted to pray the Rosary, so we did that too.

6:30am came and I had to get out of bed. I couldn’t stand the sleep jitzu that DS2 provides when sleeping with him. He’s a kicker. Add DD to the mix and you’re bruised and freezing as she likes to hog the covers. Thank goodness we were on the futon and not on the floor.

I got up to survey the damage. DH was already upstairs and ready for work. We both walked outside and found this:

Two of our trees out front were “topped off” – 1/4 of them gone due to the force of the wind that night. We were hit with 11 inches of rain and 80 mph winds. We were also very fortunate as we didn’t have any flooding and only minor tree damage. Many homes and cars were hit by tree debris, roads were washed out, and even sink holes were formed. It was a violent, violent storm.

The kids woke up around 7:30 and we went out for a walk to see what was up. Trees were down everywhere. The kids and I picked up what we could in our yard and then walked around the neighborhood to survey the damage. I was awestruck to see so many trees down. We decided to do what we could to help others and started cleaning up other yards. We are surrounded by many elderly people, so it was the least we could do. We also found several dead birds. The kids were saddened by that.

This tree just snapped due to the force of the winds. Many trees landed on houses and cars. Awful stuff, but thankfully no one was hurt.

About mid day our mailman came. He’s a great guy and very helpful. He was telling us about the awful sink hole on Harbor Drive. DS1 got pictures of that, but I haven’t figured out how to download from his camera yet. Water was rushing from the golf course through the drive and tore out the road swallowing a car! The water than ran down through the dog park down to the beach. What a mess!

Here’s the “river” the water formed coming from Harbor Drive. It went straight through the parking lot, around and under the beach house, through the swingset and out to the lake.

See the damage to the beach house? They had it closed down when we were down there. I felt bad for the tourists who had no bathroom to use. The port-a-johns on the other side of the park had been knocked over. Ewww – what a mess.

This was taken two days after the storm – you can see where the water from the golf course and Harbor Drive carved a river bed in the beach. Can you see how muddy the water is out in the lake? The river looked just as bad. Our beach is normally beautiful and it was a MESS.

The water coming from Harbor Drive cut right through the dog park and left this mess too. This is a pic of the dog park. We didn’t go in there, but from the road it looked awful. A picnic table at the top of the hill was destroyed too.

Down on 12th street the road, stop signs and fencing all were swept away down to the lake. I felt bad for these people as some of their driveway was swept away. Could you imagine backing out of this puppy late at night? That pavement in the picture below is someone’s driveway.

Lake Michigan in the distance. See all of the muddy water? Ewww.

The road went up to that steel barrier there. It’s amazing what Mother Nature can do.

Even 31 ended up being closed as several bridges were declared unstable or washed out due to the storm. Swim team practice was cancelled because the road the college is on was washed out. We were told that the normal 20 mile drive would now be over 80 miles one way! Holy cow!
Back to our own little mess. DH had two of these trees to chop up. It smelled like Christmas but hurt the hands. As he was working out there (and I was inside wrapping the freezer with a quilt as we had no power but we did have a freezer full of food), one of the local pharmacists in town saw him. He and his family jumped out of their truck with a chain saw and within a few hours these two trees went from this:

to this:

For what it’s worth – this pile is almost as tall as I am.

I have more pictures to share, but no time to share them. Many Victorian homes were damaged. Our church had a tree fall, but thankfully, no damage (praise God). My girlfriend’s home was horribly flooded but thankfully, everyone is okay.

People will be talking about this storm for years to come. It was a big one. Praise God for keeping us all safe.

I’ll upload more pictures later.

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4 Responses to Storm of the Century?

  1. Traci says:

    Wow. That’s some pretty crazy damage but I’m so glad everyone is safe. We’ve had tornado watches around here lately and they are extremely rare in this area so it’s a little freaky. Glad you had a nice basement to hang out in!

  2. CloverGirl says:

    That was a CRAZY storm. We had a lot of damage here, too. And both of my kids were in the basement praying and crying. That meant *I* couldn’t watch the storm since I couldn’t leave them alone.

  3. Kaesmom says:

    Oh my goodness! I’m so glad everyone is safe. I honestly don’t know how you can live in tornado country. They’re such a foreign thing to me — really just something I see on the news and in the movies. And they scare the living crap out of me!

  4. just1gal says:

    Wow! Amazing pics!! I am glad everyone is okay.

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