Holy cow, we had one hum-dinger of a thunderstorm that rolled through yesterday. It was totally unexpected and caught almost everyone by surprise, both by its very existence as well as its ferocity.
I had taken Younger Daughter to her violin lesson in a nearby town and watched as dark clouds started pushing in, but it wasn't until we were driving home that it hit.
Seldom have I seen such torrential rain and fierce wind. The windshield wipers were going full-blast and still it was hard to see.
The lake had choppy whitecaps pushed by the wind.
The heavy rain lasted about ten minutes and then eased off, but the wind was still high. We rounded a corner and came to a stop because a small tree had fallen across the road. A semi truck and a car had stopped and the drivers were pulling the debris off the road.
By the time we made it to our own dirt road the storm cell had passed, leaving torn branches and debris everywhere...
...including this tree which snapped in half.
A local farmer, whom we hired to cut, swath, and bale some adjacent property for grass hay, had brought out some equipment but hadn't yet begun to cut (thankfully).
The last of the storm, heading out.
We arrived home to find minor chaos. The power was out, of course. Don and Older Daughter had run around trying to batten down hatches, but the wind blew from the northwest (rather than the usual southwest) and poured water even through shut windows because the wind was so strong. Every towel in the house was soaked because they ran around mopping up as fast as they could.
Unfortunately in their haste, they forgot to check the upstairs windows... and our bedroom faces north. A jar on the windowsill had half an inch of water on it and the wind blew the rain in so hard that the carpet was wet -- soaked and squishy -- six feet into the room. Our bed was mostly protected by the bedspread, which was quite wet. We pulled it off and found the sheets and blankets below slightly damp but not bad. Our clock radio, however, is toast. (It's 24 years old, so it's served us well.)
The rain came down so hard it made little debris dams in the driveway.
Of course the garden got battered, but not as badly as we'd feared. The potatoes were blown over, but they're recover.
Here's the corn. It may or may not make it.
Tomatoes. I think they'll be okay.
Brussel's sprouts. Again, I think they'll be okay. Nothing snapped.
The loafing shed against one of the garden fences was trashed, however. Absolutely destroyed.
Sparky and hew new baby had some shelter from the barn awning, but the wind was blowing sideways so they still got wet.
The good news is the storm dropped the temperature thirty degrees -- from 90F down to 60F -- a welcome relief from the unrelenting heat we've been having.
The bad news is there are thousands of acres of hay around the county that are cut and drying on the ground. With temps shooting straight back up into the 90s, this hay stands a very good chance of rotting. It could be salvaged if it's turned and fluffed, but there aren't enough farmers to turn and fluff so much cut hay before it starts to rot. Breaks my heart.
Since the power was out, the chickens were reluctant to go into the darkened coop. I lit the hurricane lamp and tied it inside, so they'd have an incentive to go indoors. (Of course we removed it before locking them in for the night.)
The girls played the game Life by lamplight.
Deep in the night, at 2:30 am, the hard-working electric company workers came slowly down the road, lights flashing, searching for damage. They came and went, then returned again at 3:30 am. Power was on by 3:45 am. My hat's off to these guys -- they are some of society's unsung heroes.
Unsurprisingly after such a storm, the morning was foggy...
...and today was cooler (high 80s) though the temps are supposed to climb again tomorrow and for the next few days.
Damage reports have been coming in. A tree came down and clipped a corner of a neighbor's house, but it can be repaired.
Another neighbor who built a small studio that was meant to be moved somewhere else, had it totally flipped upside down. No one was in it, thankfully.
I decided it was time to wash, and top off all the oil lamps, which tend to get dusty with disuse.
Altogether things could have been worse, though I still feel terrible for the farmers who lost their hay crop.