Monday, September 10, 2012

dueling da do do do do do da do

I'm back in my little room at the bed and breakfast for the fall semester.

The weather forecasters predicted 110 mph winds on Tuesday night.  Very unusual for this time of year in Anchorage.  The national weather service posted a dubious warning on Tuesday afternoon that alerted everyone who isn't blind to the fact that the leaves are still on the trees, which translated to a greater than normal risk of downed firs, cottonwoods, and birch.

I have a big window in my room and watched in awe on Tuesday night as the numerous trees in the backyard reacted to 130 mph gusts of relentless wind..  Branches tangling and flapping, bending so far that the tops of the trees seemed to touch the ground.  Constant movement.  I could hear the gusts coming even with the window closed; the trees would all sway and bounce in the same direction, returning to some semblance of upright with a violent rebound, only to be buffeted again and again.  The lights began to flicker on and off in my room, and my computer printer would shut down and then make a noisy return to a powered status.  Eventually I turned the thing off.  It sounded tired from all that activity.

I woke on Wednesday morning to a symphony of chainsaws.  No power, no cable (no internet or tv).  The wind was still blowing, but at a perfectly respectable 30-40 mph.  The sun was bright in the sky.  Alaskans were out cleaning up the mess and turning it into fireplace fuel for the fast approaching winter.

We hadn't lost one tree, but almost everyone else had.  They were down everywhere; big ones, small ones.  Some had snapped in half, while some had fallen over with their roots attached.  Big trees lying on the ground with their entire root systems perpendicular to the ground, dirt and leaves and earthworms dangling from them.  Not one person on our street, or any of the other streets near us, had sustained any structural damage to their homes or garages.  The trees just seemed to know how to fall without striking roofs or decks or cars.

The power came back on for us by 10 am on Wednesday, although the cable took another 48 hours.  There are still people here who are without power.

Gotta love Mother Nature.

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