“PS: The crooked chimney is now straight“
It was a windy wintry weekend weather event. The winds were actually hurricane force at times, but “Hurricanes in The Vales” isn’t as cute a title.
Knowing the storm was coming, hubby spent all day Saturday setting up portable generators at our house and my daughter’s house so as to prepare for any power outages. The power company had been sending out warnings all week to expect extended outages if the winds were are strong as predicted.
Hubby also made special trips to local stores to stock up on batteries, flashlights and candles.
In addition, he decided to purchase a newer generator – specifically, he wanted one like my daughter just bought because it’s an upgrade from our 15-year-old machine. Had he gone to the store Friday evening, he would have succeeded; however, on Saturday morning he was told that all generators, everywhere, had sold out the night before. Guess everyone had the same idea we did.
While we had power, I did online research (again) of nearby hotels that would take Puppy Cody, and this time I wrote the information on a notepad. We made sure both cars were gassed up, there was gas for the generators, we had some cash (during power outages, the ATMs go down, as do the credit card readers at gas stations and stores), and we paid all our upcoming bills on-line since if there were outages, the power could be off into the middle of the following week.
Early Sunday, we made sure to get Puppy Cody outside to do her business. We knew once the winds started, she would hide and refuse to go out. The winds came in by late morning, as expected, and they were as predicted – sustained at 50-60 mph with gusts up to 74 mph. Temperatures plummeted from the seasonally unusual high of 50º F on Saturday evening down into the teens by the end of the storm. Fortunately, snow was light.
I became extremely grateful for my brick house (“I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!”). I was also grateful that we don’t have any large trees right next to the house, although we were concerned about the leaning pine tree at the back of the yard and the rotted maple next to my neighbor’s house. Hubby moved my car further down the driveway in case that tree should fall.
The howling winds became screaming winds. At times I thought I heard an airplane rumbling and wondered why planes were flying in such extreme weather, but then realized the roaring sound was the wind, not a plane.
The lights flickered and went out briefly, then power came back on. I checked the power outage maps and discovered that power was out for the houses a block away from mine. Through texts to all daughters, we learned that only one had lost power – and it wasn’t the daughter with the new generator. Fortunately, the second daughter was in a house with its own generator, and she reported she and her boyfriend were warm enough and planned to stay in their home for the duration of the storm.
The news services had predicted the extreme winds would subside by 10 pm, and they did, although the gale-force winds remained. Comfortable that we were at that point unlikely to lose power, hubby moved the generator back into the garage so it wouldn’t be out in the yard to tempt thieves when we left for work on Monday.
Monday morning, all seemed fine, but still windy. We got ready for work.
And then the power went out.
Hubby and I agreed that he would go to work for the morning and come home at noon. I would stay home for the morning and then go into work. One of us had to be home to keep an eye on the sump pump (and the dog).
And the power came back on, and stayed on without flickering. I went to work and let hubby know, but he opted to come home at noon anyway to check on things.
And that’s when he sent the text about the chimney. That chimney had a crooked top since before we purchased the house, and we had been gathering estimates to have it repaired. Just to straighten it would cost hundreds of dollars!
Now we didn’t have to. Mother Nature had taken care of it for us by sending winds high enough to push the chimney back into place. Yay for Mother Nature!
Another windstorm is supposed to come this weekend. I sure hope it doesn’t blow the chimney off again.
It’s been a long, hard winter, and we’ll all be glad when it’s over. But just in case, we’ve ordered the new generator. One can never be too prepared in Western New York.
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom