Wednesday, July 10, 2013. All day the Weatherman was telling us that the potential for severe storms were in our forecast and Kay and I kept an eye on the West by our house as storms for us come from this direction. 2:00 pm, weather radio started to go off warning of severe storms headed our way. First was for sever thunderstorms for our county, a few minutes later, flash floods a possibility. 2:30, alarms go off, Tornado watch for us, 3:00 getting very dark outside, weather radio go’s off warning us of Tornado Warnings, Severe Thunderstorms High Wind Warning. Local TV station breaks in with radar showing a huge Storm Cell headed our way with rotation just West of us, Village Sirens go off, Kay, Molly and I head for the Basement, one quick look outside, Black, Windy, Blowing rain. 3:30, the storm hits! Looking out our basement window we see trees flying by, huge branches crashing to the ground, sounds of wood snapping and unbelievable winds howling. We could only see a few feet from the window as everything one saw was horizontal in nature, Rain, leaves branches, lawn furniture, wires. The power went off. By 4:00 it was over, I ventured out the back door to see the damage.
Like Dorothy in the wizard of Oz, to step out and see a completely different world, one not of Beauty but one of complete destruction around our house. Leaves and small branches all over the lawn and street. other neighbors started to emerge from their homes. Trees that stood tall on the parkway were now laying on the ground. Wires dangling from trees still standing, Sirens from emergency vehicles filled the air. Our neighbor across the street lost part of a huge stately tree that fell to the ground missing her car by a foot but crushing their fence. “Is everyone OK?” was the cry from people now venturing out to see the damage. People in cars trying to find their way home thru the maze of fallen trees and blocked roads, school buses full of kids trying to get to the local school where dozen of anxious parents waited who also had to find a way there. Kay started to direct traffic and School Busses toward the School. Everyone was trying to get home but there were no streets open, cars turning around while others tried to get thru only to be stopped by downed trees and wires then trying to turn around when there’s 8 cars behind them all playing follow the leader for a way home.
It was a mess! Even though there are people who will drive thru fallen branches, over lawns and Parkways foregoing common sense and their own safety, there are those who help move tree’s off cars, houses, and fences of their neighbors and start cleaning up the debris. Reports of streets open and of the ones that are blocked help to get people around towards their home. Police came around asking if anyone injured and also said power was out all over Fremont. No traffic lights. Reports of major power lines down and the prospect of several days without power. We have candles, flashlights, and an old percolator for making coffee. If we don’t open the freezer downstairs, it will hold for 72 hours. The freezer in the fridge if not opened, will stay cold for 36, hours. The fridge itself is good for 24, so tomorrow I’ll go buy some ice and we’ll transfer perishables to the portable coolers. The temperature outside is in the upper 60’s so sleeping shouldn’t be a problem and the outlook is for cool temps thru saturday.
Local paper reports 74 mph winds (straight line) several tornado’s nearby 1.25 inches rain, Village applied for clean-up Grant from State. Weeks to clean up debris. Village should have power restored by Monday. 7/15/2013. Electrical crews from Milwaukee, Rhode Island, and Michigan to arrive and help with clean up. Asplundh to send 50 trucks to help in removal of trees from streets and power lines. AT&T said they could not restore phone lines till all power repairs are made, same for Cable. On Thursday Kay and I got on our Bike’s to check out the rest of the Village. Oh MY God, what damage! A lot of our parks with older trees were stripped of those trees. The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential home and library lost about 50 old,old oak trees. All of town was without power as were many gas stations and eateries. We both said how lucky we were not to have a loss of life amongst this damage. It was now becoming a wait and see as to when power would be restored. Rumors of Saturday, Sunday and even Monday before we’d get our power back. Friday morning I went and bought 3 bags of ice and we transferred food from the fridge to our coolers, things we needed like Milk, lunch meat , vegetables but leaving the freezer part closed. People were going out and buying Generators like crazy, the thought of loosing a freezer full of frozen food was scary and there were those who couldn’t live with out there TV. We did have my Government Cell Phone for communication and it helped find stores that were open and also to let relatives know we were alright, but that was limited to battery life and no way to charge it if it went dead.
We got power back late Saturday night and proceeded to check out our freezer and the fridge freezer. Everything in the large freezer was ok. the fridge’s freezer had some thawing, but not to bad. It still had ice in the ice maker. We started to cook some of the food that had started to thaw, repackage it and now plan to have that as meals for the rest of the week.
Monday we got our phone service and internet back around 4:00 pm and I guess we’re back to normal. Tree’s are still down around town, our street is still blocked. Parkways are full of limbs, branches and tree debris. The, (village) say it will take weeks to clean up and to be patient. Kay and I are OK!