In the Still of the Night

If you have watched the news in the last 24 hours you probably realize that most of the Eastern United States was hit pretty hard by a series of storms. Alabama, in particular, was hit very hard over the course of an 18-hour period yesterday.

Daniel got up for work as usual and left about 6AM. Our weather radio went off at 6:45 saying “take cover” and Daniel called me to say that TVA employees were taking cover. I groggily grabbed my laptop and herded Sophie into the coat closet with me. For an hour I surfed the internet and listened to ongoing tornado warnings on our weather radio.

At 7:45 I finally got the all clear and came out of hiding. Most of the morning was sunny but right around lunch time we had another warning come up. Daniel was out to lunch with a couple of his co-workers. Instead of heading back to TVA they came to the house and we passed the time playing Rook.

They got the call to go back to work but within an hour Daniel called to tell me to take cover again. I didn’t believe him at first because I was in the bonus room upstairs which faces north and the view was sunny. But I went back into the closet anyway.

As soon as I got into the closet, the power went out. Since my laptop was fully charged, I passed the time working on a couple of freelance projects. After this round I came out to find lots of tree limbs down on our property and several trees down in the neighbor’s yards. I didn’t find out until later that our neighbors had taken it upon themselves to clear a large tree that had fallen and blocked the entrance to our road. Thank goodness for good neighbors.

Since I didn’t have electricity, I spent the rest of the day reading a book. Later that afternoon we went back into the closet and I read by flashlight. Sophie was amazingly calm throughout the day.

Daniel finally came home in time for another warning. This time we grabbed camp chairs and made our way to our walkout basement {unfortunately we don’t have access to it from the inside of our house}. This warning passed pretty quickly and we decided to try to go to town to grab dinner.

While out we discovered that all of Scottsboro was out of power – we had assumed {incorrectly} that it was just Hollywood that was affected since TVA had still had power at 4:30 PM.

Since we couldn’t find anywhere with power, we went home and made ourselves peanut butter sandwiches and sat our porch watching the weather patterns change and listening to our weather radio. When we tired of that, we went upstairs to read before it got dark. We both fell asleep when it became too dark to read. 
We woke up to a pretty intense lightening storm and headed back downstairs and flipped on the radio. We were under another tornado warning, but based on the radio it sounded like the storm was already north of us, heading up Hwy 72 to Stevenson and Bridgeport. Around 8:30 Daniel talked to his sister and we agreed we were in the all clear for the night and decided to go to bed. People must have gone to bed early in the days before electricity because there is NOTHING TO DO!

We both woke up in the middle of the night to an eerily quiet and dark house. Our house is not that far from Hwy 72, so there is always some amount of sound from traffic, even at night. Also it is never this dark. Since we were both wide awake, we talked about what we needed to have in an emergency kit for the future before going back to sleep.

Daniel’s alarm clock went off at 5:30 this morning and he started calling around to see if he needed to go to work. After many calls, he found out that a switch yard at Widows Creek {about 20 miles north of us} had been hit by a tornado and most of northern Alabama and parts of Mississippi were without power. Then we learned from our meter reader that 100+ transmission lines were down due to the storms. We heard reports that it would take anywhere from 3 to 9 days to get power back to our area of the state. Since there is no power, Daniel didn’t have to go to work. So we went back to bed.

We finally got up around 9 and decided we needed to clean out our fridge before we left town. We threw away 2 bags worth of groceries and loaded as much as we could into a cooler filled with ice. 

Once we had packed the car we headed out of town going north on Hwy 72 {along with the huge exodus of people that had the same idea}. On our drive north we saw many large trees that had been uprooted, but amazingly there appeared to be little damage to buildings. The town of Stevenson had power and the wait at the one gas station looked like it would take well over an hour. The line in the McDonald’s drive through wrapped around the building. Thankfully we had a full tank of gas.

We stopped at a Sonic in South Pittsburg for lunch and then at a Starbucks in Manchester so that I could send out some emails regarding a couple of projects. We are staying at my sister’s in Hermitage tonight and will probably spend some time with Daniel’s family over the weekend as well. We have no idea when we will go back to Hollywood or when Daniel will be back at work again.

Saturday I will run the Country Music Half Marathon as planned. Other than that we will enjoy spending time with family and friends. So many people were affected by these storms. We are thankful that the only thing we really had to deal with was a power outage.
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