Well, we’ve had pandemics (and they are ongoing), we’ve had protesting and riots, we’ve had earthquakes in Utah. We’ve had Economic upheaval and tremendous hardship financially. This week we had hurricane-force winds in a desert!
In Centerville, Utah, we’re used to horrible east winds with bursts up to 80-to 85 mph. Well we had up to 99-mile-hour bursts and a windstorm that lasted 36 hours. The devastation was tremendous. Our mayor and governor declared our community a state of disaster. It was worse than the December 2011 winds that caused so much damage, and it was far more widespread.
Our neighbor’s trees broke and crashed over our fences and trees. We had branches of our walnut tree break into our neighbor’s yard. At one time, 180,000 people lost power! But finally, we (in our house) have power after three days without!
So, what do you do in these dreadful circumstances? You work together and survive!
I was fortunate that my son, Marc, and his wife live with me and my daughter and her husband are half a mile away. The roads were blocked and live wires down everywhere, but my daughter and her family made it through all the obstacles to make it to the generator-run store and brought us cold deli food and rolls. We played board and card games together while we tried to locate generators. By then we knew it would be a while before we had power, and we needed help. Finally, we found two generators (one for each of us) in Sandy, and my grandson, Cody, picked them up in his truck and brought them to us!!!!
(Here I plead guilty! My husband bought a generator years ago, but I didn’t drain it, check it, maintain it—and it died! Although my son insists it can be resurrected with care, equipment and knowledge.)
We set up each of the new generators, so our fridges and freezers were okay, then we connected the internet—that was our next priority. We used huge candles, flashlights, and finally I had power to my room so I could run my oxygen and sleep apnea machine. The next morning, we connected my son and his wife’s computers so they could work all day.
My daughter’s power was on, so she loaned her generator to my sister; when my sister’s power came back on, she loaned it and set it up at one of my neighbor’s home to protect their fridge and freezer. It was generator, generator, who needs a generator!
Today a whole crew of neighbors showed up at our house to clean up the fallen and broken trees. It took about 26 people (including youth), and multiple chain saws, as well as a bobcat and ladders four hours to fix our yard. Then they raked up the small leaves and cleaned away the debris. Then they were off to another neighbor. Trailers picked up the branches and sawed logs and took them to the collection locations to empty them and come back again!
My large apricot tree, which had huge branches from our neighbor’s monstrous tree fall on it, ended up with a real haircut–2/3 of it was broken and sawed off! I don’t know whether it will make it through the winter, but we won’t have to prune it next spring.
All over the valley, neighbor crews have helped others with their broken trees, fences, damaged roofs and siding. Even torn-up playground equipment has been cleaned up! The power has been mostly restored.
So, in a year that has been replete with all kinds of dangers and disasters, we made it through another episode! I will not take electricity for granted for a long time! Each time I flip a switch, turn on hot water, load another blanket on or charge my phone, I say a prayer of gratitude! I love electricity, and good neighbors and family!