Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

About Last Night...

I'm back from Arizona. I'll be posting some more about my adventures out that way, but I've had a few adventures here on the home front. My flight home from Tucson was yesterday afternoon. My flight was scheduled to have a connection in Dallas/Ft. Worth. When I checked my bag, the agent asked if I'd like to switch to the direct flight, which would get me in about 3 1/2 hours earlier. Of course I would! I boarded the plane feeling very lucky. Little did I know.

As we were crossing the Mississippi River, I saw a truly impressive (and huge) thunderstorm out the left side of the plane. I remember thinking that I hoped it was still far enough to the west that we would be able to land. We landed, I got my bag, and was out at remote parking where Leon picked me up in very short time. We would go grocery shopping and head home for dinner.

As we drove west, the sky grew very ominous. Quickly, we started seeing a lot of very close ground strokes of lighning. As the sky grew very green, we decided to forgo shopping and go directly home. Things deteriorated quickly. Traffic signals were out, and downed limbs began appearing and blocking the route home. An overhead wire arced alarmingly. Although we could not hear it at the time, the tornado sirens were sounding. I had to go completely around the block to get to my driveway because a large tree had fallen in my street, taking the power lines with it.

Chicago is still reeling from the aftermath of the storm. Wind gusts to 94 mph were recorded and Elgin recorded a 75 mph gust. I feel very fortunate. We had no damage to the house- or to ourselves. If my original flight plan had held, I probably would not have gotten home at all last night. At the very least, I would have been delayed. The storm held off just long enough that my checked luggage was able to be unloaded promptly. They won't do that if there is lightning near the airport. We did not buy groceries, which is also lucky because my power may be out for several days. It was a wild night, and very uncomfortable sleeping with no fan.

The street in front of my house at 5:30 this morning.



At 18:55, Blogger Lemuel said...

I assume you and Leon are safe. That is all that matters. HUGS!

At 07:06, Blogger Chilmarkgirl said...

Doug-WOW-how scary- I am just really glad you and Leon are OK-the picture from your street this morning is amazing. The storms this year have been rough-we got caught in a bad one on Long Island 2 weeks ago-David was on the water with our small power boat- Young David had gotten his Opti out of the water and I got him in the car-lightening and hail everywhere-I went to hook the boat trailer to the car to get to the boat landing to get David out of the water- long story short-the trailer and hitch where wet and slippery- by the end of it I had a very deep cut and a broken finger-but I got David out off the water!-Glad you are OK- hopefully you will get your power back soon!

At 08:46, Blogger H said...

Well it's good you can see the bright side of it!! I'm glad you and Leon are safe!

At 13:53, Blogger rodger said...

Damn, thats scary! One thing I can live without is tornado sirens. I've never heard them and I'd like to keep it that way. I'll stick to earthquakes, they can be fun.

Glad you're both okay but what a terrible time of year to be without refrigeration and cooling.

I hope they get your power repaired quickly.

At 23:41, Blogger Ur-spo said...

the fates were kind to you
I am glad you got home safe and sound.

At 09:04, Blogger Texas Travelers said...

WOW !!
Get out the chain saws and start on those downed trees.
Glad you are OK.



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