7 March 18
Currently I’m inside at my desk, listening to the rain fall as this new storm moves across my neighborhood and into Boston. No snow, so far. Just a day of rain.
I’m thankful it’s quiet, because I nearly died in the last Nor’easter, which blew through Friday into Saturday, spawning confusion, panic, and #windmaggedon.
As I never tire of harping on, I grew up in Texas. I’ve lived through hurricanes, the worst of them being Ike. I’ve lived through two weeks of late Houston summer with no air-conditioning in the wake of said hurricane. (I know, I know, first world problems).
I fulfilled my childhood goal of becoming a storm chaser when I nearly drove into a tornado crossing I-10 somewhere between El Paso and San Antonio. It came at us we didn’t go to it.
Easter weekend one year I spent huddled under the staircase with my sister as the sky turned green. The door into the garage was ripped from its hinges and thrown across the yard.
New England weather doesn’t scare me.
Polar vortex? Chilly.
Nine feet of snow in five weeks? Impressive.
Whatever fresh hell came through town last weekend? Utterly terrifying.
In hindsight, I should not have gone to class/work. In hindsight, it would have been nice if class/work had been canceled.
Going to work, there was rain. Walking from my car, I was nearly Mary-Poppins’d by a gust of wind. It just blew out my umbrella instead.
Leaving work, there was flooding. The wind ripped bud from branch and branch from bough.
Driving home, I had to make an unprotected left, and found myself underneath a violently swaying traffic signal. The red-light cam mounted next to it crashed to the ground feet from my car.
Thank God for the munchies, because when I stopped near home to get my diet peach Snapple fix(***not in anyone sponsored by Snapple, though I really wish I was) a nice lady in the store told me that the cops had blockaded the two streets into my neighborhood. If I hadn’t known that, I might have panicked when I saw the barricades.
Instead of panicking, I turned down an unfamiliar road, hoping to, as the woman had suggested, go the long way round to my apartment.
And then I did the thing; the thing I promised myself I’d never do;the thing I told other people never to do:
I drove through standing water.
There were no lights on the road, and suddenly I found myself going through a creek, where previously there had been a road. The creek had overtopped the drainage ditch under the pavement and come above the grade.
Never do what I did, because even a few inches of water can carry away a vehicle.
Thankfully, I made it through, and managed to stay calm enough to drive around to the other side of town, where I could start down the road to my apartment.
There I found another police blockade, and wanted to cry. The officer, however, said I could go ahead.
I realized then that it was completely dark for blocks. Maybe this was the reason there was a blockade? The outage was wide enough that they were concerned about public safety?
And just outside my apartment complex entrance, lying just a tad in the direction I had initially tried to come, was a tree.
This is a picture of the tree, taken the next morning by me:
I can easily climb inside the hole. Workers spent several hours clearing it and putting it to the side of the road.
In the meantime, I stumbled into my apartment and called for Sassy. Even she was mad about the situation–I was greeted with a plaintive mrrroooow. Try finding a black cat in a dark room.
Luckily, I keep a flashlight by my bed, batteries in the closet, and candles in the kitchen. Luckily I also have a fire extinguisher, because when one of my candles burned down to the base of the votive glass, it turned into a flamethrower.
Which brings me to the pieces of advice I actually did follow: always keep emergency supplies on hand, and never leave candles burning unattended.
I barricaded myself in my dark bedroom with the cat. I kept my shoes and her carrier nearby, because the wind was the worst I’ve seen since leaving Texas. I was afraid I was going to lose a window, or have to go backwards out a window like the younger Cline brother
The lights came back on at 11. I’m grateful that no one in my community was badly hurt, as far as I am aware.
I went to take pictures the next morning on my way into town.
As it was the same calm that comes after a hurricane, I did wonder “Wait, will people think I’m a looter? Do they shoot looters on sight up here?”
The snow has only just begun to fall in this latest nor’easter. Be safe, everyone.
Let’s end on a pretty note: