Exactly one week ago, Ohio was hit with, according to the words of our power company spokesperson, "an unprecedented" windstorm. Winds were sustained at 40-50 miles per hour with gusts reaching 70 miles per hour. The winds continued over a three to four hour period. As a result, tree limbs fell on power lines all over central and southwestern Ohio, causing numerous power outages. Megan and I waited five days for power to be restored.
From weather underground, the absolute best weather site on the internet, here is the raw data for the storm, as recorded at Ohio State Don Scott Airport, about two miles directly west of us.
The second and third graphs tell the story. Take a look at how quickly and how low the barometric pressure dropped on September 14. And in the third graph, you can see wind speeds. The sustained winds on that day were 40 miles per hour, lasting for several hours, with gusts recorded at Don Scott around 60 miles per hour.
What happens with all that wind? Tree limbs fall.
Here I'm shooting a video from our porch. The most interesting thing about this storm was that there was no rain, so the whole neighborhood was tempted to go outside and watch what was happening. In this video, you'll see our neigbhor's silver maple. The branches lying at the end of our driveway had just fallen, missing our neighbor (not the boy running around in the video) who had walked down our driveway by about a minute. He was lucky, several other Ohioans weren't so and were killed by this storm.
Our resident gray squirrels seemed to take advantage of the windstorm, fetching up newly fallen bur oak acorns. This individual is resting atop one of the limbs we lost from our giant bur oak in the storm. Fortunately, it missed hitting the house by three feet, but it did take out our cheap plastic Adirondack chairs. Take a look at how much debris is in the backyard of our neighbor. Normally, I wouldn't be able to see it, but the wind blew down the privacy fence between our two yards.
This is my contribution to this weeks "Camera Critters" meme.
The winds died down about 8:00 p.m. We thought the power might not come on for a day or two, but we weren't expecting to be in the dark for five hours. The talk of the town was how slow AEP was to restore power. First, crews were out of the state working on Gustav and Ike outages further south, and secondly, multiply the debris that you've seen in this video across a metropolitan area of 2 million people (yes, the Columbus metro area is that big!), you are bound to have thousands of problems that take time to fix.
I'm sure many people around still don't have power. Last evening, our local news reported that approximately 30,000 customers were still dark. Hopefully, the lights will come on for them soon as well.