So, I DID drive home when I left at the break (Quad Cities of IA/IL) and, of course, we were hit by a ‘mini-tornado” at 6 a.m. on Monday that knocked out power to 100,000 homes, including ours. It blew trees down in our back yard and through people’s cars and bedrooms and houses, (in 3 cases, homes of people I personally know.) Neighbor across the street: tree down. Neighbor next door: tree down. Mother-in-law: tree down. One young couple had to fly home from Vegas when the news reached them that their house had had a HUGE tree fall on it and there is only one crane in town large enough to hoist it off their house (and, of course, THAT crane was already occupied. Isn’t that always the way?)
I had to use a Coleman lantern to pack to leave for Chicago on Monday, and we had no A/C until 11 p.m. last night. The winds reached 94 mph. Moline declared a State of Emergency. (In East Moline, nobody thought to turn on the sirens,. Typical.) Across the river in Davenport, Iowa? Fine, just fine. No problems at all. Weird.
The fast food joints were JAMMED with people lined up 20 cars deep at 2:30 P.M. when I left to drive back here on Monday. Why so many people lined up at Hardee’s and McDonald’s? My husband theorizes that it was because nobody could cook. Our freezer full of meat: gone bad. He had to sleep in the basement and said he went outside on the deck and listened to the Cubs game on a transistor radio until it got dark and he couldn’t read any more. No TV. No computer. No fun. They closed the MALL, for crying out loud! The MALL. OH THE HORROR! Hospitals had to operate on generators, as did the supermarket (where I picked up a refill for my prescription of sleeping medication.) 100,000 people without power and they say it might take “3 to 4 days” to get it back on. My sister had an electrical wire on fire outside her house and, when she called it in, it took 2 days to get electricians to come fix it because of the vast numbers of others without power. It was a larger power outage than the huge one we had during an ice storm last winter.
I finally got a “wrap” at a Subway in Colona, Illinois, where the two Indian (or Pakistani?) boys minding the store were doing so in about 100 degree heat (no A/C). They said, immediately, “We don’t have any bread,” Why no bread? Apparently, they bake it, and the ovens wouldn’t work. Only one microwave worked, and they had 2 cookies left (which I bought.) The younger of the two said, “I think we could just lay the bread dough out here on the counter and it would cook.” (True statement). We were all like pioneers, and the Indian boys described how they had been CAMPING with 15 family members near Lake Kenyada when the winds hit and BLEW THEIR TENT INTO THE LAKE. I’m not kidding. They ran for their cars and sat it out. (I always hated camping. My idea of roughing it is black-and-white TV. Or NO TV. Or sleeping on the floor of a college-aged group for 5 days in Denver.)
Me? I went to bed at 2:30 a.m. on Monday morning after extensive posting on several blogs and slept through the entire thing. I did notice it when I was trying to pack in a dark interior room the next day, however. Had to dry my hair outside in the sun and a Coleman lantern really does not give off enough light to pack your suitcase by.