15 September 2008 by Published in: General musings 4 comments

We had something close to a perfect storm here yesterday.

Three things converged to create a disastrous windstorm. The combination of a shift in the jet stream, a powerful cold front, and the remnants of Hurricane Ike all came together north and west of Ohio to create a windstorm of absolutely epic proportions. For nearly four hours yesterday, the winds howled like nothing I have ever heard. 75 mile per hour gusts–Category 1 hurricane winds–were recorded at Port Columbus International Airport, which is about five miles from my house. The destruction and devastation is remarkable.

Trees are down everywhere you can imagine. About 500,000 homes in Central Ohio are without power here today, including mine. Virtually all of the schools in the area are closed. There’s no power at my office or at Susan’s. I’m sitting in a hotel room–we came here last night with our dogs–so we would have the basic amenities of life–power, hot water, air conditioning, and Internet access. When I heard it might be several days before power is restored, I elected not to check out of the hotel this morning, figuring it was better to pay for an extra day than to not have the room tonight if our power is not restored today.

Things could have been much worse for us. A limb from my next door neighbor’s oak tree came crashing down, missing my Jeep–parked in the driveway–by three or four inches. They had a tree completely uprooted by the wind. Our neighbors behind us lost about half of a 40-year-old sycamore tree, and a big chunk of it crashed down on their roof. I was out in the backyard when it happened, and I saw it come down and crash.

We lost a tree in our yard. I was outside with the dogs when one of the four main limbs of the tree came off. I had Susan come out to help me because I was trying to keep the thing away from our fence. I was just reaching up to grab the limb when the next one snapped off and came down on top of both of us. I absorbed a lot of the blow when it smacked into my shoulder and neck, but it took Susan to the ground and I had to get her out from under it. We’re both okay. A bit battered and bruised, but okay.

I hope not to ever experience anything like this again so long as I live. It was frightening. I hope all of my readers are okay. For all we experienced, we didn’t have the rain or flooding that they had in Galveston. My thoughts and prayers are with the residents of Galveston and Houston today.

Scridb filter


  1. Mon 15th Sep 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Praying for you and all the victims of this storm my friend. We had a lot of damage a few years ago here in VA and I know exactly what you are going through. It was the scariest night of my life for sure. Glad to hear you and the family are safe.

  2. Kent Dorr
    Mon 15th Sep 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Same story up here in Mansfield. Lost a part of a 50 year old maple tree in my back yard. Like you I was cleaning up a downed limb that had come down on my neighbors spruce when…crack!!!! a whole third of the tree came off and fell inches from me. I ve been cutting it up all afternoon long. Ive never seen or heard winds like that yesterday. Didnt lose power tho. Hope you get your restored quickly.

  3. Todd Berkoff
    Mon 15th Sep 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Eric — I have some photos related to Pleasonton’s time in Warrenton in late 1863 that I would like to share with you. Can you email me your email address so I can send them?

    Todd Berkoff

  4. Jim Epperson
    Tue 16th Sep 2008 at 7:20 am

    Eric — You want wind? Spend an entire spring down where I used to live in North Alabama, so you can experience a tornado a week…

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