Sunday, July 08, 2012


Der what?

I had never heard the term derecho  until one passed through our woods, and a few neighboring states. I've heard it described as an on land hurricane.  Wikipedia defines it as "a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms."

Tree broken in half.
Nine days ago in the late afternoon the kids and I could see a storm coming. We could see the black sky. I was hopeful for the rain. When the wind started the kids and I ran out to put up vehicle windows. We had new piglets and headed down to the pig house to be sure they were secure. That was when the real wind began.

The winds were fierce. We could hear trees falling. We saw trees snap in half.  The wind swirled up the hill toward us from the hollow below. You couldn't tell which direction the wind was coming from. The kids thought it was great. I was a little scared.

The wind of the storm didn't last long, maybe fifteen minutes. Following the wind was nice steady rain. After the storm passed, it was eerily calm.  The calm was only in the weather. The storm had left chaos in its wake.

The calm after the storm.
Tree on the fence
We were fortunate. We counted roughly a dozen trees down along the driveway and around the buildings. We didn't even attempt to go out and look at the rest of the wooded property. The only damage done was to some pig fence. Our electric went out during the storm. Tim was driving home from work during the storm. It took him hours and several tries to make it   up to our ridge and home. Trees were blocking every road, and he ended up helping a group of neighbors to clear one of the trees so he could finally get through.

The storm damage was widespread. The power outages were everywhere. Our power was out for five days. There are many in our state who still do not have power nine days later. No power plus a grueling heat wave makes for a lot of grumpy people.

We fared well. We have a generator. So, no food losses. We were able to cook on the outside cook stove and grill. The generator will power quite a few things. The first day Kellen figured out how to hook up the wireless router. You know, because internet is a necessity. Well, at least to a 13 year old. Our kitchen counter became the charging station. We charged our phones, kindles, and the kids' DS. You see the other "necessity" we had to plug in; the coffee maker. I ran the vacuum. I used the washing machine. We just couldn't use everything at the same time.

charging station
It was hot. Thankfully most nights it cooled off significantly. We were able to open the house up at night to cool it off, and shut it down during the day. It was tolerable.

We also found we aren't quite as prepared as we could be. We were caught with low supplies of propane and gas. We were able to go out and purchase these. That may not always be the case. We never lost water, but many did. We have a rain collection system we use for animals and gardens. We need to be able to purify that water for our use. If this happened in the winter, we'd be scrambling to keep the house warm. Must get our wood burner in. I'd love to pick up a wood burner with a cook top.

So that was a derecho. I hope we never meet again, but we can say it was a character building experience. It was a good learning tool. I hope all my friends who are still without power get it back soon!


  1. We made it through too. I'm glad we only lost power for few hours though. I'm a wimp when it comes to heat. lol. Glad everyone's okay.

  2. Wow, glad you and your family made it out ok. Storms are quite scary sometimes!


  3. Congrats on survivng your first (hopefully last) derecho. We had the one here in May 2009 and we were without power for a week. Other parts of the area were up to 3 weeks. We ended up losing quite a bit from the fridge and had to have a cookout for the stuff in the deep freeze or else it was going to spoil. As far as damage the we had to re-shingle the roof but not too much beside that, glad to hear you guys are ok.