Last Saturday we had headed into the city to have a lunch date and on the way back home, we got to our local town and voted in the early polls for the upcoming elections, it was so fast as we were the only ones there, walk in and walk back out 5 min later max..
On the radio is was saying.. beware of a fast moving line of thunderstorms, they were to get to our area around supper time or so they had been saying for a couple hours and then it changed.. the phones started to whoop the alert, the radio cut into the alert system and the storm had grown and it was suddenly hours early coming
We pulled into the farms driveway with about 10 min to sort things before the storm hit, we saw it race like a line just to the right, like a wall and I did not like the greening of the sky both of us were watching ot see what would happen and then the wind hit us like a wall.. then it was gone..
Blink, Blink.. so was the power.. This is in fact very common here on the farm to lose power after a storm and its normally back with 1 to 3 days.. its just a fact of life and its something we are very well prepared for..
So out came my radio/flashlight plus combo unit and it only took a short time listening to blink hard and go.. WOW OK… its was a lot worse then we got and in a huge way! This line of storms spread a line of damage close to a 1000km long, bumping, hitting and moving/shifting coming along between both ontario and quebec with around a billion in damage.. and pushing in between the two with close to a million households without power..
It snapped power poles like they were tooth picks, current information at the time of writing was the around 400 polls needed replacement with hundreds more being just tied down for later work, as they said, we normally fix and replace 200 a year, and we are needing to replace and do double that in the next few days to weeks to get the power back on..
When it came to the power issues, poles were not the big problem it was the fact that storm winds were so powerful hitting at its max 192 km a hour (that would be 119 miles per hour) crumpled the massive metal mega towers..
We have been asked so many times, “what was your damage, did you do ok?” and our answer always seemed to be greeted with a bit of wide eye look back as I reply.. “we got off very lucky, just a few thousand in damages”
That is the truth, compared to just up the road, just over 15 min in one direction and 20 min in another, they got hit with lines that have ripped down full barns, taken off whole roofs, walls, siding, sheds, whole fence lines taken out, hundred of thousands of trees in the path has been broken, or ripped out by the roots..
those trees landed on vehicles, all kinds of buildings including so many homes, whole back yards are gone, fencing gone, decks gone, sheds gone and so many greenhouses.. so many of our local greenhouses filled with all the spring plants ready to be sold, ready to be planted this past week and next week, gone, ripped, bent, and or broken.. Fruit Orchards have had massive damage, maple tree farms could have lost hundreds of mature producing trees..
For all you farmers, this will help you get a idea of just how powerful.. it shifted a 30 ton cement grain silo a full foot and took the whole top half off and dropped across a road..
Nine days into it and we are down to 9000 households without power in the city and just as many without in the local country side, plus more in other power company’s zones.. I am only keeping track of mine and the ottawa ones..
We brought out the back up power sources, the berkley, the ecozoom stove and the shuttle chefs, and we hit the canning pantry.. We started out with jars of my canned water as we got things set up, anytime I have a blank jar in a pressure canning load, I will can a quart jar of water (I will own up that its always a used lid but they always seal perfectly so i am not paying for a new lid on each one)
We put our focus on the freezers and keeping them going, I had hopes for the fridge for the first day or two but we were only running the back ups long enough to cycle the freezers and unlike many peaple, we did 6 to 8 hours max which meant that the fridge was not kept cold enough and taking no changes after a week, it was a total clean out.. thankfully all the tupperware and jars was very washable, once we finally got power and water back.. the Olives were still good and those are freshly hardboiled eggs back in starting to cool off..
Cost wise I can imagine that it would be brutal to clean out your fridge if you didn’t have a full pantry and or the money redo it..
Every meal or snack went for six days was pretty much like this.. hot drinks once a day or so, lots of room temp flavoured water and other then fresh eggs, it was so what would we like from the canning pantry.. up and down the stairs for soups, stews, chili’s, fruits and so on..
The farm was fine.. the pasture critters had a mix of the pond or rain water collection to fill and top up the water troughs, the house flushing needs was meet by the food forest pond.. we had to check each bucket and carefully catch and put back any tadpoles or baby dragonfly larva before bringing in and using.. we could use pond water if needed for the Berkley but we have fresh rain water and I perferred to use it and did.
Many hundreds of thousands of households and millions of peaple were as well off.. and were and are still struggling and in some cases suffering.. Everyone in the general public is still in the, wow.. its over and we are getting our power back and things will settle.. it will take weeks to months to a year plus for most to grasp that this kind of damage for certain places, certain businesses and for families that it will not be over quickly or cleaning or at all..
The rain did at least give a little gift.. Morels.. yumm.. these must be gotten when small because something local adores to eat them as much as we do and so if you think.. o, I will let that get bigger.. poof, it will be gone..
It was very interesting to see how our phones all went down.. cell tower need power and their back up system’s fail.. no power, no water, no internet, and no or very poor limited phone service.. we sometimes got 1 bar, enough to send a text to make phone call at just the right time.. which was still better then many others..
If hubby had to work, it would have been a bigger challenge but as it happens, it was a normal take the week off and plant the gardens.. We did not get the gardens planted, we got things fixed, repaired and we got many trees planted and some garden space prepared.. planted not so much..
Each new day is a clean sheet of paper to start to do list.. one item at a time..
Well, wow, things do not come to a rest anywhere, do they? So sorry for all the damage. Glad you are ok.
Its going to take us a bit to get caught back up but overall it will take a lot longer.. and it certainly will raise the cost even more on reno items and company’s
Sounds like you made out fine with the exception of your fridge and maybe the pain in the arse of having to pack water. Did you find any holes in your prep? I always look for what I could put in place for the next round of crazy. The first four years we lived here there was no water system of any sort – don’t miss packing buckets of water or ‘bathing’ in a tub after I’ve heated the water up. Ugh.
I am point in face already have a bullet point done to flesh out into a blog post on area’s that we have a gap in.. the oddest one was the fix on the genny.. I mean it worked like a trick and we were good but it was a flook that we got it figured out honestly.. hot water on demand is honestly such a amazing thing.
Glad you and your hubby are okay! I was thinking of you and hoping you made it through the crazy weather okay.
We got lucky, it hit on both sides of us but we just caught the edge of it..
Haven’t heard from you in a while – everything going ok?