As Bruce and I sat around the campfire Monday evening, carefully planning out our week, my son Jim gave us a call to let us know of an impending storm due to roll in around 10 that evening. We were aware of the situation (weather is very important to RVers), but informed Jim we were not going to take down the awning as we had in previous storms. We finished up our fire and dinner and headed inside to watch the 10pm news. We could see the storm rolling in on the radar screen and saw a bit of lightning outside of our windows. We closed up the windows and headed off to bed. The storm passed before I fell asleep, and I drifted off to sleep thinking of the busy week I had planned in preparation for our daughter Shauna’s upcoming wedding, and our trip to NC.
I am a very light sleeper, and always have a fan running to provide white noise. During my slumber the fan shut off indicating the power had indeed gone out. With the fan off, I could hear thunder outside. I peeked out the window and saw the trees swirling around. I hopped out of bed and ran to the front kitchen window. Lightning strikes were happening fast and furiously. Thunder boomed. The wind roared, and I mean roared. Bruce jumped out of bed and hurried up front. The trailer swayed back and forth, and actually felt as if it was airborne a time or two. And the awning! Oh my gosh, it was whipping up and down. I feared it would rip right off.
We sat on either side of the dinette and rode the storm out. It went on this way for at least a half hour’s time. Finally, the wind began to settle down, although the rain just kept coming. After a bit the rain subsided enough so we could venture out and see the damage. It was pitch dark, and you couldn’t really see much even with the flashlights. We all checked around on our RV community folks to make sure everyone was ok. Fortunately everyone was ok and relatively unscathed.
Not so for a few of the RV’s and one car. But this is ok, because nobody got hurt. There were a couple of boys in a tent, but they went into mom and dad’s pop-up at the front of the storm. A tree fell on a motorhome splitting it in two we heard, and a car was crushed. After we all wandered around in the dark feeling quite stunned we returned to our homes (even Guy who owns the motorhome, says he just shut the accordion door to the now crushed bedroom) and went to sleep.
My son called around 6am to check on us. I awoke with scratchy eyes from too little sleep, and headed to the window to survey the damage in the early morning daylight. It looked like a war zone. Several giant oak trees were ripped out of the ground. Limbs and leaves everywhere. Power lines down. People starting to wander out looking a bit dazed. Bruce and I ventured out. Our awning was still firmly attached and we sustained no damage to trailer or vehicles.
We ran into our neighbor Mike, who was actually went out in the middle of the storm to secure his awning. He says the wind picked him up and tossed him against his trailer. Just beyond Mike lives Guy of the smashed motorhome. Guy told us his dog who normally sleeps with him refused to get into bed, so Guy and Smoky went the living area to ride out the storm. Guy says 30 seconds later the tree fell right where he had been sleeping! Shadow is either a true hero or an angel. What a great dog! As I reflect upon this experience, I am grateful it was so dark and the wind was so loud, that I could not hear the trees crashing around me. I may not have been quite so calm through it all!
It is three days later and we are still without power. We are chilling in a sweet hotel room til power and water is restored. As they say in Hawaii: No rain; no rainbows. It sure did rain, and I am expecting some big rainbows, especially for Guy and Smoky.