Freak storm

9 Nov

I could see the dark clouds hanging about in the sky, threatening to dump their contents.

I had about an hour before I needed to pick Hannah up from preschool and then Daniel from daycare. I’d finished all of my housework and blog post drafts, so I decided to leave early and beat the rain. Well, beat the rain to the supermarket. I needed to get something to cook for dinner. Hannah likes to spend some one on one time with me, so I often pick her up an hour before Daniel and take her shopping or something.

As I fastened Hannah into her car seat, the rain started. We pulled out of the parking lot and onto the road. The rain was a little heavy, but nothing too bad. We kept going down the road, enroute to the supermarket. Ting, ting, ting, ting, ting.  The rain turned to thumbnail sized balls of hail. My wipers were on full blast, but still weren’t able to keep up with the crazy hail that appeared to be hitting the car at a 90 degree angle. 

I couldn’t see a foot in front of the windshield. Oh gosh, we’re going to crash. I slowed right down. I must have been going 5 kilometers per hour, desperately searching for somewhere to pull over. Parked cars lined the road, so I had to keep going, all the while hoping that I wasn’t too close to the parked cars or the centreline in the road. I came to a turning lane and pulled in. I planned to stay in the turning lane until the rain/hail eased, which luck would have it, happened straight away.

I turned and went straight in the Aldi parking lot as the rain belted down once again. But at least we were safe, no longer on the road.

The view from my windscreen after I parked. It was far worse earlier.

“Are we going in Mommy?” Hannah asked me.

“No sweetie, we’ll just wait in the car until the rain lets up.”

We watched as people stood at the front of Aldi with their full shopping trolleys, they too waiting for the rain to ease. We saw a man running full speed from his car to the front of Aldi, slipping and nearly falling on his bum on one of the white pedestrian crossing lines as he ran.

When the rain finally eased again, I carried Hannah to the entrance of Aldi. “They’re closed love! The power is out.”


We got back in the car and picked up Daniel. There was no time to go to a different supermarket before I had to pick him up.

“Oh no, don’t tell me this light bulb doesn’t work now.” I said to no one in particular as we walked in to the apartment after picking Daniel up and going to a different supermarket.

None of the other lights would turn on either. Crap. I put the salmon fillets I’d just purchased in the fridge as fast as I could, trying to preserve the cold environment in there as long as possible. Maybe the ice cream and sweet potato fries be ok if the power wasn’t out for long.

Aaron and I ordered Thai delivery for dinner and the kids had honey sandwiches and fruit salad. I was going to make them peanut butter and jelly, but both the peanut butter and the jelly were in the fridge.

After the kids went to bed, Aaron and I played board games by candle light and went to bed at 9pm. From our bedroom window we could see 2 power company trucks and one blinding bright work light. We could hear a chainsaw going.

“Maybe a tree fell on the line.” I said to Aaron. “Well, I guess the electricity will be back on soon. I’ll put my left over thai food in the fridge.” I didn’t want to open the door and let all the cold out before that.

Somehow, I managed to get so sleep even with the chainsaw going and lots of other noise outside.

We tossed and turned all night. Beep beep beep beep beep.  A noisy fire alarm was going off. “Are you sure it’s a fire alarm and not one of the kids’ toys?” Aaron asked me.

“Pretty sure, but I’ll check just in case.” No, it was definitely a fire alarm. And it didn’t stop. All. Night. Long. The trucks worked well into the morning, one right near our window. Other people who couldn’t sleep were milling about outside, talking loudly.

This morning, the power was back on. “I haven’t heard the fridge.” I told Aaron. Surely with my tossing all night, I would have noticed if the fridge was running. A quick check proved it wasn’t. Neither was the kettle. Or the oven, the dryer, the washing machine, or anything else that needed to be plugged in. One of the plugs had black marks on it.

The base of my phone charger was plugged into a power board, but the cord part (that attaches to the base plug bit via usb cable) was blown completely out, the end black as night. The surge protector and double adaptor in the man cave in the living room were black.

An electrician got everything working at about mid day, but by then all the food in the fridge and freezer had to be thrown out. Everything appears to be in working order, except the NAS (which Aaron tells me is network attached storage), which is where we store about 10 years worth of photos. All the photos of the kids are on there. All the photos we’ve ever taken since 2002. All of them.   The NAS is the one thing we were hoping would come out of the power surge (there was a note in our mailbox from the electricity company stating that excess voltage may have occurred) unscathed. Unfortunately, it was one of the only things that didn’t. Apart from my phone charger and that adapter.

We’re hoping that the actual hard drive inside the NAS is ok, and that it’s just the powering bit that is damaged. We’ve ordered another one so we can stick the hard drives it in and retrieve all of our precious photos. That is the hope at least.

Tomorrow I’m headed out for a girls weekend away. No kids. Oh yeah, I can taste the relaxation now….

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Copyright 2012 Sheri Thomson

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9 Responses to “Freak storm”

  1. idiosyncratic eye November 9, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    I hope your photos are safe. 🙂

  2. Sam Chisholm November 12, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    Sorry about the food but glad to hear you have power! I hope you enjoyed your kid-free weekend! 🙂

  3. LBcruiseshipblogger November 22, 2012 at 5:06 am #

    Sounds like you need a portable hard drive to have back-up storage for all those picture files.

    • Mommy Adventures November 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

      We used to back them up to a storage place on the internet (we paid for it), but we got slack and haven’t done it since before Daniel was born.


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