My storm story

According to Wikipedia, A derecho is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm that is associated with a land-based, fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms. Derechos can carry hurricane or tornado force winds, and can deliver torrential rains and perhaps flash floods. A warm-weather phenomenon, derechos occur mostly in summer, especially during June and July in the Northern Hemisphere.

Chances are you’ve never heard of a derecho.  I sure hadn’t…  Until one moved through our area with no prior warning, in 2012.

It was my third summer living in Maryland, and, according to my neighbors, our section  never lost power.  Really, that’s what “they” said.  The elderly lady who lives directly across the street me, did not remember losing power for more than a couple of hours even once, since she and her late husband built their home in 1971.

So, the short version of this story is—never say never. The last day of June, right before 11 pm, winds seemingly came out of nowhere.  The lights flickered, the lights went out.  The lights stayed out.

We were fortunate, as we only lost power for about nine hours.  Just two houses away  from us, going in all  directions, entire blocks of homes were without power for almost two weeks. Other than our little cluster of six houses, the neighborhood went dark, and that was that.

The realization of how dependent I was on electricity sharply came into focus that night.  You see, I need help from my  non-invasive ventilation machine when I sleep.  And, the ironic part is that we owned a generator.  Yep, it was right there, sitting in its unopened box in the basement.  And, that generator was totally useless, because we had nowhere to run it!  It couldn’t sit outside in the rain.

The short term solution for preparing to lose power in the future,  was to get a  UPS battery backup unit. My son bought one the next day.  But the best way to stay prepared was to have a shed built, so that there would be a sheltered place to run the generator.

After our shed was completed, we made sure our electric extension cord was rated to carry the current, and was long enough to reach into the house.  We made sure we had motor oil, and gasoline, and a funnel, and a flashlight, and kept it all stored together in the shed, ready for “next time”.

So far, next time is yet to happen.  In October of that same year, hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast.  It wreaked devastation along the New Jersey and New York shoreline.   Thankfully, during the hurricane we only lost power for a few minutes here and there.

.. because I’m me, the shed needed to look quaint and unique.  I spent the better part of a month late last summer working on it.  Enjoy the photos shown below.


The shed

Bunny detail on shed door

Quotation over door: A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. (Lou Holtz)

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