Monday, November 23, 2015

The Hell Storm of 2015

Yesterday the wildest storm
I ever witnessed flew past
west to east, a shaggy
howling sky-beast
"The Wildest Storm", Mary Oliver, from Felicity

Last Tuesday, Spokane had one of the worst wind storms on record--71 mph winds.  It was devastating.  As you can see in the picture above, our barn door was completely blown off during the early stages of the storm--when there was still light out.  It got much worse later.

The horses were all okay, but Beautiful Girl, still locked in her stall from her injury, was understandably scared, especially with the barn door blown off and the winds powering in.

It howled and pounded for hours, and our lights were flickering off and on throughout it all, losing power here and there.  By storm's end, we had power, but had lost our water pump to an electrical surge and short in the panel.  They replaced the panel first thing Wednesday morning, and our water was working again.  We were pretty much back to normal, minus a barn door that won't be fixed until late this week or early next.

We were extremely lucky because, in all, 206,000 local residents totally lost their power, and two people were killed during the storm.  Many private homes and businesses are still without power--one week afterward.

Our office didn't regain power until yesterday, Sunday, so we had to cancel most of last week's appointments.  My brother's families moved in with us until each of their homes had the power restored--one of them yesterday afternoon.  

All and all, compared to others, our damage was minor.

My favorite Birch tree was split in two during the storm, but in truth, it had already mostly died, and I just couldn't cut it down.  The winds took care of it for me and snapped it. 

But I loved that tree from the moment I planted it, and I couldn't part with it.


I didn't. 

A few days after the storm, I went outside, gathered up the branches and carted them into the house.  Like, "It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to," but a happier version--It's my house, and I'll bring in my dead tree if I want to.

I put the largest section of the tree in my personal space--my music, reading, computer room.  Now I can sit under my tree and play my piano.  Kind of magical.

And I didn't stop there.  I put branches ALL over the house.

They're in almost every corner.

During the storm, my sons, who also lost the power in their shared home, came over to the house and made us dinner.  Brook made a salmon with lemon, pepper and goat cheese. He worked as fast as he could to have it done before we lost power.  At one point, the power went completely off and we thought it was done, but after a minute or so it popped back on.

 We had a cozy dinner--a little bit of heaven, in a hell storm.


  1. We were hit with the same storm, I sure was happy that I had driven home from the Buck clinic the night before.No major damage here, just the usual dried up willow branches, and the granary that had flipped over in a previous storm got blown back upright- too bad it's to damaged to be salvageable. We lost our power for about 4 hours, I was happy that I had the wood stove going and plenty of candles.

    1. I'm glad you weren't on the road with a horse during the storm. You're smart to have a wood stove. You can survive a long time with no electricity as long as you have one of those.

      I just finished reading about the Buck clinic. I really want to audit one next year--especially since it would help me train Leah. The clinic in Kalispel is tempting.

  2. Wow. My hubby mentioned something about Spokane area, but I thought he said snow storm. That's the kind of storms we get here, but usually coupled by rain. So happy to hear that your family, horses and home are okay. Bummer about the barn door, but things can be replaced. Poor Beautiful girl, bet she was scared. :(

    What a great idea with the tree!! I love it...birch tree? Your home is beautiful!!!

    1. We're getting our snow storm today. :) The wind storm was awful, but like you said, things can be replaced--we're lucky everyone made it through safely.

      Yes, it's a birch tree, one of the first we planted when we moved here. I loved it. Not sure how or why it started to die this summer, but maybe the natural pruning will bring it back this spring. If not, we're going to leave the trunk out there and put a bird house on it. And, thank you for the compliment. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Almost forgot...Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!!

  4. Hooo boy, sounds like a corker & glad that you didn't have even more damage or any injuries result! Sorry to hear of the pain & loss of life for some others. :-(

    Bad storms can be SO costly with the damage they leave behind; even though most of us have it, insurance claims are a pita & even the deductible can be a hardship for a lot of families.
    Your door looks like a write-off; was it the kind that powers up & up against the roof, or did you have it rigged to slide open? My gelding probably could have eaten his way through the whole thing, hardly looking up from dinner - but my mares would have been throwing themselves.

    We live in a storm-centric area where power outages are fairly common; the crews are very good here & usually the power is back on within hours. I always fret though, a little about the freezers, but mostly about the livestock waterer which needs power (& heat!) constantly in winter. Can't even carry water to them during a power outage as the well pump is, of course, electric. We've decided that we need to buy a generator (our Christmas gift to each other. Ain't love grand?)

    1. It was a roll up door. The cost for a new one is just a little over our deductible. With labor, it's about $685.00. Seems cheap. We also lost our well panel. That's funny that you're buying a generator for a Christmas gift, but after what everyone around here just went through--WISE. :) Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Sounds like a hell of a storm. Glad you are all okay. Poor beautiful must have fern scared but she made it through. Too bad about the barn door but it can be replaced.

    I can't believe there's someone else in the world who gets attached to trees like I do. Looks beautiful in your personal space room. You have a lovely house. Enjoy Thanksgiving!

    1. I love my trees and plants. I can't wait for spring to see them come up again--like long lost friends. My personal space is filled with things I love. <3 Happy Thanksgiving!


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