Well, I had been working on a Five on Friday post for most of last week, but then things kind of went to shit here with a massive wind storm, nothing I’ve ever really even heard of before. Winds were over 80 mph and holy crap, guys… chaos and destruction.
I got to work at around 1:00 on Wednesday, my late day. I was preparing to take an online course with my colleague when suddenly, things got dark and quiet with a “whoosh.” Emergency lights quickly came on and we were submerged in darkness.
We immediately evacuated all patrons from the building. Staff stayed until 5:00 and then went home. We had no idea what the rest of the week would bring or what the world looked like outside. It was — IS — a hot mess. The worst damage was on the street basically right outside of my work. Cars were stuck on the road, surrounded by downed power lines, poles, and trees. Live wires surrounded them and kept them in their cars. My drive home was eerie and scary, with many traffic lights out, and HUGE trees just lining the road and yards. Most people in our town lost power, but we were fortunate enough to escape that. We did, however, lose a gutter. That damage was minimal compared to some of the damage we saw with trees hitting houses and things flying. I saw pictures of an entire house crushed by the trees. Yikes.Jerry’s work has been closed, so we had him home every evening Wednesday – Friday, which was a pleasant surprise. We watched movies and relaxed, and felt kind of bad that we had the capability to even do that while most of the town had no power.
I reported to work on Thursday and discovered our power was still out. We had the option of staying or leaving but I opted to stay. I am nothing if not dedicated (and also… I wanted to save my vacation time – ha!). I walked into the pitch black building and exclaimed, “oh good God” since I was half expecting the power to be back but it very clearly was not. We wheeled carts of books out to the main floor where we have windows and natural light and processed books, one of the only things that we can actually do without power and computers. Pizza was delivered, snacks were shared, and phone calls were made nonstop, with coworkers checking on their families and the status of their power.
Friday, we reported again. A generator had been hooked up overnight but our power was limited. We had heat and a few lights, but still no computers. We opened to the public, as a place people could come to get warm, charge devices, and check out books the old fashioned way. We led people around the stacks with LED lanterns and it was all actually a bit fun. A colleague and I started on a big book shifting project, in half darkness, and pizza was again delivered to those of us who opted to work.
Aside from work, my town looks exactly like a storm ravaged through it. Several traffic lights are still out and people apparently don’t understand the four way stop rule. Fallen trees are just everywhere you look and there are STILL people without power. The community center has been open ’round the clock for people to stay overnight who have lost power, as well as to house crews who have traveled from all over to help out since every single hotel is booked solid. There are even crews here from Quebec working on our power lines… it’s pretty incredible.
We’re almost a week out now and the damage is still apparent. Life is still not back to normal in our town but I know it’s being worked on 24 hours a day. We live in a really, really big town, but this event has made it feel so much smaller, in the best way possible. Neighbors helping neighbors, people banding together, offering spare beds to friends, and others donating food and supplies to the community center for those who are without power. Hell, people came all the way from Canada to help with OUR power lines… that’s something, isn’t it?! Then of course, there are the not so kind people selling generators for a grand on Facebook, and people bitching about the poor line workers… but the good people are far outweighing the bad. I’d rather acknowledge all the good that I am seeing at this moment. I know in a few days time, things will be back to normal and we will all go back to living our own separate lives, but for now, there is a feeling of real community out there.
All of that said, it felt kind of silly to get on here and talk about my random happenings when there was so much devastation right outside my own front door. I was going to tell you that I recently saw The Sound of Music with my aunt and friend; it was an incredible production and I’ve actually never seen the movie, can you believe?! I was going to show you the beautiful box one of my besties put together to ask me to be a bridesmaid and how excited I am to be there for her on her big day. I was going to tell you that I’ve gotten back on the fitness wagon AGAIN in a very small way and have exercised three times in the last week. These things are all important to me, but I’ll expand on them another day. For now, I am feeling lucky that everyone is okay, and fortunate to be witnessing a lot of kindness that sometimes seems to be missing from this world.