Friday, May 23, 2008

Blowin' In To Town - Literally

I got into Laramie Wednesday night - finally - after battling extreme winds from north of Denver on. I think these winds were the precursor to the tornadoes that hit in northern Colorado and Laramie yesterday.

Thursday morning was dreary and blah, but as the day went on the weather became increasingly weird. We had everything - rain, wind, hail, sleet, thunder, lightening, sun...

Then it just became rain, wind and hail, and emergency broadcast told us to go to the basement since tornadoes had been sighted in the county. A neighbor with no basement came over with her son and we waited. Eventually the power went out, we lost internet, and my phone died because I hadn't been able to find the charger. We used the light from our computers to find our way into the laundry room where one child (playing in a dryer), two dogs, three adults, some candles, and an old clock radio for news spent the better part of the afternoon.

After two touch downs we came up and decided to drive around to gawk at the damages. We weren't the only ones! The streets were so busy you'd have thought a UW/CSU game had just let out.

Come to find out at least one of the tornadoes hit two blocks from the house. The golf course, which L and Nate live near, had giant trees cracked in half throughout, and the Quadradangle, an historic community/square dance center was, as Nate put it, "dangled."

Other photos of the damage can be seen here.

Our electricity went out around 1:30 p.m. leaving us in a house with no heat or light, but we made the most of it. We had beer and Little Caesar's by candlelight and once L put her son to bed she, Nate and I stayed up to play Who Wants to be a Millionaire by candles and headlamps. Nate warmed some water for tea on a camp stove and we used what we started calling "The Sun" to get around the house. "The Sun" is a small, bug zapper-looking lamp that creates so much light you would think you were walking around in the middle of a sunny day.

We went to bed early with extra blankets and the dream of electricity, which from the sounds of it wouldn't come true any time soon.

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