What a crazy year…serious. Crazy.
Yesterday in Iowa everyone was on alert. Seriously, there was a buzz in the air with anticipation. Everywhere we went, everywhere we looked, everything we did was all because of the great winds that we were expecting.
I don’t know if you can read the graphic but it says, enhanced damaging winds to 70mph, and then it says some isolated gusts of 80mph or higher. These are straight-line winds not associated with a tornado.
Then it says, “A strong tornado could occur”.
See the red graphic on the map. We’re in the red zone.
We live in Iowa. Iowa doesn’t get tornados in December. We get snowstorms. We don’t have any snow on the ground now. We did have a bit of snow but all of that quickly melted away a couple of days later and then yesterday we had record temps in the 60s some reaching to 70s. It blew out the all-time records for the month. CRAZY.
We were told to expect power outages. They gave us all kinds of warnings and we had no idea what to expect. We got warnings like this, “Damaging winds tonight could blow down trees and power lines causing power outages, possible for a prolonged period of time”.
Here was another warning…
“Tornadoes will also be possible, particularly near and west of the Mississippi River. There is the potential for a strong tornado to occur.”
Well after we’ve been seeing the news and saw the terrible damage the tornadoes across states to our south and east have endured, we were all a little on edge and nervous.
Then schools called off school and sent kinds home early as the high profile vehicles like buses were in danger of rolling with the winds that were expected.
Some of you might remember the derecho that happened in Iowa in 2020…I sure remember it. Many of us had family and loved ones that lived through that…so that put us all on edge too. UGH.
So…with Carver dressed in shorts in December and Gannon heading out with no coat on, Kalissa and I did some things that would hopefully prepare us should something happen. We filled our cars with gas. Gas was a big problem when the derecho hit. Gas stations were out of electricity so the pumps wouldn’t work. We filled our spare gas cans. Not so much for gas for our cars but…if the electricity goes out, we have the generator and it needs gas to run.
One news outlet reminded people that if there was no electricity, we couldn’t heat our homes. Another told people if they had loved ones that were on oxygen to make plans in case there was no electricity.
The news was all doom and gloom. I don’t normally get hyper and nervous about the weather but this had me wondering.
I decided to fill up some water buckets and water in the refrigerator. I charged my phone. Then I thought I did what I can. I was going to try to get something done on the computer.
Then my neighbor messaged me and asked if I needed help getting anything taken indoors. That reminded me that I was going to take my flag in. Then I did a swoop around the property to make sure everything was safe. Ah. It felt eerie outside.
So slowly the clock ticked to storm time…were we going to get storms? Were we not?
Then I pulled up the radar and saw that counties to the west of us were in a tornado watch…and some places like Sioux City where Ronda one of our charity quilt finishers lives was actually in a tornado warning. UGH. I started to believe that maybe the hype was necessary.
The hatches are battened down, now we waited…
The storm went through at about 8 pm. It blew like crazy but right here in Waucoma, I don’t know that it was a lot worse than any other powerful storm.
Me and all of our kids were chatting back and forth and then during the chatting I accidentally hit the video chat button. Karl, Kalissa and I all live in Waucoma. The other three live within 2 hours of my house. The strange thing about the storm was that most of us were being hit all within an hour span of time.
Buck lives the furthest south and originally, he was not in the warned area but as the forecast tightened up, his area was added.
After the storms passed, the winds were still wild. It howled all night long.
In the end…
we were all fine. Buck and his family lost power for 3 hours or so. As part of our conversations in the family message group, Buck was sending pictures of how his family was surviving with no electricity.
Oh my, things have come a long way from when I was a kid. I remember my parents having a big old Coleman lantern. Not Buck. This was his light source…
It is actually a solar-powered lantern that can also charge your cell phone. Yes, please. I ended up going straight to Amazon and buying one. They are recommended for hurricane and emergency kits as well as for camping. I just want it for days when the power goes out. You can find them HERE on Amazon. I already did my Christmas shopping but next year, I think my kids who don’t have one are going to get one.
Buck also sent this video. This is something I’ve never heard of either. These are Emergency Rechargeable Lightbulbs. He put the bulbs in his kitchen lights that are over the island. The bulbs stay in place and act like any other bulb. Then when the power goes out, the bulbs will stay on. They are automatically charged with regular use. Who knew there was such a thing?? I sure didn’t. I ended up ordering two of those too. You can find them HERE.
Those are so cool…and not expensive either.
He was also telling us all about his Head Lamp. Happily, I already had one of those… Kramer used these all the time on the farm. You just wear them on your head like a coal miner.
The other thing Buck reminded me that I was supposed to buy is a cord for the generator. He told me when the derecho went through people could get a generator but often didn’t have a good cord to use with it. I’m set now.
I think I’m set now if we end up with a storm…
Iowa itself didn’t fair the best. Power was and in some places still is out. There is storm damage in places 45 minutes from our house. 43 of the 99 counties were declared disaster areas.
Southern Minnesota was also hit and Kramer’s family had some damage to outbuildings and their grain set up. It was sad to see pictures.
Our family was very lucky and made it through without any problems. I’m so thankful for that.