September 16, 2008

Hurricane Ike in the Midwest

The spot where I used to park my car at EnglishRose Photography at the Mike Carr State Farm Insurance building in New Albany, Ohio. (Click on photo for close-up view.)
Before I update everyone on the destruction Hurricane Ike produced here in Columbus, Ohio, I will let you know that our fury dogchild, Ching-Ching seems much better the last few days! Even more significant, is that we didn't provide any medical treatment (reasons described in a previous story) except a vigorous back massage I apply along her spinal cord several times a day! Chiropractors aren't allowed to do this, of course. But I'm not a chiropractor - just a believer in natural methods of healing whenever possible!

I truly believe this 'adjustment' helped our other dog, Sheba when she was diagnosed with Cushings Disease and not expected to live more than six months. Now over a year later, Sheba is happy, alert and very adapted to her life of total darkness as she is also blind with something the vet called SARDS. (I had hoped the back massage might have helped that too...)

The dogs sit down as I gently massage in a circular motion all along the entire backbone. They snarl a little when I hit a sore spot so I'm more gentle in those areas. I don't believe I have to make any qualifiers about how this medical advice has not been approved by the food and drug administration. My information is strictly personal with no guarantees of healing. ...

Three days ago, Hurricane Ike traveled from Huston, Texas to the Ohio Valley where she unexpectedly spewed hurricane force winds across cities like Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. We had seen the weather forecast for a wind advisory but did not expect nor prepare for the howling winds that started up Sunday afternoon, September 14, 2008.

As usual, Jim went outside to enjoy the forces of nature. Ching-Ching lay on the grass next to Jim as he sat on the edge of our patio, both facing the howling wind and breathing in the new odors of the southern storm. I noticed that both Jim and the dog had their eyes closed because the wind carried bits of sand and other debris.

I comforted Sheba inside who doesn't like storms of any kind and wants to lie as close to me as she can. When the wind finally forced Jim and Ching inside, I commented that this was different from Michigan winter storms where the wind doesn't let up for days at a time and one feels like they are breathing out but never able to take a breath in. We wondered how fast the wind gusts were and estimated that some were greater than the hurricane winds we witnessed in Florida.

Later we learned that some gusts at the Columbus International Airport (about 10 miles from our house) were over 75 MPH.

Our electric flickered a few times but has stayed on - unlike over 250,000 AEP customers in the Columbus, Ohio area and over 1.2 million customers in the state of Ohio!

Monday morning Jim left the house for work and drove across the bridge to his favorite breakfast restaurant when he suddenly noticed that it was totally dark in that area of New Albany. He returned home for a couple fried eggs. I got up and turned on the news to discover that two great financial institutions had turned belly up in our nation and the electricity was out in many areas of Columbus and surrounding towns. Trees were uprooted, cars crumbled, houses demolished, businesses without electricity and schools closed.

Parts of Texas will never be the same after Ike. Government will never be the same with the fall of three of five major financial companies and Columbus, Ohio was impassible on Monday.

Jim did get to work by car (instead of bus) and downtown Columbus does not seem as affected. It's getting there that's the problem.

The family whose child I nurse had to leave town to be with family in Pennsylvania because they still don't have electric - four days later - and they have medical equipment that needs electricity.

So, I'm unexpectedly off work with nothing to do. I was wondering if I should call and volunteer for the Red Cross like I used to! They are busy setting up food and shelter for those whose food has perished in their refrigerators and cars have run out of gas. People are parking their empty cars at gas stations waiting for the electric to come back on - or the gas trucks to arrive.

Our electric company sent trucks to Texas to help restore service after Ike, so Ohio is having to call for help from the east coast. Stores that are open are completely out of batteries, flashlights and,of course, generators. There's not a generator to be sold in the entire state of Ohio.

Blessedly, the weather is beautiful. Sounds of chainsaws fill the air. People are helping people. A neighbor where I work loaned his generator to my family for a few hours to charge medical equipment and try to save refrigerator foods. (They told me if I heard the generator stop running in the garage to make sure no one was stealing it.) I haven't heard of much looting, though. Just good camaraderie and unselfish sharing and helping each other.

So, it's bad news mixed with good here in the Midwest. One strange story, though. About a year ago, a student from Ohio State simply disappeared one night after being out with friends. His picture was circulated and new stations ran the story many times. The man's father was sure son was alive and has been relentless in his search. On Sunday, the father was killed when a tree fell on him during the wind storm. Part of me wonders if he finally found his long-lost son.

Take Care on the Journey,


1 comment:

Juanita said...

Since I do not think the comment area dates the comment today is Monday (9-22-08)I have been without electric since 3pm Sunday (9-14-08) eight days and counting. I am becoming very impatient!