On Wednesday, we had unprecedented, horrific storms tear through the south. There were 174 tornadoes on Wednesday. One day. Twenty-four hours. We had ALREADY passed the “most tornadoes in a season” mark the week before. We were incredibly fortunate in my county. The surrounding counties were not so lucky. 39 of the 82 counties in Mississippi were declared disaster areas. There was substantial loss of life, both here and in Alabama. My heart and prayers go out to those who lost their homes, loved ones, or their lives.
Power went out on Wednesday afternoon around 4. Huzzah! We all got to go home early! Oh, except power was out all over town. And the surrounding towns. And apparently a whole lot further than that, as one of TVA’s major feed lines in Alabama got decimated. And so did the cell towers. Being a cell phone only household was never a problem before. What towers remained were SO CLOGGED with everybody and their brother trying to check on people that nobody’s calls could go through. We kept getting sporadic texts in and out. But it was a few hours before we could leave home to go elsewhere (to my in laws’ who had a landline). They were hypothesizing that it could be DAYS before we had power again. Which was a problem, as nobody could buy gas or groceries or ICE because all the registers are computers. And of course nobody carries much cash these days. If we ever do have a true apocalypse, we’re all screwed. Stores were all locking their doors–with employees inside to help prevent looting. Thankfully it never got that bad.
It’s kind of ironic that as I’ve been struggling so to get back to a place of quiet and stillness (part of that whole pursuit of zen thing) that once I HAD IT due to total loss of power, I was really kind of creeped out. I mean, really. There was no sound. No whir of the air conditioner. No dishwasher. No hum of a computer. Silence. That’s the kind of thing I expect when I’m out in the country, not in the middle of town. When hubby got home, he cracked the joke that “OMG, we’ll have to actually…talk.” Which was funny but kind of true. We’re not used to just being together with no other filter or thing to steal some of our attention.
That night was like the opening to a zombie apocalypse movie. It’s never been so dark here. You could actually see the stars from town, and I could sleep without a mask because there were no street lights. Going to and from my in laws’ house in the county the only other source of light was the headlights of other cars. It’s like town just wasn’t THERE. As if it had been just wiped out. I kept expecting shambling figures to stumble out into the road in front of my car.
But power came back on sometime in the wee hours, and I didn’t even get off work for the day. Sad. I did sleep in, deciding to cite lack of alarm clock. My boss, naturally, was here at 8, even though the university website said no-non-essential personnel before 10 (wish I’d read that before I got here at 9). And after the storms scrubbed the hell out of the air, yesterday was positively gorgeous. Things locally are very much back to normal. Well, except for the fact that everything in the open fridge cases at all the groceries is gone from spoilage with signs declaring “Not for sale due to natural disaster.” No telling when we’ll get eggs again. I can’t speak for all the surrounding areas. They have much longer to go to recover.