Ho-lee crap. After suffering through a day of 103 degree (that's 110 heat index) weather, the massive wind and thunder storms that ripped through the mid-Atlantic made their way to Alexandria at roughly 10:30pm, and their presence was undeniable. As the winds started to pick up and we watched the big red blog on the radar descend on the DC metro region, we knew we were in for a doozy. Luckily we had the foresight to prepare by lowering our patio umbrella and hastily remove the 4th of July buntings from the front of our home.
With just seconds to spare, the storm hit full force, bringing hurricane-force winds and driving rain. We watched from our bedroom windows as our new curbside tree was bent to a 45 degree angle from the winds. We held our breath, hoping it wouldn't be uprooted and sent sailing down our street. As we were watching the scene unfold outside, the driving rain brought a steady stream of water pouring in through our window sash. As I pulled back the curtains, Alex ran for paper towels while cursing the fact he hadn't finished the new storm windows. Lulu lazily watched the scene unfold.
We fought the battle against the rain for roughly an hour. A roll of paper towels and some elbow grease later, we're happy to report were able to keep the water from damaging any of the plaster, shutters, floor, or curtains.
Best of all, after the storm blew through, the temperature had dropped some 20-30 degrees. I dozed off with lightening flashing in the distance while Alex trolled Twitter for information on the Amazon Web Service outage that was affecting Instagram, Netflix, Pinterest, Reddit, and other major websites. It was all caused by the same storm, and he's a big nerd like that, so he was having his own little fun.
When we awoke this morning, we quickly realized we were one of the lucky few still with power. More than 2 million people in the area are without due to the storm, and temperatures are expected to reach nearly 100 again today. As a result, Alexandria has declared a local emergency. Four storm-related deaths have been reported in the area.
We did a survey of our yard and surrounding homes. Our back yard had a lot of leaves, branches, and debris that required cleanup, but we're happy to report no damage.
Just outside our back wall, we discovered that our garbage can as well as a neighbor's had been tossed about.
We were very happy that we had lowered our umbrella. Our neighbor had kept hers up, and it landed in a neighboring yard. So we did the neighborly thing, retrieved it and returned it to her.
A stone's throw from our back gate we also discovered a large branch had come down from a neighboring tree. Luckily, no one was parked in the spots below.
We headed out to the farmers' market this morning and surveyed some of the damage around town. Other streets didn't fare as well as ours, and there were lots of fallen limbs and trees.
This tree came clear out of the ground, blocking the entrance to an adjacent parking garage.
Lucky for those parked, a crew had already cleared a path.
In addition to the photo above, the other large fallen tree we witnessed was this one.
Though all of this damage was very evident, it didn't discourage people from getting out and about this morning. The Farmer's Market was in full swing and the restaurants were packed with people who were seeking a bit of relief from the loss of electricity.
Alexandria had a great response to the storm with workers busy all around cleaning up fallen trees and getting everything back to normal. Times like these make me very happy to live in a city that springs to action when necessary.
All in all, we're thanking our lucky stars that we made it through the storm without any damage. We've been glued to the news all morning, and can't believe how severe the damage is in other parts of the metro area. It's a good reminder that when Mother Nature is in a bad mood, we'd all better take caution and take shelter.
Were you affected by last night's storms? Did your home sustain any damage?