Sunday, February 28, 2010


You may have heard about it on the news: New Hampshire got hit with some serious wind on Thursday night. We managed to get through more or less unscathed, but apparently that was not the case for nearly half the state. You can get all the gory details from your news source of choice, I'll just add our own experience. Being an engineer, I've made a graph:
Although the wind was heavy and the rain was spitting against the windows, things weren't all that bad until late in the evening. The only real downside was that the noise kept Brynna awake late. However, have a look at the above graph, right around 22:30. That's me taking Jasper out for an evening walk. In the rain and 40 mph gusts. Our road, like many, has power cables strung alongside, and quite a number of tall conifers on what tonight was the windward side. So while trying to avoid getting rain in my eyes, I was keeping an eye on the heavily swaying trees above, bracing with every howling gush of wind, hoping that I'd have enough warning before a falling branch dashed my brains in. I've been in gales on mountains before, but that didn't concern me as much as this. This was more reminiscent of getting caught in a thunderstorm above treeline than a walk down around the neighborhood. Pretty wild.

There was a moment of panic when, three minutes from home, the whole sky turned a glowing, under-the-sea green color. Great, I thought, I'll miss getting hit with a downed powerline only to get hit with an exploding transformer! That was followed by an exceptional dark when all the street and houselights went out. They came back after a few lengthy seconds, but it was definitely time to get indoors.

The electricity held out long enough to watch the end of the womens' figure skating competition, then started getting intermittent. Each flicker, brown out, or momentary loss signaled yet another power line getting snapped somewhere in the nearby grid, till it went out quite definitely around midnight and stayed out for some four hours.

Still, by morning, we had power back and there was no damage to the house. The tree in our backyard didn't seem to shed too much. But, when I took Jasper for a run Saturday afternoon, there was a whole lot of debris and trees around. Some had been visited by chainsaws already; many had not. I passed two downed power lines, and more than a few humming generators within a few blocks. So yes, it was pretty exciting, and the party is far from over for a whole lot of people across the state.

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