Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Disaster Tuesday

Well almost anyway. If your an Insurance company you may think so. On Tuesday we had 60mph plus winds blow into the area dropping temperatures 20 degrees in about an hour. The Cabot area along with many others sustained a lot of wind damage. My house was one of the lucky ones. I did have a few shingles get blown off but that was about it. There were many houses less than a block from me that had about half their shingles blown off their roofs. I thought our shop building was going to get blown away about 3pm. The winds were so fierce and so sustaining the the building was actually moving. The drop ceiling in the office was knocked all out of place. Luckily it all calmed down by dark.

Our Tuesday night running clinic got canceled due to the high winds plus there was a lot of people without power. I had an Emergency Vehicle driving class at the fire department so I went to that. I stopped by Station 3 and picked up Engine 64 and drove over to Station 1 knowing that we would probably be going out on something. Sure enough, about an hour into the class we had downed power lines with a tree on fire. Myself and one of the other Captains took the call with E64. It was somewhat surreal when we pulled in to this trailer park on Maddox Rd and there were no lights. Then all these people started coming out with flashlights or just appearing out of the dark. Pretty strange and considering where we were, there were a few strange people too. We saw the tree but it really wasn't on fire. The power line had rubbed against it and it did have a burnt spot but it went out. When the wind would come up the power line would rub it again and then it would start back burning a little. We waited around for a little while in the warmth of our truck, knowing that it might be a while before the power company got there. There was several trees down but the line was really not endangering anything or anyone so we went back in service. On the ride back to the station we saw two power company trucks headed that way. Those guys had a really long night. I finished the class, had to refuel the engine, help fix the station heater and then it was home for bed. I think I finally got to bed about 11:30pm. We were very lucky as we didn't get a call after that. I guess all the damage was done and over.

One of our firemen is an engineer at the Air Base and he said they had over $1.2 million in damage. He watched the roof on a airplane hanger peel apart. This could have been much worse I suppose. The last major storms we had was when Hurricane Rita pushed northward and spawned a bunch of small tornadoes in our area one Saturday a couple years ago. I think I ran 9 fire calls that day within about a 5 hour period of time. I have countless other disasters/fires I could talk about but there is not enough room or time to write about them all here.

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