We arrived home from our trip to New York and Toronto in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.
Although Don, our housesitter, had phoned us in Toronto to tell us about the Penticton windstorm and downed trees in our yard , it wasn’t until the next morning that we became fully aware of how much damage the 100 kilometer per hour winds had caused, particularly in our neighbourhood and down at Skaha Park on the beach.
After seeing the destruction first hand, I was amazed that there were no injuries or deaths caused by falling trees during the storm considering the number of trees that crashed into houses and cars. I was more amazed still after hearing our neighbours talk about being outside and watching the ground heave as the trees swayed wildly in the wind.
Thirteen big trees on our street of only 14 houses were dropped by the wind. We lost 5 trees in total, including a huge blue spruce that took out a big maple which fell into the hydro lines and caused the power pole to collapse. The lines fell around our neighbour’s truck and actually melted a piece of his driveway. The top portion of a poplar in the backyard snapped off and landed on a hawthorne splitting it in half. Lastly, a spruce in the back yard was sheared off about 8 feet above the ground, lifted upwards and then sideways clearing the fence and another landscaped part of the side yard, before it landed in the street.
Our weather station (see product description below) clocked the top wind speed at 80 kilometers per hour, and down the street another friend with a weather station showed top speeds of 101 kilometers per hour.
We were SO lucky not to have sustained any damage to the house, unlike so many others who need to have windows replaced and are looking at roof truss replacement in the spring.
Although I thought we were properly prepared with our survival kit for a lengthy power failure (this one lasted 2 and a half days) with both gas and wood fireplaces, a gas stove and water heater, the emergency radio this event proved that we still have more work to do.
Although we had tons of emergency candles and crank flashlights (that don’t require batteries), one of the essential elements we were missing was a couple of really bright lights, like this Invertible Camping Lantern. We picked up 3 of them yesterday, and just one provides ample lighting in any large room.
Because I hate having to throw out food and would like the house to stay warmer than 12.9 degrees celsius, our next investment will be a generator large enough to power both the fridge and the furnace.
And last but not least, and although it is completely unnecessary, I want a little TV for those really long power outages. 🙂
Here are more thorough product descriptions of some of the items mentioned above:
The Radio Signal Wireless Weather Station.
This weather station has its own receiver that collects signals broadcast by MSN Direct (verify the signal availability) on an FM sub-band at 66.75 kHz, which automatically detects its location, calibrates its clock, and wirelessly displays your region’s weather information, providing convenient, reliable outdoor conditions reporting without the need to install and manage your own sensors. A large back-lit LCD with six fields uses 1″” numbers to display indoor and outdoor temperature, barometric pressure, humidity trends and history, wind speed, direction, and gust, wind chill, dew-point, heat and UV index, rain level in the past 24 hours, sunrise and sunset, visibility in miles, and phases of the moon. It issues National Weather Service severe weather warnings and provides four-day forecasts. Includes an alarm clock with eight-minute snooze. Plugs into AC. Requires four AA batteries for backup. Signal is available in most urban and suburban areas. 10 1/2″” L x 5″” W x 6″” H. (1 1/4 lbs.)
Stansport Earthquake/Survival Family Kit with Carry Case
The Stansport(tm) Earthquake/Survival Family Kit is specifically designed to support up to 4 people during catastrophic events, including earthquakes, floods, hurricanse, and other life-threatening disasters. It includes a 3-day supply of food, water, and medical supplies in a sturdy carrying case.
DORCY INTERNATIONAL Invertible Camping Lantern, Dimmer Switch 41-3105
BlackHangs Two Ways – Upright Or Inverted.Multiple Applications – Camping, Workshop, Home Or Boating.Dimmer Switch.4.8V 0.79A Xenon Bulb – Hpx 40- .Rubber Base For Stability And Durability.Uses 4 D Cell Batteries – Not Included- .
Brand: Dorcy International