The first tornado warning of 2010 sent Baby Dog, Dog and me to the basement on Friday evening. Fortunately, nothing happened at my cabin or elsewhere. The tornado cloud stayed in the sky and apparently didn’t touch down, but the sky turned so black that I couldn’t even see out my tiny basement window for a few minutes. Hail soon followed for a few seconds, followed by some not-awfully close thunder and lightning and then the excitement was over.
I saw the tornado-ish looking cloud as I was driving home from work Friday evening. It looked like a huge, black jellyroll in the sky. Those are never good things.
The nasty weather reminded me that the time of year for such activity has arrived here on the mountain. Fortunately, I don’t see many tornados, but the summer thunderstorms can bring enough destruction and concern. Wind damage and the possibility of falling trees are always a threat. The possibility is always there but fortunately isn’t frequently realized.
More common are the weird things that lightning can do. My neighbor’s well pump got knocked out by it a few years ago. It’s also not uncommon for lightning to hit a nearby tree or a transformer. Electricity gets knocked out here fairly regularly, though it’s not all that common that it stays out for longer than 8-12 hours. This time of year, losing electricity for half a day is an annoyance but not a real hardship. In winter, that becomes a different story, mostly because of the possibility of the water pipes freezing. Once I lost electricity for just a few hours shy of a week—that wasn’t fun either.
The power line that supplies Roundtop and my cabin runs through the woods for about a mile, perhaps a bit more, before it reaches us. All it takes is one tree falling on it for the electricity to go out. And often the utility company waits until the storm passes or for daylight the next day to begin their search for which tree is causing the outage. Sometimes, they take so long to show up that my neighbor has taken to riding the power line himself to find the tree and report where it has fallen to try and speed things up.
Now that I have the chickens to worry about, in addition to the rest of the critters, I’m thinking I need to keep more water stored and on hand. No electricity means no well pump, too.