Recalling the Derecho of 2012 - My Story

* I wrote this article in 2012 for Y!CN immediately following the derecho, which swept through Va and other states, causing significant damage and leaving many residents without power.

ABSTRACT: I lost power on Friday, June 29, when a powerful storm swept through my neighborhood in southwest Virginia. This article provides a first person account of how I have been coping with the power outage.
My bathroom - no power (own photo)

I live in the Roanoke Valley, which is located in southwest Virginia. Per the U.S. Census Bureau, the area contains around 308,000 people. On most nights, one can stand on top of a nearby mountain and peer out at the sparkling array of lights coming from the businesses and homes in the valley.

That has not been the case the last few nights. As WSLS (Channel 10) notes, a powerful storm swept through the Roanoke Valley on Friday and knocked out power to tens of thousands of residents. Per Appalachian Power, several days later, on July 3, more than 22,000 homes and businesses in the area still lack electricity.

For my part, I was at home (in a place I rent with my dad) on Friday. Shortly after 9 p.m., the power flickered several times before going out. My neighborhood has not had electricity since that point. Without any air conditioning, the temperature in the house rose appreciably. By Saturday afternoon, the place felt like a hothouse, and it does not seem to have cooled down much since that time. Over the last few days, I have spent some time with relatives. The houses are air conditioned, and my family members have been nothing but kind. Nonetheless, I long for the familiar feel of my place (when it had power).

I have spent most of my nights between Friday and Monday at the home I rent with dad. The scene is eerie. The neighborhood is totally dark, and the usually busy street has been quiet. The only sounds I hear are an occasional dog bark and the constant thrum of someone's whole house generator. Even at night, it is quite hot at my residence; I am constantly sweating as I lay in the bed. If I want to read, I have to hold the flashlight over my head. I also find it difficult to sleep, as I lay in bed worrying that, at any time, a criminal is going to try to break into the residence.

I hope that power is restored to my neighborhood soon, so that I can abandon my nomadic lifestyle and resume my normal routine.

-- Anthony Hopper

#weather, #Virginia #VA #derecho #storm #power #personal #memoir #autobiography #personalinterest

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