I’m just now emerging from my cave after a raging desert storm, the likes of which I have not experienced in almost 20 years of living out here where the sun always shines.
Here's my local paper's account
Back in the 50s, in pre-Interstate days when Yuma was just a rest stop on the way to somewhere else, restaurants and other businesses promoted themselves by saying they’d give away everything for free on days the sun didn’t shine, and I’d bet those days were few and far between.
Yesterday it seemed like our rain for the season was done with – we had enough sprinkles out our way Sunday nite to give the cars a rinse – but the rain gods weren’t done with us yet!
By about 5 p.m., we were getting seriously rained on, with plenty of lunder and thightning to go along with it. By 5:30, our electricity was out, and we finished up cooking dinner outside on the grill. Dinner by the light of glow-sticks can be fun, but when you’re worried the A/C won’t come back on before it heats up again, it kinda puts a damper on the air of adventure. It was 109 degrees about the time the rain started.
Not only were we getting high winds out of the east, the thunder was rolling and seemed like it would never stop once it got started.
Once the rain eased up a bit, about seven thirty or so, we got in the car and took a drive to see who else in the general area was out and if we could find the electrical guys out working on the source of the problem. (This is the best way to figure out how long an outage is going to last.) We saw one lone guy up in his bucket truck looking with great trepidation at a fried transformer, about five miles down the road. Everything between us and him was out, so we figured that was what was causing the trouble. Secure in the knowledge that APS would soon have a crew out to get the problem fixed, we headed back home. My husband dropped me off and went into town in search of dry ice for the freezer.
I sat in the enclosed porch and watched the forces of nature put on a rreally big show. From where I sat I could see about forty miles north, and it looked like the storm was heading pretty much due north. There was still rain coming down on Pilot Knob, the little mountain about seven or eight miles away. Spiders of lightning, miles long, were streaking sideways across the sky, and thunder kept rolling and rolling. Then right over my head was a was flash of yellow that turned into red so bright it hurt my eyes. Red lightning? Yep, it surely was; the first I’d ever seen.
That spooked me. I went inside to crank up our solar/windup radio and listen to some ancient oldies for awhile. By the time my husband got back, our part of the storm was over, but we could see where it went. We heard a NOAA report on the radio of 60 MPH winds up in Parker, 133 miles to the north of us. We checked in with APS, and their estimate was that we’d have our electricity back about 11. Paul didn’t feel like sweating to the oldies, so he went off to try and get some sleep.
I didn’t even try. It was kind of entertaining to listen to all those old songs. It reminded me of high school years, when I’d spend a lot of summer evenings doing nothing much but listening to the radio. And writing.
Radio now is disappointing. It’s just music, with no guy talking in between the songs about what was coming up, what we just heard, and the little bits and pieces of DJ chatter that made you feel like you really weren’t alone in the universe. I missed the guy. It was nice to sit in the kitchen by the open window for four or five hours and reminisce, even though the Beatles were inexplicably missing from this lengthy, unrepeated playlist. I still missed the guy.
Radio used to be a semi-participatory event, and now it’s just a medium; a vehicle for commercials. Sigh. I don’t remember what any of the commercials were for, either.
11 o’clock came and went without power. APS was hoping for an update “sometime after 12,” so I grabbed the cushions off the couch and stretched out on the floor in the cross-ventilation between the open door and the kitchen window. It was a few degrees cooler than the bedroom. We were now at about 85 degrees with 85 percent humidity. I guess I slept a little. About 2:30 I heard my husband on the phone with APS again.
Then about 5, I heard a boom – or it seemed like it. It was the A/C, the lights, the fridge, and the TV all coming on at the same time. We went around and closed the windows, and I sat in the kitchen for a few minutes to get completely cooled off. Then I went to bed.