The lovely Pacific Northwest had a "Weather Event" yesterday. There was an expected windstorm that did lots and lots of damage throughout Western Washington and the coast.
While I was driving to work, I noticed once I got to the farmland that the wind was strongly blowing, pushing my heavy truck around. Once I arrived at work, the lights kept blinking on and off. We were all kind of nervously making jokes about getting to go home, all the while hoping the building wasn't damaged while we were in it.
Not long afterward, the power indeed went out. The main office is windowless so it was pitch black. This is the situation where you discover who are the helpers and the panickers. One of my coworkers is a panicker. I calmly grabbed my phone, started the flashlight app, and helped her find her phone and way.
Someone asked her where her emergency flashlight was. She opened a desk drawer and brought out a torch (a Bic candle-lighter) I was all "Umm, no..." gently taking it from her "That is a super bad idea."
I returned to my office, which is separate from the rest of them and made arrangements to go home. But when I checked in later, they were huddled around a table with a flashlight in the middle and were talking about what they could do for lunch.
The interwebs was apocalyptic with photos and updates of downed trees, power outages, and then the only freeway we have closed. I was a little concerned and befuddled that they were so whatever about it. I guess that maybe they thought it would...wait for it...blow over.
I just wanted to get home safely, make sure we had electricity and everything was fine. So, I left. One and a half hours later, I was home. It usually takes twenty minutes. All the traffic lights were out, the freeway was closed, and it was gridlock everywhere. Once I could get to a back road, I was great. It was just getting to it.
We had power when I arrived home. It looked like our road was the only one in the whole neighborhood that did, strangely. I can't see our backdoor from where I park and I was busy looking at the trees, wondering if there was anything I could do. Then I rounded the corner of the house and Sonofabiscuiteatingdog.
Our roof was damaged. There were twenty roof shingles scattered on the ground and in the garden.
I put my stuff down, walked back up behind our house to look at the roof (there is a gravel road that runs behind our house) And sure enough, a section was missing and there were eight shingles still laying haphazardly on the roof.
Unfortunately, I can't see the front of the house to see what's happened on that part of the roof. I couldn't tell if it was better or worse. So, here I am in a windstorm, making excellent choices, and getting a 10 foot ladder in the middle of a windstorm.
I set it in the middle of our lawn, planted it well, and slowly inched my way up three steps. All the while, muttering "I am the dumbest person alive right now." But my courage wore out and I couldn't get high enough to see enough of anything.
It took Kevin nearly two hours to get home. And of course, it started to rain as soon as he was on the roof. Luckily it stopped about halfway through the repair job. And with that, the wind died down too.
Along with thousands of other people, I had to call the insurance company to start a claim. It was surprisingly easy and I hope that bodes well for the process. And if it doesn't, I tend to enjoy a good fight. We're glad to be relatively small in this situation.
Oh, beautiful PNW, sometimes you make it difficult to love you.