yet another September storm
Thursday, September 8 2011
For the third time in two weeks, last night another powerful storm came through, this one dispensing a warm torrential rain without any wind or electrical activity. But the deluge was so powerful that at first I thought it was a consistently howling wind. Only when I pushed the blinds aside, looked out, and saw the unmoving trees did I realize that the storm consisted entirely of rain.
Eventually our electrical power was snuffed out once more. This was heralded by the smoke detectors, which tweeted like audio blue screens of death, though this happened after the actual death, as the remaining electric charge stored in on-board capacitors slowly dissipated. Since the storm had brought only rain, my guess is that a mudslide down on Hurley Mountain Road (which hugs the bottom of a very steep escarpment) had caused yet another tree to fall across the powerline.
After another 19th Century morning relying on pre-ground coffee and water heated on a stove lit by a lighter, power was restored at around 11am. That was faster than usual, probably indicating that there are still a lot of mobilized linemen working in the area.
Despite the risk of future power outages, this afternoon I decided to return our borrowed generator to its home in a shed at a house in rural Rhinebeck. Wynkoop Road, which crosses the Esopus on a iron bridge, was only nominally open. The brown water churning not far below was thrillingly menacing as I drove across. Meanwhile, several rescue-type vehicles and personnel were gathered on either side. Perhaps they were hoping to save someone who had been carried away by flood waters upstream.
As I crossed the Hudson, I noticed that its waters were unusually brown and there were strange new ripples in various places. But, being a tidal estuary, its waters didn't look to be any higher than usual.
On the way home, I picked up some wide planks for a new shelving unit I intend to start building in the laboratory. In the past I've been known to use masonite and other cheap wood substitutes, but this time I went for actual pine. And I also wanted them to be wide enough to hold a reasonable-sized cardboard box.
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