We retreated to the basement, fearing that a tornado was upon us. The wind was bending the trees in our neighbor's yard like blades of grass. This was nothing like Hurricane Irene, at least not as experienced in southern New Jersey. There had been no warning and somehow "thunderstorms" on the forecast just didn't prepare us for the intensity of that storm.
After a very frightening hour, the storm ended.
|The large riding arena.|
After checking our house, our family, and searching in vain for a place selling coffee, we stopped at the barn. We had to park our cars at the end of the driveway, because there were trees down everywhere. Our immediate neighborhood was okay, except that we lost power, but the farm was a mess. Just a week ago, we had our Open House so the place was neat as can be. The last of the logs from tree removal had been carried away, and now we have to start all over again.
|There are our trot poles from the other day. The large pine has since been hacked to pieces and reduced to a very large pile of pine cones and branches in the middle of the ring. Most of the trunk is still on the other side of the fence.|
My husband and I joined the clean up crew of eight. The heat index was over one hundred degrees. We walked buckets of water to Harley and his buddy all day long. They drained every one. We drained many water bottles, too. The barn owner bought lunch for us, but this was no small feat, as nearly all the traffic lights were out and only one store, a ShopRite, had power and was open. It was a mad house!
The priorities were to remove trees from fencing and pathways and then repair fencing. Harley's paddock was the worst and the really scary part is that he and his buddy were out during the storm. This is one of the downsides of 24/7 turnout, although I am sure that there are plenty of justifications for not bringing a horse in during a storm. Barns are not fortresses and things can go very wrong in the barn, but I do not like to think about those things.
|We replaced the top section of fence. If you have worked with this vinyl stuff before, then you know that it is not particularly user friendly. Sturdy, though.|
|Thank goodness the horses were clear of the falling trees. About five went down in Harley's paddock alone. I cannot imagine what they must have been thinking.|
|The best sight ever!|
|Harley was decidedly not traumatized and very interested in his neighbor's hay net.|
|The flies were as bad as the heat wave. Harley tried running and bucking to dislodge the pesky insects.|
|I am sure that the two horses comforted each other during the storm. They stuck together like glue all day.|
|Hay is pretty comforting, too.|
|Lucky, lucky boy and lucky me. That was too close for my comfort!|
Even though the storm ended nearly 72 hours ago, we are still dealing with the aftermath. Besides the trees, fencing, and rubble, we are also without power during a heat wave. Thankfully, a generator was provided by a friend so that the water pumps can deliver water to the horses and the house. We have city water at home, so we are okay in that respect, but it is so hot! We also have to cook with our camping stove and sleep in the basement. Oh yes, and no internet or electronics until Husband charged some things at work today. As I type this, the battery on my laptop is draining faster than I can type. No wonder I am sweating!
Apparently, the storm that hit us is called a "Rare Derecho Storm". I sure hope this kind of storm is rare! I expected damage like this after Hurricane Irene, not a seemingly random weather event. I know that it was not random to Mother Nature, but we were definitely blindsided. I am grateful that everyone, people and pets, are safe as some were not as fortunate, but I would really, really like to have the air conditioning back soon!