Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ohio been Iked!

On Sunday hurricane Ike blew through here, leaving behind a trail of damage on a pretty wide scale. Ike packed a lot of energy to begin with, but our problem was worsened by the meeting of his southerly "warmth" with a cold front coming in from the west. They decided to wrestle each other in Ohio. Winds reached top speeds of 75 miles per hour (120 km/hr), and they lasted quite a while. There were several deaths in the state, deaths of people that is, but the material damage was quite big. Even yesterday, the day after, there were still some two million people without power in the state, about 500,000 of them in central Ohio alone. Some people will not have electricity restored until next week. Downed trees everywhere, some of them hundreds of years old. In our neighborhood, there were downed trees and ripped off shutters, but not much else. We lost power from about 4 pm till 10 pm, which is two hours on both sides of dusk. That's really prime time in Ramadan. We waited and then had to leave at the last minute, to hunt for food. Of course everyone in town was out on the hunt, and some restaurants were not even open that late on a Sunday. We were lucky because the power came back for us just as we got back home and were starting up some candles.

Yesterday I got to work and found the campus area in worse shape. There are a lot of narrow side streets lined with tall old trees. Narrow streets make for good wind tunnels, much to the demise of those beautiful trees. An ugly death scene, really. Power still out, traffic lights dead, and...

A couple of things I learned: Traffic lights actually speed up traffic not slow it down! That was a flip. Also, if fasting is partly meant to train people to be less dependent on things taken for granted, then electricity should be added to the list. They ought to have programmed/scheduled power outages. It would be like fire drills and tests of the emergency warning systems. Not only individual people, but communities need to be trained. The pictures below are samples of many sent by people to local TV.

OK, how do you define unlucky?

Honey, look what the wind just brought in!

Another unwelcome visitor

Wind power vs. fossil fuel


  1. Oh my god !!!! I see you guys had some fun. It seems so far away on the news, but your pictures make it feel very close and real. Glad to read you guys are safe. The economy going belly up, but hey doesn't it every few years. Thats why grunge fashion became in, no one could afford new fashion.

    Lots of Love from this side of the ocean.

    magda :)

    PS Happy Ramathan, and Happy Eid as well. I'll be glad when ramathan is in the summer properly next year.

  2. Eid Mubarak to you and your family

    وكل عام وانتم بخير

  3. Wawwwwwwwww ,, seems almost Ohaio is under war.