Saturday, August 19, 2006

Stay Where You Are!

Last night, a storm hovered over Pure Florida that showered this area with the most intense lightning I have seen in a very long time...maybe ever. It's worth mentioning that Florida is the lightning capital of the world and I grew up here...so I'm not easily impressed by atmospheric static electricity.

It was BAD...made worse by instantaneous thunder that shook you to your bones, rattled windows, and vibrated the house. The power went off about 4 times. After really intense flashes, the phone would ring once ...from EMP I suppose.

At the peak of it, my cell phone rang ...

"Daddy, it's Katie, I'm outside the house, what do I do?"

She had just driven up from a the first highschool football game of the season.

"Stay where you are. DO NOT get out of the car until I tell you."

For the next half hour, she sat in her little Neon entertaining heself with her laptop while lightning slashed across the sky and the ground shook. We chatted on the cell phone until finally that system moved far enough to risk a dash to the house.

I haven't done a walk about this morning yet to check for any storm damage. There was a lot of rain and lightning, but it wasn't a windy storm.

One bit of damage was noted early tho ...

...my fancy shmancy coffee maker is dead.

18 comments:

roger said...

too bad about the coffeee maker, but the important things, er, people, are safe. lightning must have been striking very close. do you have lightning rods on your house? does anyone have them anymore? good thing the cell phone worked. we are all expecting pics now of some tree or something with visual evidence of lightning. well, i am at least. not that i want damage.

i did once experience a lightning strike about 200 feet away. WOW! what a sound and paplable concussion.

Deb said...

Sorry to hear about the coffee maker! We had a fancy coffee maker that died a very similar death.

robin andrea said...

That must have been quite a storm. If there are no pics of downed trees or anything like that, perhaps a photo of the dead coffeemaker would work. Glad Katie thought to call from the car rather than making a mad dash to the house in the midst of that lightning storm.

pablo said...

Did I read somewhere that using a cell phone can actually be a lightning attractor? I suppose she was well insulated within the car, so that might not have been a concern.

However, the more important question to ask is why is this college-bound woman still going to high school basketball games?

edifice rex said...

We have had several intense, afternoon lightning storms pop up recently at work. Summer in the south, you know. Almost everone is working off of heavy duty metal scaffolding at the job too and boy, you should see everybody run when it comes up!

Laura Who Must Have Coffee said...

Whew!! Yesterday afternoon, we had a news weather bulletin that a storm system that was moving from the east across the state was heading toward our county, and that they had just recorded over 5,000 lighting strikes in one hour!

Unfortunately, we didn't get any rain from it at all.

And if that were my coffee maker that died, and I lived out in the country, I wouldn't be a happy camper at all. LOL

Hurricane Teen said...

You know I wish I could have been there :-D But we'll get ours tonight when this little tropical disturbance comes in...if anything is left of it.

I'm terribly sorry for your loss.

Mrs. S said...

No!! Not the coffee maker!! That's just plain MEAN!

I'm still jealous about the storm you had, though - I miss those atmospheric shows since moving out West. All we get here is drizzle for 8 months of the year >.<

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

Talk about toughing it out in the face of adversity - entertaining yourself with a laptop computer and chatting on a cellular telephone while sheltered in a recently acquired automobile during an electrical storm. I hope Katie realizes how fortunate we are these days.

PS - You are very fortunate also - if I recall correctly, my kids stopped seeking my advice for anything at about age 13.

threecollie said...

Such a sad, sad loss. We keep a jar of instant in the freezer for such emergencies.

Floridacracker said...

roger,
see photo above. no damage outside to report on...200 feet is about a mile too close in my book!

Deb,
Actually, this one was overbuilt. I just want coffee, not a monument to coffee.

Robin,
See photo above per your request! Katie does have a pretty good head on her shoulders, I was glad she waited too.

Pablo,
I think I heard a story about that too. She still has lots of connections to the high school...college starts this week.

Edifice,
I would be leading the pack down. Lightning is the one thing I never, ever gamble on.

Laura Who Must,
I bet that was my storm. You know how our lightning is and this was way up there on the "Damn, This Is Some Storm" scale.

HurricaneTeen,
It was budding meteorologist heaven I guess.

Mrs. S,
If I had been more foolish, I would have gone out on the porch for some photos...

Hal,
Good point. Amazing times we live in where cool modern electronics entertain us while we cower against an the most ancient form of electronics.
As for that last part...I count my lucky stars.

Natasha said...

Sorry about your coffee maker. You will get another one. You should be glad that it was only that.

Floridacracker said...

Natasha,
Welcome to Pure Florida!
Thanks and you're right. I'm very glad it was only a coffee maker.

debbie said...

About three years ago, one of our backyard trees was hit by lightening. The tree was only 20 feet away from the house. The next morning there were pieces of tree all over my yard and the neighbor's yard (we have 1 acre lots, those pieces really flew). The poor tree was ripped open and split down the center. The power of lightening . . . scary.

jojo said...

Hey i was in that storm...It wasn't as bad down by me though. I'm in West Palm. Now a few months back we had a storm like that, scared the you know what out of me. Ran out and brought in all my little critters that i could. And had them hunkered in the garage, kind of like during hurricanes. Snapped a tree in half on the property across the street. Pretty scary. hit one of the trees in the horses pen, too.

Glad i found your site. Those mucodine grapes look delicious. and you are one of the few people who even know what a florida cracker horse is...even cooler.

Wayne said...

Awesome! And I don't mean that in the postmodern sense of a delivered pizza.

I keep track of the extremely violent electrical storms we've had here, always seeking to top the best one yet. As we move into autumn we'll stop getting them.

Debbie's description of the tree is right on. I ran across a tall loblolly pine in the woods that had had its bark literally exploded completely off the tree, just like that.

Floridacracker said...

Debbie,
Wow ... it really is pretty amazing. I guess trees live in fear of having their sap boiled from their bodies.

JSM,
Welcome to Pure Florida!
Laura at Vitamin Sea (great blog) said that storm was registering 5000 strikes an hour...youwza.
I love the Cracker Pony and the Cracker cattle, haven't made the leap to ownership of either, but I love their toughness and history.

Floridacracker said...

Wayne,
We have been getting juiced a lot this week.