Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Friday, July 6, 2012


The temps were hovering at the hundred mark last Friday. I was hoping for a storm to break the heat. You know, one of those summer thunder boomers with heavy rains that often lower the temperatures and leave the air smelling fresh. What we got, though, was something quite different--and with far-reaching, long-lasting effects.

We got what meteorologists call "a land hurricane." Simply put, we got one heck of a wind storm. Below is a photo taken by a Lynchburg resident of the sky as the storm rolled in.

Our power went out around nine that night. I lit candles and our antique kerosene lamp while Calvin and I waited for the power to return. Little did we know we'd have a five-day wait--five hot, miserable days.

Strong winds knocked down power lines, traffic lights and took out trees. Our city suffered a lot of damage. According to our local newspaper, over 1050 felled trees had to be cleared away. Is it any wonder, one week later, many residents of Lynchburg are still without power?

Roads were blocked by uprooted trees. Debris littered roads. Traffic lights were out of commission. Both of our hospitals were running on generators. Of the six McDonalds in the hill city, only one was open. One of the three multi-plex theaters had power. What few restaurants with electricity were running out of certain foods and gas stations were low on gas.

Calvin called around to every motel to find us an air-conditioned room. What hotels had power were booked up with other sweltering souls in search of cool surroundings. We smothered at night and left the house during the day, looking for anyplace that had both air conditioning and Wi-Fi.

And STILL the temperatures soared, topping out at 106. Power crews from the electric company worked sixteen-hour days. Help arrived from power companies in other states, like Florida and Georgia. Bless their souls. When the power clicked back on here in our house, Calvin and I gasped in delight and smiled at each other. For us, the agony was over, but for others it still continues. Crews are still working to get everyone restored.

The whole awful experience was a teachable moment. We're very grateful for what we'd taken for granted. Now when our fingers turn on a light switch, we're thankful for lights. There's profound gratitude for a cool bedroom at night and hot water in the showers.

Many businesses allowed customers to charge their cell phones and laptops and iPads. Bob Evans was very gracious to us, sitting us near outlets so we could power-up while we ate.

This calamity also brought out the worst in some people. Crime is up. Generators have been stolen. And one night, near eleven o'clock, someone banged on our front door. Calvin grabbed the flashlight on his nightstand and headed for the front door. Soon someone banged on our back door. Once Calvin flashed the beam of the light, whoever it was ran off. Evidently they were checking to see if anyone was home before breaking in to loot the place.

To those utility workers who've put in such long hours, wearing rubber suits in hundred+ degree heat, I thank you. You've shown the best in human kindness.


katsrus said...

That is scary someone was checking your home in the middle of the night. Glad you are alright. So far we are just having the extreme heat where we live in WI. A lot of areas in the US sure have been getting hit with both storms and heat. Stay safe and cool.
Sue B

Vonnie Davis said...

Yes, it was scary. Poor Jazzie jumped onto the bed with me, his ears laid back and his eyes opened wide. There are still 7000+ people without power here in Lynchburg and tomorrow's temps are to hit 100. My heart goes out to them.

Nona Raines said...

Vonnie, so sorry to hear of the difficulties you've had lately and glad that they're finally behind you! You're so right to remind us to be grateful and not take for granted our blessings. I've been complaining about the heat here in upstate NY, but it's nowhere near what you experienced and we still have power! Take care and stay cool!

Vonnie Davis said...

Thanks, Nona. We leaned a lesson in gratitude from all we went through. Electricity is such a part of our lives...and as I write this, our power flickered. Poor Calvin, said, "Oh, Lord, it can't be! Not again." The lights are back on, so hopefully it was just a little hiccup.