Blowing in the Wind

I thought yesterday's windstorm was a bit unusual. Even in our often breezy locale, such events are rare in December; we usually experience these storms during the spring. As it turns out, I was right. Yesterday's sustained wind speed and maximum gust (51 and 63 mph, respectively) were both all-time records for December. (It could have been worse. Guadalupe recorded a gust of 105 mph; that's equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane!)

We didn't experience any damage at our home, although I'll have a bit of a cleanup chore on our driveway and back porch thanks to the inevitable pile of dirt that accumulates when the wind blows like that. Our trees are still small enough that such winds don't pose any dangers, and I continue to be thankful that we opted for a concrete block fence instead of the less sturdy wooden variety. And because the wind direction was from the west instead of the north, we also avoided an accumulation of tumbleweeds (although there were encounters; more about that in a moment).

I had some errands to run yesterday afternoon, requiring me to be out during the worst of the wind. I observed some of the storm's effects: a downed telephone pole on "A" Street forced a detour; a pole-mounted sensor on a traffic light on Big Spring Street was leaning precariously; it occasionally seemed that I was in a hailstorm as my car was pelted by wind-driven acorns and pecans as I drove down residential streets; our alley was turned into a slalom course by the city-provided trash containers that were scattered along its length.

I also had to shake out our mail before bringing it in the house. Our box faces west and it contained a tiny Sahara-like accumulation of sand.

There were some amusing moments as well. As I turned onto "A" Street out of our neighborhood, I spotted a huge tumbleweed moving perpendicular to my path and I adjusted my speed to avoid it. Coming from the other direction was a Mini Cooper and its driver was a bit more panicked; the tumbleweed was easily as tall as the car and almost as wide. Fortunately, all collisions were avoided and we lived to fight another day.

Now, I'm off to see if I can get my leaf blower started.


"Leaf blower" sounds so pedestrian. Sounds like you need a Tumbleweed, Dirt & Sand Destroyer!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Eric published on December 9, 2009 7:54 AM.

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