Saturday, June 30, 2012

"Derecho" is the Name, Destruction is the Game

Surreal doesn't even come close to describing it.  Seems to have come out of nowhere because none of the weather outlets gave any warning of what was to come. At least not here on the Atlantic coast. 75 MPH winds whipped through here at about 12:30AM shaking everyone awake. Yes, that is hurricane force, but this was no hurricane. The winds blew straight out of the west from Indiana leaving a path of chaos and destruction in an 800 mile swath.
WASHINGTON — Millions across the mid-Atlantic region sweltered Saturday in the aftermath of violent storms that pummeled the eastern U.S. with high winds and downed trees, killing at least 13 people and leaving 3 million without power during a triple-digit heat wave.
Power officials said the outages wouldn't be repaired for several days to a week, likening the damage to a serious hurricane. Emergencies were declared in Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, the District of Columbia and Virginia, where Gov. Bob McDonnell said the state had its largest non-hurricane outage in history, as more storms threatened. "This is a very dangerous situation," the governor said.
In some Virginia suburbs of Washington, emergency 911 call centers were out of service; residents were told to call local police and fire departments. Huge trees fell across streets in Washington, leaving cars crunched up next to them, and onto the fairway at the AT&T National golf tournament in Maryland. Cell phone and Internet service was spotty, gas stations shut down and residents were urged to conserve water until sewage plants returned to power.
The storm that whipped through the region Friday night was called a derecho (duh-RAY'-choh) , a straight line wind storm that sweeps over a large area at high speed. It can produce tornado-like damage. The storm, which can pack wind gusts of up to 90 mph, began in the Midwest, passed over the Appalachian Mountains and then drew new strength from a high pressure system as it hit the southeastern U.S., said Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
"It's one of those storms," Jackson said. "It just plows through."
The rest is HERE.There's video and a slide show, too.

We were fortunate not to lose power last night, though more strange weather (nothing like this, we hope) is due this evening and overnight.

And so it goes.

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