The Ottumwa Courier

June 18, 2012

The sounds of chainsaws

Browsing Around

CINDY TOOPES
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — The “Chainsaw Melody” could be heard Sunday morning throughout the city.

A thunderstorm with a lot of wind power punched numerous trees Saturday evening in Ottumwa. Many of those trees were “the elders” in their neighborhood. They’re the ones who have survived years of excessive rain and floods.

When trees have a lot of water available, they don’t grow a tough root system that will hold them up when nasty storms pound on them.

This year has been much drier, and the trees have worked on a better root system. But they didn’t have enough time to develop a system that would hold them up during a severe thunderstorm.

And where were you when the storm hit  late Saturday afternoon?

In a safe spot, I hope.

I was at a friend’s house on the north side, and I used the shorter route home. That meant using the Jefferson Street Viaduct.

As soon as my wheels touched the bridge deck, the heavy rain started and I didn’t like it. But that doesn’t mean a darn thing when you’re in traffic along the bridge’s arch. The experience proved to me I can pray quickly and continually all the way home to James Street.

When I arrived in my driveway, I was happy to see all the trees still standing. I smiled in spite of the downpour soaking my clothes as I ran for the house.

That smile ended about a half hour later when the power went out. After I called Alliant Energy, I started hunting around the house for all the small, battery-operated lights I’ve collected. I found most of them, including a larger fan that also uses batteries.

After about an hour of no power, I realized I was tense because something was missing. Finally, it dawned on me that I was having TV withdrawal. I tried the radio for a while but tired of it.

I decided to stop moping about no electricity and all the things I couldn’t do because of it. Then, at about 8:55 p.m. Saturday, the power returned to my home.

Yes, I did the happy dance and turned on the TV. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t get the cable programs. I have a lot of DVDs, and I watched a few episodes of “Bones.”