We lit some candles and Tandra's mom's kerosene lamp.
I quickly discovered that all our phones are cordless, so I went to Walgreens and picked up a five dollar special. Let me tell you, that phone is "special". The ring on that phone could wake the dead. I found our little one-speaker walkman-sized storm radio, which generally would be used during power outages from thunderstorms, but we haven't had any of those. Outages from thunderstorms, I mean. So I turned that on and discovered that (and this figure varies depending on your source) roughly 70,000 homes in Wichita were without power.
70,000 homes. Not people - homes. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 500,000 people in the Wichita area. Assuming an average of, say, 2.5 people per home, that means that 35% of homes in Wichita were blacked out. That's just a guess.
Anyway, we listened to the news for a while. It would have been easier for them to mention which schools and business were not closed the next day - the city was pretty much at a standstill on Wednesday. The fire burned out overnight and it got down to 55 degrees in the living room. I got it going again in the morning but couldn't get the temperature over 65. I know, that's not too bad for just fire and no electricity.
Wednesday morning after building the fire. It was a lot darker out than it looks, I used my tripod.
We left the house and got breakfast. Wandered around Wal-Mart for a while and then saw a movie. All of this basically just an attempt to kill time until the power came back on. While we were out, I took some shots of the damage. At this point they're estimating $15 million in damage, and that's just what the government will be responsible for. I haven't heard any combined public/private damage estimates yet.
This is the scene down every residential street. I'm not exaggerating - EVERY street looks like this.
After a while I stopped taking pictures of limbs down because, seriously, they're everywhere.
When we woke up Thursday morning and still didn't have power, I decided we couldn't stay there any longer. We were quickly running out of firewood, only had maybe a day or two's worth left, and the energy company was now estimating SEVEN TO TEN DAYS before power is restored. Fun. I'm sure that's an outside estimate, but still, I have to at least plan and take care of my family as if that's the case. So Tandra's Aunt happened to be moving out of a house, but this house still has electricity, sofas, beds, and a BIG SCREEN TV. (Yes, I brought over the Playstation.) So we're doing alright over here; having this house available was very fortunate. Also, we were lucky enough that nothing fell on our house or cars or anything.
Tandra's at work today and I spent the day paying bills and running errands that should have been paid/run on Wednesday. Oh, and I ditched my insurance company in favor of Progressive who is kind enough to furnish me with a BETTER policy for $100/month LESS. Cool.
I tried to go to work this morning, but we still don't have power at work either. Fun!
Here are some more pictures I took of the damage.
This whole street was blocked.
The scene yesterday in front of the house we're staying in.
In case you needed a really clear visual about why so many people don't have power.
What I didn't get any good shots of is the way the tops of all the trees are bent down. Every single tree is drooping and sagging. It's weird.