This morning as I was leaving for swim practice, I noted the roaring wind and considered whether it would be safe to leave. "Laura [the swim coach] will show up," I thought, and headed out the door. It was very windy and a little rainy but I made my way safely to the pool and had a great workout. I think I may be getting a little boost from my holiday vacation at elevation in Salt Lake and on the ski slopes. Anyway, after class I got ready for my easy run, and headed out. I made it about 5 minutes before turning around. I had hoped to run about a mile to the ocean to see the storm surf, but was scared off by the whining sounds in the many overhead power lines. I got back to my car, where it didn't seem so bad, and thought I could run near there. I changed my mind when a huge branch from a eucalyptus tree flew down and I had to hide behind a light pole to wait out a strong gust. I took shelter in the high school there for a moment and then made my way to my car. I hadn't been shopping since getting back from vacation, and really needed some groceries. So my only goal was to shop at the corner market and get home.
On my way, I saw many downed tree branches, including some that had fallen on or near cars, and a fallen tree, which had smashed a camper on Lincoln. I took a side street to avoid the traffic backup and was driving beneath arcing power lines (reminiscent of the blue-green flash I saw in Novemeber). Yikes! I did note with some satisfaction how nicely my rear window wiper was working at keeping the rain cleared! Anyway, I made it to the local market and ran in, grabbing the essentials--enough to keep me going a few days--when the lights flickered off, then on, and then off. Uh-oh. Thirty seconds later the lights came on again. I grabbed what I needed and hurried to check out.
I was expecting a little mayhem in my neighborhood since I'm up on a hill and we tend to get a lot of wind. Despite leaves and tree debris everywhere, it looks okay. The owner of the blown-over motorcycle might not agree with me, though.
Here's a snapshot of the local traffic at 8:55 AM from 511.org. The black means that cars are basically stopped. It's not a great day to travel. Oh and all of this rain is predicted to accumulate on average 5 feet and up to 10 feet of snow in the Sierras.
My plan now is to head to work and park my car in the $22/day garage, a luxury I will take on this unusual day. I have to say, looking out the window right now makes me nervous. The sky is white with sheets of blowing rain. I think I will feel a little safer at work. I expect a power outage at some point there. We can't seem to make it through any unusual weather without one. Let's hope for the best. At least I'm stocked up on milk, bread and bananas! I had better post this before my power goes off permanently (it just flickered off) or Google's power does (they're in Mountain View, about 40 miles from here, although I assume they have some pretty decent backup power)!
Note: The power did go off at work after all.