The clean up is now done and I have time to relax a bit.
Friday evening St Charles County, MO got hit with a smallish EF-3 tornado. The hardest hit area was just a few blocks from my house, we were just on the edge of the vortex. The tornado seemed to skip around a bit as they sometimes do touching down in several neighborhoods. It then crossed the Missouri River into St Louis County hitting a large business park, including one of the casinos packed with people. Cars and trucks were tossed around and flipped over on the interstate highway and in parking lots.
The twister moved on to hit Hazelwood, MO, still recovering from an EF-2 tornado that hit just 2 weeks earlier. Then on to Ferguson, MO. More tornado activity was reported in Illinois but it has not been determined if it was the same super cell that spawned ours.
Several homes were destroyed, their lives turned upside down in just a matter of minutes. Businesses were heavily damaged, windows blown out of office buildings and garage doors blown out of warehouses. Flooding followed and debris is scattered everywhere.
Closer to home the two very large maple trees in my front yard had several large limbs broken off. One limb pulled the electric lines and meter box off the house. The electric for several blocks around was out anyway so it really didn't matter. One neighbor and I walked around to asses the damage. Not bad for either of us, he had a few willow branches down. I had large maple branches down, the electric and some minor damage to the roof. Others in the neighborhood were not so lucky. Many very large trees were completely uprooted. Other tree damage was rampantly severe. A couple houses had trees leaning on them, others the trees had cut through them.
Within a few minutes I had extension cords plugged into the RE inverter and snaking through the house. The fridge was plugged in and I had power for the TV, U-verse modem, lights and got some circulation pumps going on the saltwater aquarium. Checked the Kill-A-Watt and everything was only drawing about 450 watts. Not bad at all, most of that was the TV and the fridge will stop in a few minutes. We were able to watch some news about the damage, what areas got hit and how extensive it was.
Everyone was asking questions about how I still had electricity when everyone else was out, even days afterward. They didn't hear a generator screaming away. Of course, a couple neighbors were aware of the 1400 watts of solar panels on the roof of the garage and 735 ahr of batteries. My wife even admitted she was thankful I had put in the solar RE system.
And suddenly I didn't seem to be so crazy after all.