Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Storm notes

The National Weather service says that the storm that hit the central Ohio area on Sunday Sept. 14 was the most severe in the region's history. I knew it was bad--many in our area are still without power--but because we weren't affected except for some cable outages, I didn't realize that. Forty-six state roads were closed or restricted on Monday and one third of the state's traffic signals weren't working according to the community paper. You can imagine what a mess that makes on city streets with people trying to get to work.

Our Lytham Road UALC was closed, and since it has the phone service for the other locations, they couldn't get much done either. I saw a friend at Lowes who lives in Clintonville (north Columbus) yesterday and he said they hadn't had mail delivery for 3 days because of downed trees and lines. The Lane Rd. branch of the UA library was open today, but the other 2 are closed, so I was able to unload about 5 boxes of books I've been carrying around in the van to donate to the book sale.

Tremont Shopping Center in our old neighborhood is still closed (as is the school, senior center and library). There are two restaurants, a bakery and a very nice grocery store there. I heard that Mr. Huffman told his customers on Monday to take what they needed, write it down, and they'd settle up after the power came back on. I can't imagine the losses of just those four small businesses and their employees. A lot of elderly live in the area in apartments and depend on those places, especially the Chef-o-Nette Restaurant for at least one hot meal a day.

The local hotels and motels are sold out, and restaurants that are open are very busy. The Panera's where I get my coffee in the morning has lines to the parking lot by 7 a.m. and people ordering lunch with with morning coffee and bagels. This morning I chatted with 2 women, probably in their 80s, who live in the area, but about a mile apart. At least they have gas hot water heaters--our unit is all electric, so if it had been us, we'd have to find a place to shower. Another man I talked to at Panera's had 2 teen-age sons who made $350 on Monday cutting up and stacking fallen limbs and trees.

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