Yesterday, the metro Phoenix area witnessed mother nature unleash her fury. For lack of better terminology (besides what meteorologists call “micro bursts”), what happened in Phoenix was comparable to a hurricane, with winds ranging from 75-100 miles per hour.
The only difference between what happened last night and hurricane is that ours didn’t get a name. I think the next letter available from the National Weather Service is “I”, and I believe it needs to be male, so here’s a few suggestions for names:
- Ishmael – Like from Moby Dick, also had lots of water.
- Ivan – For anger and force, like your stereotypical Russian.
- Iggy – C’mon, maybe the weather service could have a sense of humor.
- Ike – This time, we DONT like Ike.
- Ignatius – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s OTHER middle name… no joke.
- Ichiro – Japan would dig it.
- Ibrahim – To give it that middle-eastern flair.
- Isaac – A loving tribute to Mr. Hayes, AKA Chef.
- Irving – A nod to Mr. Berlin, a fine musician.
- Ichabod – Like the guy from the headless horseman.
Anyway, whatever it get’s called, I was in the middle of it and it was pretty scary fun. As the girlfriend and I drove down the road, the storm hit, and reduced our visibility to pretty much nothing. I parked the car (in the middle of a semi-busy road), threw on the parking break, and we braced our selves as the winds swirled around us. It was as if a tornado had touched down – horizontal rain (learned that from Twister, thanks Bill Paxton!), and wind strong enough to feel as though it was gonna move the car.
Eventually we got somewhere safer than the middle of the road and just sat and waited as the streets bagan to flood around us. According to the news, over 2,000 lightning strikes occured in under and hour, and the rain fell at a break-neck speed of 5 inches per hour. Luckily we escaped floodwaters, other cars, and pieces of trees which were strewn about the roads when we finally drove home.
Others in my complex weren’t as lucky. Trees evereywhere were uprooted and thrown long distances, and in many cases near my apartment, they landed on cars. Some collapsed the metal parking structures in our complex, and others knocked over power lines and street lights.
The biggest casualty from the storm, however, was on ASU’s Tempe Campus. A brand new $8 million practice facility for both the football team and marching band was destroyed. It was an inflated dome building, and soon after the power went out it began to deflate, and as the storm wind whipped through Tempe, the roof was ripped to shreds and strewn across Tempe. It will cost a reported $1 million to fix.
The power was out at my apartment when we got home, and my roommate was wandering around with a flashlight. Amazingly, however, he plugged our router and his laptop into his battery backed-up power strip, and was able to continue playing W.O.W. through the power-outage. That is until the cable itself went out.
Most locals agree that this storm was the biggest storm to hit the Phoenix area in a long long time.