Reflections on the Summer Storm

A day of sturm und drang ended in brilliant moonlight. There was little else to look at.
Homes were in darkness as were their occupants. There was no way to know when power would be restored and no way to find out.

Mother Nature had once again tested human ingenuity. On Sherwood Road, the humans passed her test. Neighbors got together and cleared two driveways where large trees landlocked their residents. Like the barn raising in the movie “Witness” a combination of engineering, brute strength and good fellowship won the day.

Tools were shared and stories were swapped. Three generations of neighbors pitched in. Sherwood Road practiced self-sufficiency at its best. Neighbors went home sweaty and victorious to kitchens without working stoves and showers without water. No Evening News with Lester Holt. No Wi-FI.

A few who grew up without computers and cellphones were nostalgic with memories of reading by flashlight and listening to the radio. For the rest, there was worry about safety, work, bills and when service would be restored.

Covid-19 kept locals in captivity for five months and now this. Would life ever be “normal” again?Unbeknownst to most that night, the storm produced widespread significant damage. Downed trees and wires at multiple sites. So many that UI was unprepared for the enormity of challenge.

“In two hours the storm did enormous damage and then the sun came out,” said Chief Doyle, who saw and photographed the devastation first-hand. As Easton’s Emergency Manager, he was stunned by how violently the front moved through leaving behind downed trees, which struck four cars, and fallen utility poles with a tangle of live wires. “But there were no injuries or deaths,” Doyle said. And that should help put things in perspective.

Eastonites have suffered storms and power failures before and will again. We may grouse and grumble, but we’ll pull together as we always have and survive whatever challenges come our way.

Photo of storm damage by Tomas Koeck

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