Fast forward a couple of weeks, and there was a typhoon predicted to make a 90 degree turn and head to us. (I didn't know weather did right angles.) Another super typhoon in the western Pacific. Snooore. Yeah right. The one before Sanba was really lame, Sanba was not a huge deal, and this one was definitely going to peter out as it left the warm waters of the Philippine Sea, right? We couldn't have a third weekend super typhoon in a row (not that it matters when the parent who works Monday through Friday is out of town anyway), right? I wouldn't miss my last service leading music at the chapel, right?
Well. I hauled my Porch Junk (remind me to tell you about the one where a lady thought it was all trash and asked if her husband, who was doing our lawn, could haul it away for us!) in at the last minute. Mostly--I forgot a large trunk full of tennis racquets and soccer balls and pickle ball accoutrements. I filled the Pater Familias's car with the sandbox pool and tricycle and such. I did not put the trash cans in it this time (they're chained to a wall), and maybe it was a miracle but that turned out to be an OK decision.
Dusk came Friday calmly. In retrospect, it was ominously calmly, but at the time I thought it was fittingly calmly, as the storm was going to be lamesauce. But by 5am Saturday the wind was so loud Eva couldn't sleep anymore. Loud as in: our ear-splittingly loud dehumidifier, which we use as white noise, couldn't make a dent in the racket. It was already too late for poor Max to go outside. There seemed to be a lull at one point so I let him out--our porch is sheltered on 3 sides--but then a sideways downpour happened and he was drenched to the bone in 2 minutes. So then I locked him in the bathroom with some inviting-looking towels and told him to go potty, but he held it all morning. He was frantic. I am in possession of the only dog who will gleefully relieve himself on my most prized possessions if given the chance, but when given permission to go inside he just can't possibly. He had to hold it until the eye came around midday. You may wonder why I blog so much about my dog's bathroom habits, but trust me, my dog's bathroom habits are high drama around these parts.
So, yes, the storm was quite impressive by the time we even woke up in the morning. And I guess we had a direct hit from the eye, as it was back to Friday-night-deadly-calm. I was able to run out and grab the very large trunk which I was now sure would smash through someone's window and kill them if it got free from our fence. Then we hunkered down for what we figured would be a little more storm.
That little bit more was when my house started making ominous I-might-crack-in-half sounds, water started sprinkling in through the sliding glass doors, and a couple of the windows started bowing dramatically. I didn't know this til later, but lots of people did have glass windows and doors break from the wind, and friends of ours lost an entire wall of windows/glass doors that was facing the ocean.
[insert video of flying car etc here]
(Shockingly, this military-produced video was one of the better wrap-ups that I came across.) [Amazingly, the embed link doesn't work for it. I'm too tired to track down another video, sorry! Cars flew. Someone got one on film. It was awesome, literally.] We lost power for 30 hours (uh, not that I was counting!) mid-Saturday afternoon, but some on island lost it for three full days. It was bizarre driving home after dark on Sunday evening, with route 58 blazing with its usual brilliant array--except that the traffic lights were all pointing the wrong way from the wind. Then, when we crossed 6, it was pitch black. Well, of course the pachinko parlor had a generator, but everything else was black. Eva was delighted to get to use flashlights, but by Sunday bedtime, I'm not gonna lie, bedtime prayers were partly for the power to come back. Five minutes later it did.
The island Sunday morning was a mess. We did end up having chapel service, despite the annex water being out, a broken window, and some other building's ripped-up roof being strewn across the lawn. I snagged a few pictures while driving around that day. They're not that impressive or representative (let alone good), but this guy has some good ones.
A traditional tomb. Usually kept quite clean.
There were hunks of corrugated metal absolutely everywhere. In case you were looking for another reason not to go outside during a typhoon.
I've been reading of fall's arrival in the States with much jealousy. This typhoon, strangely, accomplished a little fallishness. The weather since has been significantly cooler, and the leaves were all blown off the trees. Driving down the street, you can spot big piles of dead, brown leaves swept by a cool wind--not a normal sight here in early October. The island, though definitely bent out of shape, is still built for this kind of thing. I'm finally grateful that the trees are all midgets.
Forgive me for getting preachy for a moment. There was one fatality that I know of--a man on Sunday climbed way down some cliffs (about 10 minutes from my house) and was swept away by a large wave. People...waves are dangerous. Even if it's sunny and breezy and the ocean is brilliant blue (as it was--this was the day after the storm), the water can still kill you in an instant.