It's been raining and storming around here so much lately that I'd kind of gotten used to it. Except for the dogs whining at the sound of thunder, the bad weather had been largely ignored in my house as we got used to the ceaseless wind and rain.
Yesterday, or more properly late last night, we couldn't ignore it any longer.
The constant downpour has had some pretty damaging effects on the compound itself, washing away huge swaths of the freshly tilled earth that we've planted in. It's probably a good thing that so much or our soil is heavy with clay, because I think that's the only reason we didn't lose the majority of our food plants. The farms are a little better off since each row of plants is on a tiny rise, letting the water trickle (and then torrent) away in the valleys between.
The storm last night was really powerful. More rain, and more strong winds, but not quite as bad as others I've seen in sheer ferocity. What last night's storm had that others didn't was actually two things. The first was about two minutes of hail the size of quarters, which beat the hell out of everything. The second was a tornado. I'm not an expert on weather, but it seemed pretty big. Thankfully it didn't hit us directly, but it came pretty close, about a hundred yards outside the western wall.
That's an area where we store lots of the stuff that we can't fit in the compound and don't need year-round. Right now it's primarily used as a place to put the stacks of firewood.
The tornado slung hundreds (maybe thousands) of pieces of firewood all over the area. The wall took an awful beating from them, and there are damaged houses and vehicles all over the place. A few people were injured, but those were minor, mostly from broken glass and the like. One good thing about a storm is that most people go inside, where it's safe.
The worst casualty of the tornado and its mad scattering of debris was our solar panels and wind turbines. Several of the panels I have set up at my house were cracked, two of them totally broken. The turbine at the clinic didn't get hit by anything, but the one of the supports broke from the constant strain of holding up in this insane storm season and it toppled. Shredded itself when it hit the driveway there.
The few other solar panels and turbines around the compound have almost all taken some kind of damage. I don't have a full report yet, but the outlook isn't very bright. Fortunately my house batteries are full right now, so I can write this. I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be using my phone to do this in the near future, since the tiny solar charger I have for it is safe inside the house.
The one silver lining in all of this is that the zombies seem to have decided to back off while the weather is so nuts. Very few of them have been seen from the sentry posts on the wall, and even when the weather breaks for a while (as it's doing right now) they don't show up in big numbers very quick. Maybe some primal fear deep in their brains keeps them huddled in the woods. Maybe they just don't like getting wet, I don't know. It's handy, and it's good for us.
And given the sheer amount of damage around the compound right now, we're looking for any good news we can find.