Cue Wicked-Witch-in-a-Storm Music

A common sight this weekend.

So . . . how 'bout them storms?

Heat, wind, thunder, and lightning--that's been the talk around town since I arrived in Virginia for  Fourth of July week. When I got in on Friday, everything was fine. Then, literally, just after stepping into my parents' house and talking to my dad for about a minute, we heard a huge howl of wind and looked out the window to see chairs blowing around on the back deck. My dad opened the front door to see what was up, and a soda can blew in from somewhere outside and hit me in the leg. That's when we all decided to get inside and close the doors. Well, after I gathered up some loose chair cushions to keep them from blowing away (I really know my priorities).

My parents, Brad, and I sat down to eat dinner that evening, and the power flickered on and off for several minutes while we fumbled around with candles and cell phones. Luckily, the electricity came back on and continued to work throughout the next day, which was not the case for so many people in our area.

aep outages
Just a sampling of power outages along the Virginia/West Virginia border.

Apparently, about half of Virginia's and West Virginia's residents lost power Friday night, all from the insane winds that powered through this part of the country. Add the factor of 100+ degree temperatures, and suddenly, you've got thousands of people without air conditioning in record-setting temperatures.

Keeping with our Saturday morning plans, my parents and I went shopping the next day in Roanoke and Christiansburg, fully expecting to see tons of people taking advantage of air-conditioned shopping areas. Surprisingly, each place we visited was uncharacteristically empty, and many stores were closed due to power outages. There were also split and fallen trees everywhere we went, with many crews devoting their afternoons to sweeping up broken limbs.

Rumor (the news) has it that these storms may continue on throughout the week, and many people may still be without power until at least Wednesday. I also heard that it's been much worse in West Virginia, where people are low on food and gasoline, and struggling to get out of town.

Saturday evening, the storms came back, but in the form of thunder and lightning. Normally, I don't like to sit outside while electricity is crackling through the sky, but the storm stayed at a pretty safe distance, so I watched the lightning on my parents' front porch, doing my best to quicken my shutter finger.

That sky.
Storm rolling in.
Holy lightning, Batman.
Who else found themselves in the storm's wake this weekend? Were you in the VA/WV area, or one of the other states that were affected?