This time of year, it’s common for East Texas to get hit by severe thunderstorms. Although heavy rain, hail, and lightning can certainly cause damage in their own right, it’s the high winds that usually cause the most destruction.
East Texas is known as the Piney Woods or Big Thicket, which means we have a lot of trees. When high winds roll through, they will undoubtedly topple some trees. When trees go down, they can take down fences, power lines, or structures. Almost every time we have a severe storm, our power goes out. Sometimes it’s only briefly, but a couple weeks back, we lost power for two days and nights.
It was an interesting place to be. At the time, our state was still under “shelter in place” instructions, no dine-in was offered by restaurants, and we had no power. Thankfully, we have relatives close-by that are supplied electricity from a different power company. They only lost power for a couple of hours, so we spent some time at their house.
At our house, we ran an inverter for several hours off our car battery to each of our refrigerators and chest freezer. My first concern about not having electricity was keeping the food cold enough, so it wouldn’t go bad. After this incident, we decided it was definitely time to replace our broken generator. We ordered a 8,500 watt generator. It should be able to run our two refrigerators, chest freezer, and house lights all at once.
One of our goals for the future is to acquire solar panels, so we don’t have to be so dependent on the power company. However, solar panels are very expensive. We are not there yet. In the meantime, it’s wise for us to have our own generator to use.
After each severe storm, it’s our usual practice to go out and check fences. We lost a fence section to a tree last spring during storm season. This season, my in-laws had trees fall on four different sections of their pipe fence. The steel pipe fence buckles under the weight of a falling tree, leaving a hole that cows can escape from if it’s not attended to. The fallen trees are usually cut up into firewood and a barbed wire patch is rigged until the pipe can be repaired.
Sadly, during that same destructive storm, some friends of ours had two trees crash through their house. They were home when the trees fell, so they were very lucky that no one was injured. The destruction to the house was so severe that they decided it wasn’t worth repairing.