Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

Labor Day Storms

on September 7, 2022
(Photo from Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sept. 4, 2022, Colorado River)

Labor Day weekend wasn’t quite what I expected this year. On Friday evening, a terrible storm blew through which brought high winds and rain that knocked down a cellphone tower. Some people lost both their electrical power and Internet service. Some people still do not have their Internet service restored.

After five weeks of monsoon rains, we got more rain. The desert is in bloom again, with greenery and yellow wildflowers everywhere. The wash behind our property has been inundated with flash floods over and over again, something I haven’t seen in years. Along with the plants came an invasion of green and yellow caterpillars. I have no idea where they came from, but they will metamorphose into white-lined sphinx moths. They are busy munching on the green plants. There are so many of them, you have to be careful where you walk. Thankfully, they are starting to disappear. Every time you move one of them, they squirt out a nasty green liquid. I haven’t seen an increase in moths, though, so I don’t know where they’re going.

[A variety of colors and patterns can be found on white-lined sphinx caterpillars. They range from bright yellows and greens to completely black. (Photo by Sierra Alvarez/ Cronkite News)]

Otherwise, the weather was hot and muggy, normal for Labor Day weekend. Sunday was no exception. The sky was sunny and blue with just a few fluffy white clouds. It was a perfect day, in fact. But later in the afternoon, storm clouds gathered over the mountains in the east, and you could see a curtain of rain falling on the eastern side of the valley. The wind came up suddenly, and that curtain quickly crossed the valley and hit our house.

I can’t remember ever seeing so much rain, thunder, and lightning in my life (and we’ve been hit with bad storms before). Lightning flashed all around the house — so close, I was afraid it would come through the windows. The rain ferociously pounded the ground, flooding the yard. The wind blew everything off the porch that wasn’t anchored down. Later, we found that the wind had damaged one of the posts on our covered front porch (deck) and bent metal piping on our dog’s kennel.

The power kept flickering on and off, so I finally just turned everything off. Appliances that weren’t even turned on flickered on and off, which really freaked me out. After everything had calmed down, I opened the windows and let the cool, moist air inside. Since it was near sunset, the air turned wonderful shades of yellow and pink, which were incredible.

Our power came back on right away, but down on the Colorado River, it was a different story. The storm started out with a huge sandstorm, with the wind blowing 65 mph and gusts up to 85 mph. Nearly 40,000 residents in the region lost their electrical power when 50 power poles were split in two. Then the rains came. People boating, jet skiing, and camping in the campground were hit hard. Thankfully, I haven’t heard of any fatalities.

On Monday, my husband spent a lot of time on his cellphone contacting co-workers and friends to make sure they were okay. The temperature hit 114 degrees F, the power was out, and people had no air conditioning. People were checking into motels and hotels on the other side of the river, where the power was still intact. Cooling stations were set up to help people stay cool. And, of course, people were swimming in the Colorado River, whose waters are always cold.

Electrical power was predicted to be out for 24 to 36 hours, but the power companies in the region all pooled their resources and got a lot of things up and running again within 24 hours. Some residences and businesses are still without power as I write this, however. My husband’s doctor’s office was closed on Tuesday because their power was still out. He’s having knee surgery next Monday, so he was freaking out about it.

I’m grateful for the rain, despite the damage. Maybe the drought will finally end. Of course, too much rain can be even worse!

Dawn Pisturino

September 7, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.


21 responses to “Labor Day Storms

  1. That photo looks great but not at the cost of 114 without power!! Take care!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. aparna12 says:

    Omg! Hope you are safe, dear Dawn. We had a deluge like this in 2015.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds brűtal. Seems like everywhere outside New England is getting shafted.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. utahan15 says:

    and the montue that followed. unmentionable!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my goodness Dawn, your weekend was quite eventful needless to say. The weather has truly been unpredictable, but doesn’t if feel good to see the desert come to life again? 🌻🌵🌺 Glad everyone is safe. Do you still have your family of coyotes showing up for dinner?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is lovely to see some green for a change! The coyotes disappeared for a few weeks, and the wildlife population has been down in general due to the weather and the change in season, but the coyotes have started coming around again. The good news is that they look healthy, so they must have found plenty to eat while they were gone. And one of the doves is sitting on the nest, she has at least one baby. Hopefully, it will survive. All of the others this summer died. Hope you had a fun-filled holiday!

      Liked by 1 person

      • WOW Dawn, it sounds like the ebb and flow of life is so exciting to watch. I love the way you watch the transformation of your wildlife from your window. How awesome. It has been a little wet here, starting with Labor Day. We had a bit of a drought and needed the rain. It looks like this weekend will be a wet one. According to the forecast, we have an 80% chance of thunderstorms tomorrow, and a 70% chance on Sunday. Soooo, there goes my chances for mowing the lawn this weekend. LOL 😜😝🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad you’re getting the rain, Kym! Drought is no fun. And it saves on watering! You’re lucky to be so green where you live all the time. The desert is brutal. The heat, the wind, the cold, the dust, the struggle just to survive. The birds got real nasty with each other this year. A poor baby quail got separated from its mother. It was crying and searching around. It tried to hook up with another family, but they weren’t going for it. They were pecking at it, and it ran off. I hope it found its mother, but I’m not hopeful. I saw so much of that behavior this year! The predators were robbing the nests, which is the main reason we had no baby doves this year. And there were very few baby quail. We did get a couple of baby rabbits in the front yard, which were fun to watch. They’re so cute! At least, with the rain and the greenery, there is more for the wildlife to eat. Take care, my friend, and have a blessed weekend.

        Like

  6. Kirsten says:

    Interesting read! The heat can be super brutal especially without power. I’m glad yours came back on.

    Also, I loved this passage: “After everything had calmed down, I opened the windows and let the cool, moist air inside. Since it was near sunset, the air turned wonderful shades of yellow and pink, which were incredible.”

    I felt this, love that time of day and being able to open the windows in a house. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kvbclarke says:

    Monsoon rains have been crazy this year! I would be totally freaked out if appliances turned off flickered on and off! Weird!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. WebbBlogs says:

    Wow what strange weather! Glad you are safe Dawn. We have been having 110-114 degree weather, I couldn’t imagine not having air conditioning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, my brother-in-law lives in San Jose, and he was telling us about the heat, which is so unusual for the Bay Area! And, my daughter lives in L.A., where it is the same. We haven’t had rain like this for years, so I’m feeling very grateful for it. Stay cool and well-hydrated!

      Like

  9. Nitin Lalit says:

    Sounds frightening. Just glad you’re safe. You’ve described everything with breathtaking detail even though this is a serious post.

    Liked by 2 people

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