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Friday, July 28, 2006

The Day the Seminary Stood Still

By Carlotta Tiews

The black clouds are moving fast, and the wind picks up and throws all the branches around. The lights flicker. Some people think it’s just a thunderstorm, but they don’t know what they’re in for!

On July 20, 2006, around seven in the evening, huge black clouds started rolling towards St. Louis, and within about 15 minutes, there was a terrible storm going on outside. Then everything went black, inside and out. It knocked down about four or five trees, which will later make great forts for the kids.

At around seven-fifteen p.m., about when the storm hit, an old friend of ours arrived, Mr. Bruce Miller from Tomball. We lit candles, and sat down to a nice candlelight dinner. We thought the power would come back on in a little while. Little did we know that it would take 4 days to get it back.

We had just been eating for about 5 minutes, when the tornado siren went off. So we went down to the basement, and did we ever have a party down there! In the meantime the sky had turned bright orange, but everybody was allowed to leave the basement again. We were able to watch the most exciting lightning storm. We thought this was just a bad storm; that you go down to the basement and come up an hour later, and then everything is fine. But this was definitely not the case.

We had absolutely no power until Sunday afternoon. There were 500,000 people in the St. Louis area that had no power when the storm hit. All this happened on Wednesday night. Then to top it all off, we had a really bad heat wave on Thursday, with a heat index of about 110 F. For some people, Thursday was just too much. They went away to friends’ homes and hotels. But the power company, Ameren, was working hard to restore power. Then, the work suddenly got harder for the company on Friday morning. Another thunderstorm hit and now another 160,000 were without power!

But this also teaches us a lesson. Everyone started talking with their neighbors and getting to know one another. Here at the seminary, there were lots of worried and sweating students, and take-home exams. And lots of rejoicing kids because summer school was canceled. There were lots of B-B-Q’s and cookouts, (because everyone had to use their meat) and everyone had lots of fun. Some people were even sad that the power came back on. Everybody was having that much fun. I know even I was a little bit sad when the power came back on. We, the Tiews family thought it was fun, except for Thursday, when it was so hot.

We all got some good experience to prepare for our stay in a cabin without power, coming up in August. We all had one big party here. It just goes to show that the reason people don’t go outside very often, is because they want to be comfortable with their AC and TV. Without power, people go outside more often because it’s cooler. It’s like it was not so long ago. Everyone was always outside and almost always had a great time.

Now the next heat wave is here, and people are sweating again although we have air-conditioning!

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