Out of the blue…quite literally…sunshine and clear skies turned swiftly and suddenly to broiling storm. The squall line was a visible chaos, and the wind hit in gusts that were stronger than ones I remember ever experiencing during North Idaho’s summer season.
Trees bent double — big trees. Branches snapped. But, around me, anyway, the giants — some of them over a century old, stayed rooted and whole. Not so lucky the ones used forest surrounding them stood as solitary lone remnants of woods that had been. Lacking the protective buffering that trees in a group provide for one anther, they went down. And they took the power with them.
For four and a half hours, no-one in North Idaho had power. (Some on Pack River still don’t, I understand.) Street lights were off, the hospital and banks’ emergency generators kicked in, and we all waited…until well after dark.
My mother lives outside of town. She’s 84 years young and spry as a teen. Feisty too. But she lives in forest — big trees. I went out to check on her since she wasn’t answering her phone. To do that, I had to negotiate town, and Sandpoint is NOTORIOUS for asshole drivers.
To my amazement, everyone, and I mean even the teenage, testosterone-driven, souped up 4×4 truck-driving ones, were courteous and polite, each waiting their turn, and even letting others go first when it was clearly their turn at the intersection with its dusty, faded, very cobbled together four-way stop signs nailed to barrels. (Somebody was quick thinking make them and to set them out that fast — congrats all you public works employees.)
Not only that, but no traffic snarls. Traffic ran smoothly, without long delays. Wonderful for a town and county infamous for GRID LOCK.
It just goes to show, when things get nasty, people get nice. Thank you, everyone. Now, that’s American!