Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, November 30, 1998

The night the lights went out


Have you ever been in a big storm? Well, I have.

I was very scared of the lightning in that storm. The sky was lit up all the time, just like there were 100 light bulbs turned on.

And then, it started to rain. It was like someone in the sky was raising pails of water up and dumping them on us. I never saw it rain that hard - you could not see where the road was. It was all under water, just like a lake.

We were a few miles from home when the storm hit and we drove very carefully as we tried to make it home. We got to about two blocks from our house and we were stopped by a big tree laying across the road.

The wind was very strong and we didn't know what to do. We could not move the tree, but we had to get home. It was so very dark, with the only light coming from the lightning.

We decided to walk home. We found a part of the tree that wasn't very big and crawled over it. In the process, we tore our clothes and I lost a shoe.

It was raining very hard and we had to hold on to each other as we walked up to the house. When we got there, we found another surprise. A big tree had fallen down here, too, right in front of our back door.

My brother crawled under it and managed to get to the back door and get it unlocked. Then, he opened up the side door of the house so we could get in without crawling over the tree.

When we got inside, we found that we had no electricity. It was pitch dark. My brother found a flashlight and we decided to go upstairs and change into some dry clothes.

At first, we didn't notice that when the tree fell on the back side of the house, it broke our kitchen window. There was at least two inches of water on the kitchen floor where it had rained in. We decided to leave it alone, go to bed, and wait until morning when it was light and we could see better.

We woke up early the next morning to hear someone banging on our door. It was our neighbors, asking if they could help us clean up the damage from the storm. They sawed up the broken tree and patched up the kitchen window. Then they went with my brother to get our car and bring it home from where we left it.

We found that there were trees down everywhere. Some people had taken refuge in their basement during the storm and when they came upstairs, they found that their house was gone. Everyone tried to help each other to get their things back together and we were very fortunate that no one got hurt.

I hope we never have a bad storm like that again. If you hear that there will be a storm, get your flashlights ready and go into the basement. Most of the time, the basement is the safest place to be in a storm.

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