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Lightning Strikes And Other Yikes!


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#1 Marcianna

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 10:02 PM

As requested I started this thread, We can talk about lightning strikes and other Survivor Stories from Mother Nature.
Wild storms, Hurricanes, tornadoes, anything else you can think of.

How did you react? Did you suffer any injury? How did you survive? How are you dealing with things now?
If there was something you could change to help keep yourself safe in the future, what would it be?


The subject of Lightning has come up in another thread, so I will address that at the moment, I myself when I was struck ,was inside doing dishes. There was a storm coming, but It seemed to be aways off yet so I was trying to hurry. but apparently it was close enough to send lightning my way. I was not directly struck but it was close enough to get me through the water, and explode the lightbulbs in my house. Later I realized that it was the tetherball pole in my back yard that was the direct hit.

Physically I just froze for what seemed like hours just standing there... it was actually just seconds. Then I just fell to the floor. I immediately had trouble breathing and could not feel my arms at all. By time the paramedics arrived I was doing better, my arms were tingly, I was breathing ok, and most importantly they told me that My heart did not seem affected which is what I was worried about. Since then I have had random electrical shocks starting at my toes and going through my legs. They are incredibly painful, but seem to be happening less now. I am hoping that they will just go away.

So that is my lightning story, anyone else want to share? Welcoming all Nartural Disasters to this thred!

#2 mtc

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 04:37 PM

I stayed in New Orleans for Katrina. The thought of evacuating exhausted me!!! It was like Survivor New Orleans. I lost everything and many of my friends moved away, but was not physically injured. I miss my pre-katrina life!!!

#3 Marcianna

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 06:19 PM

QUOTE (mtc @ Oct 14 2008, 10:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I stayed in New Orleans for Katrina. The thought of evacuating exhausted me!!! It was like Survivor New Orleans. I lost everything and many of my friends moved away, but was not physically injured. I miss my pre-katrina life!!!


I know that you and i have talked about this, but I was hoping you would share why you made the decision to stay in the city when it was so clearly dangerous? Was it more than one thing?

#4 mtc

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 07:48 PM

QUOTE (Marcianna @ Oct 14 2008, 06:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I know that you and i have talked about this, but I was hoping you would share why you made the decision to stay in the city when it was so clearly dangerous? Was it more than one thing?

Hi Marcianna
I intended to write more, but I when I started writing I had to go nap!! I wouldn't have been coherent. So to answer your question. There are many reasons that I stayed. I grew up in New Orleans and lived through hurricame Betsy plus I have never evacuated for a hurricane so I knew what to expect. Also, I have three cats which is a problem when It comes to evacuating. Also, I had no one to leave with and would have had to drive a long distance by myself. That in itself is dangerous. I did go to a friends house who is on higher ground so I wasn't by myself. I was really glad I stayed even though it was a bit rough and we all experienced various amounts of PTS. I think it would have been harder on me if I had left. The not knowing would have driven me crazy.
there was a "mandatory" evacuation for Ike and I stayed home by myself with the cats. I am glad I did too. It was such a hassle for people to leave and come back i think that many more people will stay for the next one.

#5 mtc

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 07:58 PM

Oh I have to say more too
What you saw on National TV was true. Many of the people that wound up in the Superdome, trapped in their house, or stuck in the Convention Center really should have left. one thing that I would NEVER do is stay and then expect someone to save me. By staying it does mean taking responsibility for yourself. If you get stranded, without food, water, injured etc. you have to be prepared for the consequences and not except someone to be there to save you and the family. I was (am) willing to risk this. Staying here is not for the weak or faint of heart. And the consequence may be death or near death experience. I am willing to accept that.

#6 Marcianna

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 08:24 PM

QUOTE (mtc @ Oct 15 2008, 12:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh I have to say more too
What you saw on National TV was true. Many of the people that wound up in the Superdome, trapped in their house, or stuck in the Convention Center really should have left. one thing that I would NEVER do is stay and then expect someone to save me. By staying it does mean taking responsibility for yourself. If you get stranded, without food, water, injured etc. you have to be prepared for the consequences and not except someone to be there to save you and the family. I was (am) willing to risk this. Staying here is not for the weak or faint of heart. And the consequence may be death or near death experience. I am willing to accept that.

OMG you are so brave! but knowing how things went for the animals and the driving situation, you really had few choices. So since you did stay what kind of things did you do to prepare? Was there anything you had to do specifically because of your narcolepsy? Like get extra meds and stuff? Jeez I cant even imagine! Taking a npa on a pool floaty! lol... how did you manage?

#7 mtc

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 10:31 PM

QUOTE (Marcianna @ Oct 14 2008, 08:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OMG you are so brave! but knowing how things went for the animals and the driving situation, you really had few choices. So since you did stay what kind of things did you do to prepare? Was there anything you had to do specifically because of your narcolepsy? Like get extra meds and stuff? Jeez I cant even imagine! Taking a npa on a pool floaty! lol... how did you manage?

I was on dextrastat and did run out. But, since I was not working, had no responisibilities, no pressure to do anything if I was tired, it didn't matter. It was actually nice to just be me and not have to force myself to function.
I prepared for Katrina just like any other hurricane. Have lots of food, water, candles, bug spray, etc. and then get into survival mode. New Orleans was ok until the levees broke and water flooded the city. My friend (now ex) rode our mountain bikes to my house. I walked through waist deep water to get to the front door and took what few things I could get into my knap sack. It was total anarchy until the military police arrived. The police told us it was ok to have a gun and my exfriend collects guns so we had one and fortunately never needed it. The house I raised my kids in (now21 &32yo) had six feet of water!!

#8 Marcianna

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 08:38 AM

At least you were able to prepare! I wonder if anyone here has Tornado experience besides me. There is very little prep for that. Those things come out of no where.....

#9 mtc

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 08:57 AM

QUOTE (Marcianna @ Oct 15 2008, 08:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At least you were able to prepare! I wonder if anyone here has Tornado experience besides me. There is very little prep for that. Those things come out of no where.....



I think tornados and earthquakes are far worse than hurricanes for that very reason!!

#10 sleepless sleeper

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 04:06 PM

mtc - I was born in Biloxi a couple of years before Camille. I have many memories of what the Gulf Coast looked like. And don't forget, that was a time that was pre-casino. I remember the rains from Camille and the destruction. Camille had higher sustained winds than Katrina, but no where near the devastating amounts of water. One of my aunts (married into the family) has family - I don't know how to word this grammatically - that every single one of them lost their houses. Every person in my family was affected by Katrina, even if it was only losing electricity. But even my sister, who lives six hours from the coast, was without it for weeks. My daddy died at 4 am the day that Katrina hit, although not because of Katrina. I have a half sister that lost her roof to a tornado in the last round of hurricanes.

I lived in MS for many years, then moved to southeast TX. Marcianna - The areas that I'm talking about have many tornados (does that have an "e"?). All through school we had tornado drills, the same as West Coast inhabitants have earthquake drills. I lived in Austin when Jarrell, which is not too far north from Austin, was hit by an F5,and I cannot forget the eerie, eerie black sky. Afterwards, that same day, I was watching the news and the reporter kept talking about the devastation, but I kept wondering when they were going to show the devastation instead of a plowed over, harvested crop field. Then he said that what he was standing in front of had been a suburban neighborhood. I was stunned and just began bawling my eyes out when it finally set in that the barren crop field had actually been homes, yards, and streets where children had run around and played. We ended up having an F3 not far from our home that same day, but I grew up hearing tornados almost every season. When I was younger I thought they were cool. My husband and I both have a fondness for weather, but our oldest son (9) wants to be a storm chaser. By the age of 5 he could tell you about the different types of clouds and would get super excited to see mammatus.

Last September a supposed microburst hit my neighbors house and blew off the roof. I say it was a funnel because half the roof hit my other neighbor's house, which is directly north, and the other half hit our propery, which is directly west. We have a pine post fence that has bark still on it. Each post is 6" in diameter with HUGE nails. Each is 4' above ground and either 1 1/2 or 2' in the ground. The wind blew the bark off all vertical posts but not horizontal. Posts were broken at ground level. Other posts were torn from the fence, but they were blown off the nails. I mean the nails were left in the posts that stayed in place, but somehow the ones that were blown off were torn from the whole fence right over the nail heads. The ones that came off are not cracked or torn where the nails were. It's just amazing. I tried inserting pix, but they end up so small that you can't see what I'm talking about.

As for the lightning: I was not directly hit, but like you I was indoors. I was at my parents' house, in their bedroom, sitting at the foot of their bed. My mama was sitting at the head of the bed, probably doing a crossword puzzle. I was on the phone with a guy that called to ask me in for a job interview, and POW! Fortunately I cannot recall what the pain was like, but I do know that it was very painful. There was a deafening (literally, though not permanent, well partially) crack, a flash of white, and I remember seeing the ceiling right in front of my eyes. My mother said that I had been thrown in the air, but not clear to the ceiling, and now I don't remember how high she said. I remember thinking this is what it must be like to be shot in the ear at close range. A had a brief "white out", then picked up the phone and said "holy *BEEP*" 3x and told the guy I had to call the ambulance. I never say holy *BEEP*. Where'd that come from? I've done that another time, but with another word. When I did make it to the interview days later, he was so happy to see me because he thought that I had been shot. Anyway, there was a hospital only a few blocks away and since I could walk, my mother drove me straight there. I was obviouly in shock because when we walked in the door of the emergency room, which by the way was PACKED, every nurse came running to me the millisecond that I walked in the door and they wheeled me away to a room immediately. They couldn't tell me if I was going to live or die. I have no way of finding out what my blood pressure was, but I remember the bottom number was 160, which is 100 more than it normally is. I've had no heart medication ever, so I guess that it was not cardiac arrest. I think they said they were worried about that happening. Anyway, I was fortunate because when I was sitting at the end of the bed I had my left leg crossed over my right and my feet were not touching the ground. I had the phone to my right ear, so the doctor told me that the electricity went in my right ear and travelled down the right side of my body and exited from my right foot. If I had had my right leg crossed over my left, then it would have crossed my body from right to left, thus my heart, and I'd be dead. I was in critical care for 24 hours, everything in that time period was a-okay, and I went home with not one mark on my body. My doctor said it was amazing to not even see a small burn mark on my heel, but he'd had a patient that had their heel blown off. Do you know that a lot of doctors spread the word in the hospital that there was a patient in the ER that had been struck by lightening while on the phone? I couldn't believe it. I was on display for many of them while the ER staff was trying to get my heart rate down. I remember feeling "not right." Something was terrible wrong. I was told that that much electricity flips the polarity in your cells, and that "not right" feeling had to have been the result of every cell in my body being out of whack. One last thing:

I remember knowing that I was going to die. I was at peace with it. I was so relaxed and calm, but then I had such a sadness that the people who loved me were going to be so terribly hurt when I died. Especially my mother because I knew that she would be the one to go through my things. Then I remembered that my room was a mess, and it would make it even harder for her. You know, I prayed to God so hard at that point to please not let me die because I just couldn't let that happen to her. I told him that I was otherwise ready to, but if it was within his will, to please let me live so she wouldn't be so hurt. That's when my heart returned its journey back to normal. I promise that's all true.

#11 Marcianna

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 10:56 PM

Wow those are truly amazing stories! Freaking OW!

I have no idea how to spell Tornado(s)! I figure it might go either way.... wink.gif

#12 Kimberly

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 08:36 AM

QUOTE (Marcianna @ Oct 15 2008, 10:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have no idea how to spell Tornado(s)! I figure it might go either way.... wink.gif


According to Dictionary.com and the American Heritage Dictionary, both 'tornados' and 'tornadoes' are acceptable plural forms of the word.

However, according to Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, only the spelling with the 'e' is acceptable.

So you're correct either way, although I would lean toward using the 'e' just like in potato and tomato.

...

But really, who cares about the spelling? These accounts are just INCREDIBLE and I am totally floored by the resilience of sleepless sleeper, mtc, and others who have survived mother nature's wrath.






#13 Marcianna

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 02:28 PM

I agree!

500 (imaginary) NN GOLD to Everybody!!!!

#14 sleepless sleeper

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 09:34 PM

Thanks for looking it up, Kimberly! It seems that I pull a Dan Quayle on a daily basis now.

I forgot to tell you guys that in the same storm my doctor ended up having another patient who opened his refrigerator door when lightening hit his house. Now, before I continue to tell the story, I have to tell you that this is what my doctor told me, so hopefully this story in conjunction with what happened to me will influence everyone's behavior during lightening storms. The guy was grounded, because standing in front of your refrigerator to open it usually means, you guessed it, your feet are on "the ground." The electricity traveled through his electric lines, through his fridge, through his arm, down his body, and reached ground at his feet, thus blowing his toes out of his shoes. Pretty mental image, wouldn't you say?

I have another story regarding mother nature, but it didn't happen to me. It happened in Montana to a man.. wait, let me tell the relationship from me to him, that may be easier to understand. My best friend's (my only true friend in town) husband works for the Forest Service. They lived in MT before moving here, and he worked for the FS there also. While he was there, a man that he worked with was attacked by a BLACK bear. Not only was he attacked, but the bear wouldn't leave him alone.

**Pause to explain a bit about difference between black and brown bear attacks. We live in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. We have every major predator of the US living here, and yes, I've seen some them, and I've seen evidence of all. Because of this, I took a class offered by Fish and Game on living in wolf, lion, and bear country. What they taught was that grizzlies are more likely to attack a person than a black bear, but that a person is more likely to die in a black bear attack. The reason being that a brown is typically more aggressive, thus more likely to attack if bothered (from their point of view.) But a brown is usually more likely to stop the attack on a human (and not eat him/her) once they perceive the threat to be over, which is usually when the person pretends to be dead and the grizzly has done a decent mauling. This has happened several times in our area just since we've lived here. A black bear, on the other hand, seems to have a bit more trepidation when it comes to people, and will usually steer clear of us (except in the case of food habituation, which is an awful problem for both types of bear and probably kills more bears than people realize because they have to be euthanized), but once a black bear does attack a person, it is usually for food purposes (meaning it won't stop), as opposed to the typical grizzly's threat removal purpose.**

If you can imagine a 150 - 350 pound creature with 2 - 3 inch claws and canid teeth with animal instincts that has decided to eat you, I bet you can also imagine that this creature is rather determined and is not going to be easily stopped. Now, imagine being a grown man by yourself in the wilderness somewhere in Montana. You're out working by yourself, because hey, nothing really happens to people in the woods. You're doing some type of surveying and have equipment strapped all over your body, paying attention to whatever it is your observing, when you hear a noise. You turn around and are face to face with a black bear. At first you're not scared because black bears don't attack humans, and you're tall with equipment all over you, thus presenting yourself as a formidable foe to a type of bear that is not known to purposely start fights with a formidable foe if it doesn't involve food or mating. But what if you are the food? The bear is not leaving, though, but instead is beginning to advance towards you. You spread your arms wide and speak firmly the way that you've been taught to do when confronted by a black bear, and also knowing that this usually works. But it's not working this time. Instead the bear stands on his hind legs and voices his disagreement, and as he does this you realize just how big he truly his. Then he drops to the ground and continues coming toward you, you walk backwards without running, just as you've been taught, but it 's not working. You know that black bears climb, but there is no other cover to take, so you climb a tree. You climb high enough hoping that it will discourage the bear only to have your hopes smashed when you see the bear climbing towards you at a rate faster than you can climb away from him. Can you imagine knowing that you are most likely facing a slow death of being eaten alive, pieces of flesh torn from your body by huge fangs as the bear takes bites of you to fill his tummy?

The bear did get to the guy. The guy would drop pieces of his equipment on the bear hoping that it would give up, but it didn't. It went back to the ground a few times and would sit and look at the guy, pace around, and then begin its ascent yet again. The guy used every piece of his equipment, and his shoes, and then had nothing left. He would kick at the bear hoping to repel it, which finally did happen, but only after he had lost a bit of his lower leg. After a few hours of this, the bear finally left. The man was of course in shock, but some how, even with chunks of leg gone and horrible bleeding, he did make it back and he did survive. My friend and her husband both saw the guy afterwards, and they are not prone to making something like this up. Her husband and my husband work together, and he said that he remembers hearing a story like this, but other than that, I have no proof.

This friend I mentioned above is such an incredible person. Although she is athletic, she has taking me cross country skiing a few times and patiently waited for me as I SLOWLY followed her. On one of our outings, the last one was 2 1/2 years ago, we were in a designated wilderness area and saw a fresh cougar track in the snow. I see them often, but knowing that we were two women with no weapons, it was a bit frightening. I've never forgotten my bear spray since then. I'm not very large, so I know that I wouldn't be that intimidating for a 150 pound cat, which was almost 50 pounds more than me. We decided to cut our outing short, and headed back to our truck. When we hit the clearing, we saw a wolf (fortunately alone) in its black phase just on the other side of the truck. It looked up at us, and oh, it was gorgeous. It dismissed us and slowly entered into the woods. She and I have been walking about twice a week while it was warmer weather. One month ago we decided to walk behind my house. Where I live is the typical Rocky Mountain landscape, with granite peaks and fir and spruce and aspen, but it also has bad lands. My house literally seems to be the dividing point, and it is breath-takingly, lushly, beautiful. She and I did not have bear spray with us because our walks are usually on the street in town. We became aware of that fact when we entered into a clearing and realized that we were at a place that I had no idea connected my area to a different wilderness area. I am not great with maps. Anyway, she stopped dead when she remembered another friend had told her that when hibernation was over there was a mama grizzly with cub in her yard one day. Her friend lived nearby, and we decided to turn back knowing that there is nothing on earth that can get more p.o.'d than a grizzly sow on an outing with her cub that is happened upon by an unknowing hiker. So now let me clarify my bear spray rule: I will never be caught without it even when walking in town.

I have so many stories, but maybe this isn't the place to keep at 'em. I don't really know whether or not this post is appropriate, so I'll end it here.

#15 Marcianna

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 09:25 AM

QUOTE (sleepless sleeper @ Oct 17 2008, 03:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have so many stories, but maybe this isn't the place to keep at 'em. I don't really know whether or not this post is appropriate, so I'll end it here.



It would seem to me that wild animal attacks could be considered rum ins with mother nature.... They are not actuallu like natural disasters but they are close enough that I dont see a problem with you posting them here.

I knew a girl who's husband was attacked by a black bear, it tore out his mid section and took a giant bite in his head! Amazingly he survived. How frightening!!!!!

Stephen Colbert says Bears are our number one threat to national security..... maybe he is on to something there....

#16 sleepless sleeper

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 03:12 PM

QUOTE (Marcianna @ Oct 17 2008, 08:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Stephen Colbert says Bears are our number one threat to national security..... maybe he is on to something there....


I don't even watch the news anymore other than a couple of times a week on PBS. I had no idea that hurricane season had started until my sister called about her house. I don't watch the news mostly because of headaches, but what I am getting at is that I am so behind the times that I have no idea who Stephen Colbert is. Or maybe I do and I just don't remember.... What you said made me laugh anyhow. Thanks for not getting on to me for posting about the bear. It's very difficult for me to stay on topic about anything.

#17 mtc

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 06:32 PM

QUOTE (sleepless sleeper @ Oct 17 2008, 03:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't even watch the news anymore other than a couple of times a week on PBS. I had no idea that hurricane season had started until my sister called about her house. I don't watch the news mostly because of headaches, but what I am getting at is that I am so behind the times that I have no idea who Stephen Colbert is. Or maybe I do and I just don't remember.... What you said made me laugh anyhow. Thanks for not getting on to me for posting about the bear. It's very difficult for me to stay on topic about anything.

The only "news" I watch now is Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. That is as about as serious as I can handle. Why waste perfectly good brain cells on all the negative news we can't do a thing about laugh.gif

#18 Marcianna

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 06:55 PM

QUOTE (sleepless sleeper @ Oct 17 2008, 08:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't even watch the news anymore other than a couple of times a week on PBS. I had no idea that hurricane season had started until my sister called about her house. I don't watch the news mostly because of headaches, but what I am getting at is that I am so behind the times that I have no idea who Stephen Colbert is. Or maybe I do and I just don't remember.... What you said made me laugh anyhow. Thanks for not getting on to me for posting about the bear. It's very difficult for me to stay on topic about anything.



I dont see why it wouldn't fit.... Technically walking outside and stepping in poo could be a mini natural disaster right? lol..... Bears are mean they try to kill us and there is no stopping them ... sounds like a disaster to me!

#19 Marcianna

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 06:56 PM

QUOTE (mtc @ Oct 17 2008, 11:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The only "news" I watch now is Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. That is as about as serious as I can handle. Why waste perfectly good brain cells on all the negative news we can't do a thing about laugh.gif


Bingo. Comedy Central news is the best.

#20 sleepless sleeper

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 03:10 PM

so Stephen Colbert is on Comedy Central like... um... the other guy that has a news show on the same network? I can't even recognize faces anymore, I need help knowing who's who.