Storm Damage Photos: Pictures from the Great Storm of 2008, Manistee, Michigan
Thursday, June 12, 2008, Manistee, Michigan
I love thunderstorms. I like to go stand outside on the porch and watch the lightning ripple across the clouds, to feel the rumble in my sternum. That night was particularly spectacular. The rain hadn't yet started, so I was standing in the yard when Adam came outside and handed my my telephone. "Your mom has called three times in the last two minutes," he said.
I called her back. "Get to the basement!" she exclaimed. "There is a tornado warning!" I looked to the sky as I walked inside and noted the odd color of the clouds as they illuminated. I relayed the news to Adam and we set about collecting candles and flashlights.
As I was digging through the kitchen drawer for matches, the wind began to gust harshly outside and water pour in giant drops from the sky. Adam, gathering an armload of candles in the living room, yelled, "I think we're going to lose power!" I dashed into view of the living room window just in time to see the power lines snap as a result of the nearly-horizontal trees. We looked at each other, eyes wide. Not more than five minutes ago I'd been out on the lawn, staring at the sky. Crazy!
The storm raged on at an incredible intensity for what seemed an eternity. Overtaxed storm drains overflowed into streets. Streets became rushing torrents, the banks of which, through most of the town, swallowed the sidewalks on both sides.
After the wind died down, we returned upstairs and huddled in the bedroom. The thunder continued loud and sustained through most of the night, robbing us of the ability to sleep. Instead, we lit every candle we could find and arranged them with a few mirrors, creating enough light to comfortably read.
We woke early the next day (which, incidentally, was Friday the 13th), despite being awake until the wee hours. When we emerged from the house, we were astounded at the damage, despite not having a tornado touch down.
Hurricane-force gusts of wind toppled huge numbers of trees, Someone told me that over 100 trees came down in my neighborhood alone, which might sound like an exaggeration. I believe it. Nearly every house on every block had some degree of damage.
The power lines in front of my house were sprawled across the front lawn for three days. To pass the time, we spent much of those three days wandering endlessly around town with our cameras in tow, documenting the destruction. What follows are just a few f the hundreds of photos I took during those three days.
See more of my photos at HikingNorthernMichigan.com.