'I survived the 2012 D.C. derecho, even though my freezer contents didn’t.'
So, are you a proud member of the T-shirt-wearing, “I survived the 2012 D.C. derecho, even though my freezer contents didn’t” crowd? Or maybe you’re one of the sweaty, unfortunate few, still waiting for power to return and aren’t quite ready to embrace the lighter side of this storm just yet.
If so, you’re justified. After all -- rancid food, trees through bedroom ceilings, kids forced to go Amish (credit my sister, Debbie, who dubbed and utilized this punishment on her brood long before Modern Family did) and no air-conditioning on back-to-back, record-breaking, hot, humid days -- collectively, have a way of stifling one’s sense-of-humor.
Many of us still have questions. Specifically, what the heck exactly was that thing that blew into town this past Friday night?
According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, a derecho (it’s a Spanish word pronounced deh-REY-cho) is, “a widespread, long-lived wind storm" (very common in the Midwest, and I’m told, on Capitol Hill, too) that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.
(Sidebar for Chevy’s Fresh Mex and El Paso Mexican: Time to add a derecho to your drink menus? After all, look how well that hurricane concoction has done in New Orleans.)
Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to that of tornadoes, the damage typically is pointed in one direction along a relatively straight swath. Per many local meteorologists, our prolonged pattern of 100-plus-degree days contributed to this volatile weather event, which produced pelting rains, hurricane-force gusts and violent lightning strikes that traveled at 60 miles per hour and covered more than 700 miles in 12 hours.
In total, about 3 million homes lost power -- 1.2 million in the Washington metro area alone -- and sadly, several fatalities and injuries also were incurred. The pervasive devastation was evidenced by Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and the district all declaring states of emergency.
Dominion Virginia Power’s vice president for customer solutions, Ken Barber, told ABC’s local station, WJLA, that the power company faced the "biggest non-hurricane outage in our 100 year history." Barber also told ABC that he's really, really glad he doesn't work for the besieged Pepco. No, he didn't. I made that second part up.
So, Patch readers, tell us, “What will you remember most about this derecho?” (Did you lose power for a particularly long stretch or are still without? Did you have a significant event postponed or cancelled due to the storm? Did you witness any random acts of kindness or great acts of nobility? What sort of innovative survival techniques did you utilize?, etc.)
We want to hear about any of your unique experiences from this recent weather event.