Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hurricane Phoenix

The headline news around here today was the very fierce, hurricane-like weather that struck central Phoenix and Tempe. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's the story with my name on it:
Hurricane-force winds, heavy rain hit Phoenix

I never saw so many toppled trees and bent signs on my way to work. It took me 40 minutes to get to work because of all the down traffic lights. All the restaurants and stores by my complex were closed today still because of no power.

This behemoth of a storm system came barreling through Thursday night. Unfortunately, I got caught in it. For some reason, I was really stir crazy around 9:30 Thursday evening. So, after seeing the building's fitness room was closed, I gazed outside and honestly, other than some lightning, it did not look that bad. I decided to jog four blocks and make a rectangle so I'd end up back at my place. Unfortunately, halfway through, I had the terrible luck of encountering rain. First it was just a sprinkle. But like 3 second later, it turned into full on torrents and the winds were so fast. I tried to keep running but the wind kept forcing rain in my face and into my mouth. And the wind made me short of breath. To top it off, my contact lenses were bugging the hell out of me and by this time, I'm soaking wet (only wearing a sports bra and shorts). I tried waiting it out under a (closed) gas station but it was so chilly. I had visions of lying bedridden with pneumonia. So, I tried again to keep running home but it was so dark and the water kept coming. For a second, I was like "Is this what waterboarding is like?" I was so freaking miserable but I had no choice but to keep running, despite losing my breath and body temperature.

It was at this moment I heard someone whistle and I saw a flashlight waving out of the corner of my eye. Aren't we trained to always go toward the light? (Ooh, that may be for only certain scenarios). So I did. Turns out, I was in front of my neighborhood fire station. All the power in the neighborhood had gone out, including there. So, there were like six of them sitting by their truck with the garage door open. They were all like "Are you seriously jogging at this time, in the rain?!" They were soooo nice. One got me a towel and someone else handed me a flashlight. First they asked if there was someone I could call (of course, there isn't) but I said I lived super close. If I could just wait it out there, which they were totally cool with. Just as I tried to start a conversation, the dispatch came in with a fire alarm that they had to respond to. So, all of them scrambled into their gear. I thought I heard my address in the dispatch but I was wrong. That was when one of them surprised me by saying "Hey guys, she's on the way. Let's drop her off." So, I got taken home in a firetruck!! Very cool. They even pulled into the parking lot of my complex, practically right by the door to my part of the building. Before getting out, I said "Thanks guys, I owe you one!" One of them joked "We like cookies." Of course the only thing I could say was "How about cupcakes?" And they all started saying quite enthusiastically "Oh, we love cupcakes!" and "I work Sunday!" I guess I will try to actually bring homemade cupcakes by on Sunday. Honestly, I do not know what I would have done had they not given me shelter. I think I would have to smite someone who would say something bad about a firefighter.


Anonymous said...

Soaking wet in a sports bra in the dark with a bunch of firefighters? Sure there isn't more to the story Ms. Tang?
P.S. Daniel will buy you presents based on reading your blog, I will just harass you :)

Rebecca said...

I think firefighters are great. When I was a wee intern covering the very eventful fire beat in Woodside, I got to ride in a fire truck and talked about it for days. That's the way to get a reputation as a tough reporter. :)

Anonymous said...

You should leave your phone number along with those cupcakes, Terry. You might pick up a little dessert of your own. Mmmm, firefighters. Yummy!

I agree with anonymous; please tell me you left out all the steamy parts.

Suzanne said...

Aww Terry! I'm glad you're safe, and that the firefighters came to the rescue. I'm sure you looked as crazy as you felt just then. :) And those guys are totally deserving of cupcakes. It's a win-win situation for you.