What a storm

March 15, 2010 12:47:56 PM PDT
It was the perfect storm in the worst sense of the word. High winds hooking up with torrential rains.

I will not run away from admitting I felt twinges of fear. It's not the rain, or the high winds or the feeling of having the power out. It was the trees that shook me. The trees that bent and howled and shot branches. And, especially, the trees that fell.

The sheer anger and violence of a tree uprooted and tumbling to the ground, with live electric wires on the street - it got to me. I was, perhaps not smartly, walking with my baby in her stroller yesterday, with the trees swaying above, and several trees fallen on the ground.

Six people died from getting bonked on la cabeza - and it was easy to see how it could happen. Frightening to realize it. Did they hear it coming? Did they hear the tree pulling free from its root moorings? Did they look up? Or did it all suddenly go black, and end, just-like-that?

As I walked, the trees - those beautiful creatures that serve humanity and Mother Nature in so many wondrous ways, didn't seem so glorious to me. Instead they were more like illustrative charactertures in some Maurice Sendak book. Scary, and menacing, and threatening. And deadly.

I knew at the time that the fear would pass, but I also knew that I couldn't deny the feeling. And I'm not sure I'll ever look at trees the same way again.

This was, as we've said in our newscasts over the weekend, far more damaging than any of the numerous snow storms we had this winter. And it was more far reaching. So many trees toppling, so many power lines across such a huge swath of the tri-state, that the crews that would normally race to help each other were simply too busy trying to fix problems in their own jurisdictions.

At one point there were about 750,000 homes without power in the tri-state. All from downed power lines. That's just staggering.

There are still tens of thousands without electricity - and it could be another day before most come back on-line.

Tonight at 11, we'll have the latest on this storm - a no-name tropical storm in terms of ferocity. Lee Goldberg heads our coverage, and we'll have reporters in the field, covering the damage and the clean up. And if you've ever tried to move a large tree branch, let alone an entire tree - you know, the clean up is intense. Also, if you want to see some of the pictures sent in by Eyewitness News viewers of the damage caused by these towering giants, CLICK HERE.)

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa (in for Liz Cho) and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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