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Creator Theme: Space! - posted on 8th Jul 2018 at 6:02 PM
Replies: 56 (Who?), Viewed: 2744 times.
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Mad Poster
#51 Old 14th Sep 2017 at 1:20 AM
Originally Posted by Nysha
This is an interesting one, actually - the UK doesn't get hurricanes but we do get plenty of thunderstorms, and I think the last time I had a power cut because of a storm was about 1999 (and power surges because of storms are completely apocryphal now, my Mum remembers some from decades ago but I've never heard of one in my lifetime). I wonder if UK power companies do something differently that reduces the impact of lightning on the infrastructure?
The frequency of thunderstorms varies considerably throughout the UK. As I said in my previous post, they are quite rare where I live in south-east Scotland. In fact as a child I recall wondering if thunder was real or just some dimly-remembered nightmare I'd had in the past; it was so long since the last one that I had no clear memory of it. Until one night when we had visitors, we got a quite spectacular display of thunder and lightning that left me in no doubt that they were real things!

I recall quite frequent power cuts due to fuel shortages in my early childhood in the early 1950s. The adults used to light candles till the electricity came on again. We also got planned power cuts during a miners' strike in the early 1970s. But it was only ever a matter of hours -- not days. And since then power cuts have been very rare indeed. Except in the more rural areas, power cables in the UK are nearly always underground, where wind can have little effect. I'm sure that's one reason why our electric supply is generally reliable.

I'm glad to hear that smorbie1 is safe. @Steffyn and @CatherineTCJD and any other Floridans I've missed, I hope you're safe too.

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Original Poster
#52 Old 14th Sep 2017 at 2:10 AM
I'm okay, guys! I kinda just slept the whole time after I got sorta paranoid and unplugged the electronics that I really didn't want to get toasted, and after a couple days I stopped procrastinating on charging my laptop.

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#53 Old 14th Sep 2017 at 5:41 PM
Hi @AndrewGloria and all ya'lls
We're fine OK. The northern wall of Irma's eye went right over us from about 12-12:45am (I think it was...)

THIS is the house we're living in right now - see that huge picture window in front? - that took the brunt of the storm. And we sat in front of the window watching it until about 11:30pm, when hubs and I looked at each other and said, "OK, I've had enough of this!" Then, it got markedly worse.

We moved the 4 cats to the back bathroom (the tiny one) and our sleeping 'special needs' kiddo into our bed (she had freaked herself out into exhaustion) and we hunkered down on the floor with our battery-powered 'weather radio' while the storm passed over us. The lightning was unreal - or, I should say the light-flashes - 'cuz I'm not sure it was regular lightning. The whole sky would light up with this bright turquoise light, then go to purple, then briefly to yellow, and back to blackness. At times we could hear 'thunder' after it, but it sounded like amplifier feedback, not rumbly thunder like we're used to. It was soooo weird! We thought maybe it was transformers blowing - but it happened so often, and all around us, that that couldn't be what it was. I'm just glad it's over - and we (and our 'hood) survived!

Since we are along the central ridge of Florida, we didn't get any storm surge/flooding - so there's none of that mess to deal with. And our power is back on (so I've got AC again, YAY!!!) We had a tree take out the back fence, but that has been temporarily mended now (our old-man doggie can safely snuffle around back there again.) Our yard has been cleared - with hubs doing most of the work - the detritus is piled up (in 6ft high barricade-like piles) along the curb waiting for the county truck to come haul it away. The back yard needs a bit more clearing done... but, it can wait for now.

The really REALLY great news is: the house we are buying (we were supposed to 'close' on the 11th, but Irma had other plans) is in Lake Wales, the next town over, and it came through the storm perfectly fine! YAY! Because our county (Polk) has been declared a disaster area by FEMA, we must have another inspection done before we can close. Sooo, we wait a while longer... I am soooo ready to move! Before the hurricane hit, I packed up my studio and the rest of our stuff (thinking maybe if the roof blew off, some of our stuff might survive - thankfully that didn't happen) now all I need is the keys and moving can commence!

Thanks for thinking of me/us/Florida/Southern USA/etc... I am very thankful that we came through the storm as well as we did. I hope the clean-up efforts for the badly hurt areas goes quickly!

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Forum Resident
#54 Old 14th Sep 2017 at 7:18 PM
Harsh weather doesn't often occur where I live in Houston. Whenever a storm front comes streaming across the U.S., I might get the tail-end of it. Sometimes, whenever a storm appears to be rolling towards my neighborhood, they end up dissipating or moving elsewhere before it's over the house. Areas north of Houston are more like storm magnets.

Fortunately, hurricanes have not been a major nuisance on the Texas coast. The last hurricane we had before Harvey was Ike, and that was nearly ten years ago. That time, my dad and I decided to throw caution to the wind and hunker down at home while that storm passed through us. That night would've been less restless if my room didn't become so humid and icky after the power went out.

Tornadoes are another event that happen quite rarely, although I did get one close call when hurricane Harvey arrived. I've only witnessed tornadoes on television or in dreams. What's interesting about my experience of tornadoes in my subconscious is how they never got too close and caused any devastation. They were just there, posing a major threat.
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#55 Old 14th Sep 2017 at 10:33 PM
@CatherineTCJD Glad to hear you are okay hon.

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Forum Resident
#56 Old 14th Sep 2017 at 10:43 PM
Originally Posted by CatherineTCJD
Hi @AndrewGloria and all ya'lls
We're fine OK. The northern wall of Irma's eye went right over us from about 12-12:45am (I think it was...)
THIS is the house we're living in right now - see that huge picture window in front?

The really REALLY great news is: the house we are buying (we were supposed to 'close' on the 11th, but Irma had other plans) is in Lake Wales, the next town over, and it came through the storm perfectly fine! YAY!

Does this mean we can expect another lot download? ;-)

Glad to hear you and your homes (present & future) escaped harm.
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#57 Old 16th Sep 2017 at 3:35 PM
CatherineTCJD and smorbie1, I am happy that you have come through the storm as well as can be expected given its ferocity. Hope the move goes well!

I live in the middle of England, where summers typically have two or three minor thunderstorms. I do not Sim, or use any form of home desktop computer, during a storm. In fact, to the extent possible, I switch all mains appliances off at the wall when I hear thunder (lights are left on), and leave it off for at least 30 minutes afterwards to prevent damage from wishful thinking. (I use the computers at work during storms but that is because they are protected by an industrial-level surge protector and uninterruptible power supply combination. They, unlike typical domestic versions, are designed to be lightning-proof). A slow internet for 20 minutes while my ISP determines the outage wasn't caused by a technical fault is worth the reassurance that my hardware will be fine.

Until a couple of years ago, electrical devices were a total no-go during thunderstorms. My old house was two doors down from the substation, so sometimes power would be cut to us and not necessarily to other people because every time something earthed a certain line, my house was bound to be downstream from it. Even with these precautions, there were a couple of times when someone would forget to turn off a charger or something and it wouldn't work after the thunderstorm. However, nowadays, I happily play off my laptops using whatever charge is in their batteries, but the computer games I play in thunderstorms all date from the 1990s (last thunderstorm, I played Merchant Prince, a trading simulation from 1995). If my laptop computers had Sims 2, I'd probably Sim on those, but they don't (and the internal graphics chips would probably fry if pushed that way too many times; they're not quite modern enough to have had the option of suitable laptop-modified graphics cards capable of the job). I don't worry about the tiny risk of a battery frying in a UK-grade storm* when off-grid because if the worst happened, there's another one, and I regularly back them up to each other. (One is slightly better than the other, but neither is expensive to replace and both are designed for travel).

Simsample, I remember that magnitude 2 earthquake. According to my parents, they felt the earthquake at just before 2 am, then heard a loud scream. They were rushing to the stairs, thinking I'd somehow got badly injured... ...to then hear me yell at the top of my voice, "I've got cramp!" (To put this earthquake into perspective, only one person went to hospital for injuries relating to the quake; someone near the epicentre had something fall onto their leg and break it).

These are still interesting enough that they became the raw material for the concept of cyberstorms in SimHampton. Though any Sim in SimHampton who reacted to a cyberstorm merely by turning off their electrical items would be considered extremely foolish and in need of a history/physics lesson...

By "rather a lot", I assume this is referring to the nationwide flooding of 2007. My family couldn't really go anywhere because of the floodwaters... ...which turned into a great excuse to do lots of Simming, especially as I'd graduated university the previous week and did not have a job to go to at the time. Local floods are an annual occurrence (though because they're localised, they tend to affect different rivers in different years), but having most/all of the UK flood at the same time is rare because there isn't usually enough rain to go round for that.

* - Lightning is caused by the amount of electrical differential that builds up in a cloud. The amount of electrical charge a cloud can carry is affected by lots of things, which include proximity to the tropics, nearby warm ocean currents and the difference between their warmth and that of the adjoining land. All of these mean that the UK gets less intense lightning than certain parts of the USA, and is especially unlikely to get the superbolts and staccato lightning that are much stronger than standard lightning (and thus more likely to cause massive damage of the type reported by some posters). It is possible that the UK has more reliable power in thunderstorms, but it is only fair to acknowledge that the USA, especially in the south, has a much tougher job in this area - and that Simming storm strategies will logically differ as a result of this.
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