I had never heard the word "derecho" before yesterday. I won't soon forget it. Because this area got whacked by one Friday night, and may get whacked by another tonight.
In the B-W metroplex there are apparently something like 1.5 million people without power, and in the HFC, there are apparently about 40,000 people without power. Moreover, a ton of businesses including stores and restaurants have no power, and there was a lot of property damage. Lots of trees down, limbs broken, even road signs torn off and a piece of a guard rail on 175 bent out of shape! In some places the damage is quite extensive.
With the temperature again being in the 90s today, and the possibility of another derecho today, many Howard Countians are staying home to tend to their properties, or going out to stay cool and enjoy their electronic amenities. Just off of my semi-scientific drivethrough earlier today, the parking lot of every shopping area with power is packed. Apparently the libraries are being filled with people who want to access the library's power and free wi-fi in order to charge and use devices. Other people have checked into local hotels and motels. Still others are taking advantage of Columbia Association's awesome offer to open up their pools today to all residents of the HFC.
For the most part, the spirit of goodwill pervades. Except, apparently the idiot manager of the Barnes and Noble at Long Gate is throwing people out for the nigh-unspeakable sin of sitting on the floor, among other things. Oh well. One in every crowd.