Man - there was some extreme weather up here in the hinterland tonight. Luckily, Meghan and I are safe, and from what we can tell (in the dark) our house and lot are fine. There were some houses just south and a bit west of us (on Territorial just east of University) that didn't fare so well...some roof damage, up-rooted trees, etc. Here's a google map showing where the damage was in comparison to our house.

From what Kare11 reported on the 10:00 news, there are still some 160k people without power tonight. I talked w/ my brother Dane at Bethel, and the campus was still without power as of 10:30 or so. They do have generators, though, so they can keep a large portion of campus running. It'll be interesting to see how quick Xcel is able to get power back up and running. Kare11 interviewed one of Xcel's line workers, and he said that there were something like 9 transmission lines down. Transmission lines (as opposed to distribution lines) are the power lines that transfer power from the main generation facilities to and between sub-station transformers - so they have a quite a bit of work to do tonight.

Meghan and I were actually running an errand to the Sears store up on Main and Hwy 10 in Coon Rapids when the worst of the storm hit. They locked down the store and corralled all of the customers into the staff breakroom until the storm had passed. We were in there for a half hour or so. The drive back to home was interesting, as were were detoured several times by flooded streets. Along Egret between Hanson and University, we saw a stretch of two or three huge oaks all uprooted. From what I could tell, the wind came straight out of the west, and as such, most of the severe damage was along the east-west streets. Another interesting tidbit - at the intersection of Main and Hwy 10, all of the streetlights for Main (the ones with their long arms pointing north or south if that makes sense) had been pivoted by the wind and were now sitting at about a 45 degree angle from where they should have been pointing.

All in all, we feel very lucky tonight to be safe.

In other news, our trip to sears *was* successful, as I picked up a new craftsman wire cutter and stripper. Yes I know, it's not terribly exciting, but hey - one can never have too many craftsman tools in the household. And if you're like me, having to wire up some 15 outlets, 9 light fixtures, and 5 switches in the next week, you'd appreciate having a good pair of wire strippers on hand :-)

Alright - sleepy time. Goodnight all.