Last night, class let out early. I was very excited to get home because Jessica had sent me a text at 5:39 saying that she finally arrived home. The whole drive to the house, I was irritated with slow drivers and it felt like it took forever for me to get home. I finally arrived and got into the house to put my stuff down. I saw a Jessica mess (big duffel bag barfing its guts out, laundry basket, misc. other stuff) in a mound near the chair in the living room. Jessica was home. She came out of the kitchen and gave me a hug. I was glad to have her there.
It is amazing how you can look at your kids sometimes and realize that they are quasi-adults... but you still don't really think kof them that way. They are still your kid and you still worry and want to take care of them.
She'd been gone since Thursday morning. She and Heidi took a trip to the coast and stayed at Heidi's mom's timeshare condo in Long Beach. They took a trip down to Oregon to see Ben on Saturday and they were going to head back on Monday. They had a lot of snow on Saturday, but then the weather changed and Sunday the storm hit. They lost power. Jessica sent me a text message at 5:40 on Monday morning asking me to check the news for weather and updates. The coast was experiencing 100 mph winds and the rain was falling like crazy. Because the ground was so water-logged, the trees started to topple from the wind. By the time I got to work and checked the Washington DOT website, Hwy 101 was closed in multiple places. Hwys 4, 6 and 8 were also closed. There was no way for the girls to get back home. They weren't happy being stuck without electricity and food. They had to conserve the cell phone battery because they couldn't charge it. I kept checking the DOT site throughout the day, but it didn't help. Everything was shut down. Jessica texted me in the evening and said that Ben was going to come and save them. At the time, it looked as if the roads were closed due to fallen trees. He figured that he could take a chainsaw or two and come to get them, clearing the way for the car. Part way through his trek to Washington, they closed down I-5 between Centralia and Chehalis because the freeway flooded, so the girls were just going to go back to Oregon to his house. He got most of the way to Long Beach (on Hwy 4) and was about 20 miles from them when he reached a road closure. His chainsaw would not do the trick. The road was under several feet of water. He had to turn around and go back. Jessica said that she almost cried when he called to tell her.
Tuesday morning, the DOT website looked a little more hopeful. The storm subsided, so there was cleanup under way. I checked and it looked like Hwy 101 was open for the most part. If the girls went up 101 to Shelton, they'd be able to make it. So they finally set out for home. It took them several hours. The road wasn't open (contrary to the DOT website). They were in a long string of cars backed up behind the state patrol and a cleanup crew. They'd travel slowly and then have to stop while the crew cleared the roadway of trees and debris. When they finally reached Montesano, the road ahead had been cleared and they had smooth sailing the rest of the way.
My girl is home. :)