As we reached the Arlington last night, a fierce storm engaged the Queen City in a brawl.  Lightning strikes near the building set off car alarms throughout the lot.  Water flooded the corridors of our building. Later, following the worst of the storm, we would come home to find long strips of ceiling on the smooth concrete floor and, looking up, swollen cracks had formed along the seams of the corridor upstairs.  

When the appeared to let up, we left the Arlington for Pineville to see a car.  Unfortunately the storm was still raging and traffic light along the boulevard were down or erratic.  We were stopped at the train tracks, where it was apparent something had gone wrong.  The signals were stuck in an emergency down position and one of the signals had been blown right off the post.  The light rail system slowed to a crawl, not wanting to leave passengers stranded in Uptown, but also fearful of signal failure.  

Other than the troubles it caused, a storm in Charlotte, NC is an incredible event.  The sky turns an eerie shade of green all aglow from the lights of the high-rises.  It resembles the dark of the sea – that glow from a ship sinking beneath rough seas.  It’s the kind of terror from which you can neither escape nor look away.  And yet it is something completely out of our control and a reminder of the raw power of nature.  I think it inspires one of those moments where people ban together and are aware, if only in a brief flash of lightning, we might as well be ants at the mercy of some kid wielding a magnifying glass.

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