Hurricane Irene

12 09 2011

Hi all! I know it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve blogged, but it’s been a busy end to the summer!

It was lovely to have a week off, and I decided to do a lot of home projects. I started with the staining of the deck, which I’ve been procrastinating for a while.  I’ll write a post on that later, but I will say that as I was working on a corner of the deck, it felt as though it swayed…and I thought the stain fumes were getting to me! But it turned out it was just an earthquake.  A very odd feeling!

As the weekend of my vacation approached, there was more and more talk about Irene hugging the coast and heading right for NJ.  I planned to keep an eye on it, but not make any plans to evacuate.  Even as it started to look serious, I figured I would wait until that Friday to make my decision.  And then Thursday afternoon, they announced the mandatory evacuation of the barrier island that is just across from my town.  My sister and her family were staying in the next town over from mine and she called me to say they were leaving that night.

I decided to evacuate up to my parents’ and it ended up being a good thing I did, since they put my street on mandatory evacuation the next day.  Most of my neighborhood cleared out, but somehow, we ended up being totally spared.  There was some minor flooding in the yard, but my sump pump kept up with it, and with no power outage, we were in good shape.

As we now know, many other parts of the state and the country were not as lucky.  At my parents’, it was a bit worse than my house, but still nothing major (although my sister had 14 inches of water in her basement when they lost power and couldn’t run their sump pump.  My family, her friends and neighbors spent several hours trying to get them pumped out, and eventually we did, but not before she lost her water heater.  My parents were out of power until the next morning, but that was okay if that was the worst of our problems!

I did take a few photos during the storm to share with you – nothing like we’ve seen from the storm’s path, but just from my little corner of the world.

I brought my wellies - turned out to be a good thing! My sister's friend wore them as we bailed out the basement, and I was in my water shoes.

Some mild flooding in my parents' yard


The rain was very heavy - luckily, the rain and wind ended up being separate parts of the storm for us - the rain on the front end, and the wind on the back end.

We were very fortunate to escape some of the worst parts of the storm! How did you all make out?



Hurricane Irene – The Aftermath & Helping Out

1 09 2011

Last week, when I heard that Hurricane Irene was headed right for my shore town, I was worried.

When they sent out the mandatory evacuation order for the barrier island just off the coast from me, I was even more worried.  And I evacuated.  Then I heard that my side of town was also being mandatorily evacuated.  I thought it would be bad.

But even though Irene made landfall just about 45 minutes south of me, we really sustained almost no damage.  I just cannot believe how lucky my little coastal town was.  And I’m so grateful.

But I know that if we’d sustained major damage, people would have stepped up to help us.  So I think we need to step up and help those who were not as fortunate as I was.  I suspect in my case that because we had somewhere for the water to go, the flooding turned out to not be so bad.  But inland towns were not spared, and towns in upstate New York and Vermont were completely devastated.

And these are just some of the photos I’ve seen. I think we can all do something to help.  The Red Cross is currently collecting donations for those affected by Irene – to donate, sign up to volunteer, or to donate blood, please click here.

There are also other kinds of needs.  In the towns of Jay and Keene in upstate New York, which were destroyed by Irene, their libraries were also destroyed. In the case of the library in Jay, their children’s books were, for the most part, totally lost.  When things are so uncertain and scary, sometimes it can help kids to escape into a book, so if you’d like to help them out, Kate Messner tells you how over on her blog.

Let’s do what we can to help!