Sunday, August 28, 2011

Adventures with Hurricane Irene

We made it through that sucker!  Judith experienced her first tropical system, and a rare tropical storm warning for our area - we normally get hit by depressions or the remains of a tropical system, but occasionally a full-blown tropical storm affects our area.  She did well, and slept through the worst of it.  The dogs also did fairly well, except for the whole not going out in the rain thing.

Our adventures started way before the rain bands arrived here.  We started seeing clouds from the system on Friday, and Saturday started off pretty cloudy and humid as heck.  I was sitting at my computer (with the fan and Man vs. Food on), ready to make a post on Facebook when everything went dark and a slight boom was heard.

Apparently our electric wiring on our entire street decided to beat the rush for Irene-related power outages, and went out between 10:30 and 11:00 yesterday.  I called the emergency line, and was given an estimated time for the power to be back on, which was approximately 1:30.  I didn't get a chance to turn the air conditioners on to try to get some of the humidity out of the air, and I was starting to charge all of my electronics in preparation for the storm.  So I thought, "Ok, 1:30 isn't too bad."  I was hoping it would come on sooner so I could cool down the house for Judith.

Fast forward to around 1:30, and John gets a call from Met-Ed: they had a new estimated time for the return of the power, and that was...9:30 PM.  You have got to be kidding me!  I was not a happy camper at all, and I was already going nuts without any internet access, my computer, the TV, lights in general (it got pretty stinking dark when some of the earliest bands were moving through), or my Kindle or DS.  Plus I had just transferred a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer, and I knew there was no way it was remotely dry yet.  Top all of that off with a cranky baby that refused to sleep because of the humidity, and frustrations were running high.

Oh, and did I mention that every time I walked into a bathroom, I tried to turn the lights on?  I lost track of how many times I did this, but I think I set a new personal record for doing it 5 times in a row in the downstairs bathroom when I was getting a new load of laundry ready to go for when the power came back.  Brilliant, I know.

After we decided that my big MagLite flashlight was officially MIA, I decided to go to Target and get a new one in case we needed it...and in case the power did come back and went out again.  Another brilliant idea on my part.  They barely had any flashlights, but I was able to get a smaller MagLite to have as a backup.  I also picked up a case of water, which they miraculously still had on the shelf.  Holy cow, that place was a three ring circus, complete with some very...interesting characters walking around - I saw a pair of Uggs that were knee high and looked like Chewbacca with tinsel in his fur.  I was very glad to get out of that place, and I swear next hurricane I will make sure we know where all of our stuff is in advance so I don't have to do something like that again!

I beat the main rain bands home, and by 6:00 we were starting to get some really heavy rains. Met-Ed was on our street earlier in the evening for 10 minutes, drove off, and returned around the 6:00 hour.  By 6:30, they FINALLY got power restored to our street!

After 8 hours without power, we were able to turn the a/c on, cool the house down, and get weather forecasts/coverage of the storm - not having access to The Weather Channel was the worst part of the whole thing!

We started getting heavier rains and lots of wind by about 7:30, and were pounded all night long.  Between the a/c's and the fan, we didn't hear a lot of the rain and wind, but we got up a couple times to check things out.  Unfortunately our roof leaked again, and now there's a bigger water damage spot in the nursery.  So now we get to deal with our lovely (not) HOA, and will have to wait to get the roofers out to repair the patch.  It would be easier for them to replace the stinkin' roof like they're supposed to (especially since they know it needs it), but as long as they refuse to do that, I'll continue to be an annoying pest about the leak in the nursery.

I must say that we lucked out with the amount of damage in our immediate neighborhood - I can't speak for the rest of the town because I didn't leave the house today in case there was a lot of damage and/or flooding.  We have a ton of leaves and some branches down, but that's about it.  Our adorable little pine tree out back survived, and is standing strong!  We didn't have a lot of street flooding - well, maybe slightly more than what we normally get with heavy rains, but nothing serious.  The best part today was being able to open the windows after the rains ended to get the cool breeze in the house!

So now the sun is setting, and the winds are pretty calm.  We feel lucky that we didn't have any major damage around here.

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