Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Yes, I was in an affected area of the hurricane from this weekend. Not a lot of fun, let me tell you.

I managed to go to sleep at a decent time for once, but of course that was ruined as I awoke to a power surge. The TV, air condition, and light that I leave on had turned off for a moment, but what really woke me up was when everything came back on and the TV was booming again. Confused, went to weather channel where it showed me the hurricane was right on us. They were pretty calm about it, so figured this was all normal and started to drift to sleep again when I saw a HUGE flash outside my window and the power went off, this time for good.

I laid in my bed for awhile, hoping it would just come back on, but after 5 minutes of just laying there, I decided to go investigate a little. After turning off my laptop and grabbing my flash light, I went out of my room and looked outside the front windows of my house. Rain and wind of course, but my street was out of power! I could see some lights in the distance though, so knew it wasn't like all of my town.

Back to my room, I fumbled around and found my incredibly old walkman with radio and searched for some channels for information. My sister awoke about now and came upstairs. I called to her, letting her know what I knew. We talked for awhile and she told me of the AM channel that has info for our area. Apparently, people had lost power all over my state, but it seemed to be only here and there. All coastal areas of course were having trouble, but some towns were perfectly unaffected according to the news on the radio channel.

The old radio-cassette walkman
Sis went back to her room for a bit and I to my mine, but soon our parents had awoke and then everyone was walking about. Candles were lit, flashlight supply gotten, and we spread both around the house. Even my upstairs neighbors could be heard fumbling around. Mom can't handle heat too well unfortunately (she has MS), so the lack of air condition was really messing with her well being. She ended up going outside in the wind and rain since it was the closest way to keep cool. We all ended up out there at some point, whether just to keep mom company, or explore the damage.

WAY down on my street, I had seen lights, so it seemed that just most of my street and parts of others had no power. We saw a service vehicle down the street in front of someone's house that we mistakenly thought was someone already working on the power, but it ended up being someone setting up a generator for our fireman neighbor. Funny enough, dad had actually borrowed two generators from his work, but neither worked, unfortunately.

After just walking around, talking, and complaining, we all conked out around 7 or 8 am. We had all been getting giddy; at one point, my sister was laughing at her own shadow from the candle light... so I put on a stupid shadow puppet show, haha! I ended up being the last one to fall asleep. I need to have noise to fall asleep to, or else I just can't sleep. Also it was hot... The radio walkman helped me with the noise part at least, and I managed to sleep until around 10am, where my sister woke me up to let me know our basement got drenched and she needed help with her room.

Our basement wasn't flooded per se, as the whole floor did not get submerged or anything. However, half of my sis's room had a wet carpet and the laundry side of the basement had a lot of wet floor. Dad was already up and taking care of the laundry side by sopping up the wet with rags, and my sister wanted me to help sop the water out of the carpeting for her room. That really was a waste of time and a pain in the hands, to be honest. The carpet was pretty much dead, and would always stink.

When we finally gave that up, we just focused on saving things in her room. She not only lost the carpet, but a few papers, stuffed animals, and a pillow. The water also finished off her old hand-me-down dresser, but that was going to be replaced anyway, so not a huge loss. Helped dad with bailing some water out of the basement stairs that lead outside as well (General outline of my house can be found in the middle of an old post, the HomeStuck dream). My cousin and her husband came over to help us out with some of our problems as well.

Our neighbors were pretty awesome people during this. My upstairs neighbor not only gave us ice for our fridge, but got tea for my mother. My next door neighbors also gave us ice and let us know what they were finding around the neighborhood; some powerlines went down around the corner. And we all were told by the power company that power would be reinstated next week. Yeah... that's some hardcore bullshit. Parents made reservations at a hotel, my sister stayed with her boyfriend, and my cousin and cousin-in-law invited me to stay at their house.

I went around the corner to see the damage and got some pictures. While I was over, some of the neighbors on that street saw my camera and said, "Oh, want us to pose in front of the damage?" and did a little pose, haha! I wish I actually took that picture. XD

A downed tree limb.

What I suspect to be where the limb broke off of.
A power line this limb took down... or maybe the power line that took down the limb?
Further down the street, this powerline burned into this fellow's lawn and melted.
This power line broke into the sidewalk slightly.
More broken sidewalk!
Here's the big ass damage!
A close up of the above.
What my dad suspects to be the cause of the damage; it's one of those things that keep the wires away from each other and in place. Dad suspects the wind knocked some wires loose and it got shocked, and melted into some wires before breaking off the powerline.
The flash I saw in the middle of the night was not lightning, but in fact these powerlines going down. The neighbors I had met around the corner told me this as they were right there. They, too, got the message of power being restored in a week, and said they were going to raise hell with the power company.

Another neighbor lost his fence.
We spent hours trying to save some things. Since the lunchmeat would go bad, we all ate sandwiches for breakfast/lunch. Dad had a friend that let us put our freezer related goods in their huge walk-in freezer. My cousin and her husband let us put any fridge things we wanted to save (and could travel) in their fridge as well, so we didn't lose TOO much. Ice Cream and a few other frozen deserts were unfortunately could not be saved (RIP).

We all packed up and got to our destinations. Sometime around 7pm after we all were situated, our upstairs neighbor called us to say that power had came back! Since we were tired, we decided to just stay where we were anyway; as we were MUCH too tired.

Yesterday was another day filled with more aches, but I'll save that for another day; I don't have any pictures that are as interesting so it'd just be another wall of text. Hope everyone who had to deal with Hurrican Irene survived all right!


  1. shitty. congrats on minimal damages i suppose :|

  2. Ugh, well at least you and your family are safe. That's what matters.

  3. crazy stuff, glad you made it out alright! Poor sidewalks :(