Monday, August 29, 2011

So Long, Irene

We were lucky. Very lucky. We took the warnings seriously and took all the necessary precautions. We are inland enough that I really expected lots of rain and wind. Memories of Agnes are pretty fuzzy, and this house on the hill is constantly battered with winds, so it seemed like a simple adventure that might call for some chocolate chip cookies and a movie.
As the storm headed up the coast, it quickly became apparent that this wasn't going to be just another rain storm.
Evening brought the storm to our part of the country.
I'm used to high winds. 3 or 4 times a year I go out and gather up shingles from the yard. When the trees are bare of leaves, I can see 2 neighboring counties (Lebanon County from the front of the house, York from the back) and this hill that I live atop is about the highest place in the Lancaster county. It's great on the 4th of July for watching fireworks, but not so great in a hurricane.
The wind whipped around the house, howling and screaming, while waves of water slapped against the doors and windows. I didn't sleep very much during the night. As dawn broke, I pulled back the drapes and was surprised to see that we had lost some trees to the side of the house and half of the tree in the front yard. The doormats inside both of the doors in the front of the house were drenched from water that was driven in under the doors. Otherwise, everything was fine.
In the next town over, my brother's house in the middle of the woods came through fine, but after the storm passed, a tree brought down a power line, so they've been without power ever since and came over this morning to clean up before work.
In the meantime, the storm pressed north and friends up that way started reporting in. Some fared as well as we did. Some were in much worse shape. One was stranded in an ever rising swirl of a brown, murky, dangerous flood.
Lots of people who were not seriously impacted in areas that could have gotten a lot worse feel that the preparation was overkill. Mother Nature isn't all that easy to read though. She goes where she chooses and mere mortals can only prepare for the worst and hope for the best. She spared some places while demolishing others.
This morning is a beautiful early autumn morning. It isn't officially autumn, but there's no mistaking the feel in the air. Things will return to normal eventually. Here it will only take a few days for most of us. To the far north it will take longer.

The sound gets wiped out by the breeze in the second part of the video, but it is showing the southern sky - blue and mostly clear.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree that one can't be too cautious. People make fun of me because I keep winter supplies around the house even though we no longer live out in the country.

The second year we lived here though, we ended up stuck in an ice storm with no power for a week.

So, yeah, it never hurts to be prepared.


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