Hand written Saturday, September 13, 2008 (transcribed and posted Tuesday, September 16)
We crashed last night in our make-shift bunker…a.k.a. an interior downstairs hallway where we put a twin mattress. We moved there shortly after we lost power at 10:30pm and the rain started about an hour later. We played scrabble ‘til the wee hours by candle light and listened to the radio storm cast (I had pre-positioned cake plates loaded with multiple candles and matches throughout the house for when the power went out). The intermittent and abrupt noises sent me scurrying around with a flash light to ensure no breaches and no water. I played dozens of games of solitaire (with actual cards) to pass the time – so many games that I managed to win five hands without cheating.
Chris assured me (before taking short naps) that the noises were “nothing” … daylight broke about a half hour ago (7am) and we can finally see what’s happening. Although the very worst of the wind and rain have passed, I’d guess we are still having 35-45 mph sustained winds (that’s just a guess) with higher gusts, and its still raining sideways. This has taken a real toll on the neighborhood. We have lost significant tree limbs – but none hit the house. Thank God! Our neighbors lost a massive tree uprooted from its base. If it had fallen 90 degree from its actual trajectory that 20×30’ tarp I bought might not have covered the hole. (180 degrees would have taken out ½ the neighbors house!) Our across the street neighbor also lost a tree, snapped at the base, which again thankfully fell away from her house (six feet behind it) and across the street. We also lost a full length of fence and gate and have a window upstairs that leaked profusely at the track so the carpet is soaked (urgh!) Lastly by our two sets of sliding glass doors we have water wicking up through the seams of the hard woo floors. While not too significant in volume, we’ll have long term hardwood damage.
I think I slept maybe two hours total. Chris probably a little bit more, but not much. We were cozy on that twin mattress in the hallway! Thankfully it is not yet too hot (we chilled the house down to 68 yesterday so it might stay pleasant a tab bit longer). It did get a bit warm with all the doors shut in the hall so we kept a couple open just enough not to sweat it out (not sure when we’ll get out next shower 🙂 And we never had to retreat to the hall closet, also known as the bunker of last resort.
On the plus sided, I suppose, is that the power has flickered back on twice for like 2 seconds at a time and we can see the phone, electronic, an cable lines are still up in the back yard (which connect us to the main utility poles). Yippie! We are still linked to the grid!
They have just asked us on the radio to conserve water (conveniently I heard this as I was exiting the bathroom) so we have designated bathrooms in hopes of mitigating any future unpleasantness. Plus we have a tub full of water so we planned ahead.
The streets are flooded as is their tradition, but no more than your average summer thunderstorm and our patio looks like a pond, which is also not unusual. Thankfully the concrete patio slab tilts away from the house so the water is collecting at the grass line and not at the house.
This house has so many noises, as does the storm. I am so glad I’m not here alone or I’d be a nervous wreck!
You know, as I sit here, I was just thinking of my Dad…we shared a fondness for the pitter patter of rain drops on the roof – good time for a nap in our world – but this is a bit extreme! I wonder what he’d be thinking about now.
When I called Mom about 45 minutes ago (c. 7:20am) she sounded so relieve. I imagine she slept about as much as I did.
I’m so glad I have slaved over my yard all spring and summer – it looks so pathetic and battered right now – and it is, but I think most of it will clean up an survive.
I had to take a break there to go deal (again) with the leaking window. Have gone through 6 bath towels on the sill and the carpet. Have reinforced with duct tape and another rolled up towel and hope that will help. (Glad I did all the laundry before the storm so we have plenty of towels.)
I’m watching another section of fence waffle violently. Its already beyond help so I’ll be damned if I am going out there so it can hit me on its way down.
It’s 8:40 am now and I am starved…I think it is time for a big bowl of cereal with the last of the milk (when the power went out we filled the cooler with blue ice and put the essentials in there so the fridge and freezer could be closed up, in hopes that they last at least 36 hours for the freezer anyway. The day before the storm I set the fridge temp to 7 (the coldest setting, I think/hope) and put two disposable roaster pans in the freezer full of water to create an ice block that might protect my 6 quarts of Little Venice sauce, 4 jars of raspberry jam (from the Minnesota trip a couple weeks back) and my bag of crab claws (for crab soup). We’ll see…
I am happy to report the milk on my cereal is COLD and that is nice…did I mention at 9am it is still raining and blowing.
9:15 Time to read and maybe catch a nap. By the way, my new across the street neighbors have been outside for the last 30 minutes taking pictures, getting rained on, and I think trying to clear the storm drain in front of their house (a somewhat futile exercise in my opinion). I should go check on ours too but the wind is still gusting too much and the dangling limbs from our big tree are directly over the drain so I’m staying inside 🙂 Okay now to read…
10am So I took a foray outside afterall…here is an interesting one…a tree limb hit one of the outside faucets and turned the water on…just what you need in a hurricane is extra water gushing out the side of the house! It is off now.
The rain stopped about 10:30. This is the end of my hurricane story.