Goodbye Irene

Just a few last pics of the damage I saw around Bay Hundred yesterday – the first pic is the giant oak that Kevin heard fall around 3am Saturday night – whoa! Big Oak! This is on a vacant lot at the corner of the Bozman Neavitt Road and Cooper Point Rd.

Mostly, I saw stuff like this. Tree fell, but didn’t really hurt anything.

And the most physical damage to a structure that I saw, outside of Claiborne:

We saw virtually no flooding at all, not even at high tide.  I’ve seen far more water in an ordinary thunderstorm here, but of course now we know that Irene blew water OUT of the Chesapeake Bay, as opposed to Isabel, who blew water UP INTO the Bay. Huge difference.

And now, at the end of the day, we can look back and see if we learned anything. Well, we learned that it’s really smart to do everything you can ahead of time, including such things as doing all the laundry, vacuum, etc. before the storm hit. Our power was only out for 20 hours, but it could have been out for weeks.

I learned that it was a mistake to rely on the Ipad’s AT&T 3G for internet access. When the power went out, the 3G was out. Friends on Verizon were easy to stay in touch with. Friends on AT&T still might be inaccessible. Problem, AT&T. BIG problem.

I learned that in spite of any plans you make for food and ice and coolers, you still get confused about what to do with the food in your refrigerator. And our Sunday newspaper didn’t have a thing about that. Note to the Star Democrat – next time there’s a big storm, put critical information like food safety info – on the front page of the paper on the day AFTER the storm. For the record, here’s a link to the USDA food safety page – http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/keeping_food_safe_during_an_emergency/index.asp

But even then, there’s a wide range of truth. A lot depends on how old/new your refrigerator is. Ours is brand new, and highly insulated. After 20 hours, the frozen chickens in the freezer were still as hard as a rock and the beer in the refrigerator was as cold as ever. Thinking back on the little rental house we last lived in with an ancient, crappy little frig, I’d bet that all of that food would have gone bad in those 20 hours without power. It’s all relative.

Evacuation plan. We didn’t really have one. Nor did my parents, who ended up evacuating to Kevin’s parent’s home in Akron, PA. They got in the car and headed off Delmarva without really knowing where they’d go. We woke up on Saturday morning early, and were frightened. We decided to see how things were progressing and then make a decision about staying/leaving by 11:00 am on Saturday. At 11, we chose to stay, and it turned out that it was a fine decision. Next time, I’d like to make the call sooner, so as to stay off crowded roads (my folks were creeping at an inch an hour and were stressed the whole time).

Supplies. Water and batteries were gone by Friday around here. Gasoline was hard to come by – I went to the gas station twice and was turned away in the days before the storm. It makes sense to have a couple five gallon gas cans filled and ready. I think I’ll take my little pile of water and batteries, and tuck it away for next time, with the lanterns and candles and emergency first aid kit.

And with that, I’ll bid farewell to our unwelcome guest, Irene. Glad you didn’t stick around.

~ by kbosin on August 29, 2011.

7 Responses to “Goodbye Irene”

  1. you guys did a fantastic journalistic job of documenting this unwanted guest… we live down the b-n road on pond point. no damage except for the trees still blocking our lane. help is hard to come by

  2. A friend in LA sent me your blog!! I am just down the B-N road….have just finally been “cut out” of my driveway!! Glad to discover your postings…I will be your new “biggest fan”…mkp

  3. we are following you all the way from Switzerland. Great blog, you are doing a real good job .

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