Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Drunk

As a fairly young New Englander, I can count on one hand the number of times life has been disrupted by a hurricane.

There was Gloria in 1985. I don't remember much about the storm itself but I do remember Laura Branigan's song of the same name was hugely popular that summer. They even played it at my uncle's wedding reception.

After that, there was Bob in 1991. That was the storm that took out our rather lovely and large weeping willow tree. That was also the summer we had a French exchange student staying with us. I remember him stripping down to his boxer shorts and running a lap around our backyard in the middle of the storm. My mother was oh so pleased.

Since I've left southern Maine for the Mount Washington Valley, I can count on one finger the number of times a hurricane has disrupted life. We're pretty well inland here in the White Mountains so it's definitely not often you see the words "hurricane" or "tropical storm" appear in your extended forecast.

But that all changed Sunday.

So like the good, somewhat responsible people we are, The Man and I prepared. We went to Borders so I could buy yet another bag full of books. We filled the cars with gas and cleaned off our deck. We took out the screen doors and replaced them with storm doors. We ran the Gator Girl ragged so maybe she'd drive us less insane while being trapped in the house all day Sunday. I even braved the grocery store to stock up on some essentials. It was mobbed with people stocking up on water and batteries. This was my pre-storm shopping list:


Yes, I have my priorities straight.

Just so you know, we're all fine here in Casa Crazy. Except for the not insignificant amount of water in the basement, you never would've known we were riding out a tropical storm. The only casualties we experienced were my once lovely Ralph Lauren towels that The Man commandeered to help control the basement flooding. I may have cried a little over the loss. But you can't prove it.

Other parts of the Valley were not so fortunate. The Swift River flooded, closing down two major roads in the area. The Saco River (on which my neighborhood has a beach) flooded. Its flood stage is nine feet. The Saco crested at sixteen feet early this morning. You can see it from my living room. Just so you know, you normally can't. My sister suggested that I sell the house immediately because now it has both water and mountain views.

The Saco, before it crested (this is not the view from my living room).

Friends of mine report that their road literally washed away before their eyes as they were trying to get home. They ended up having to turn around and stay in a hotel. They still haven't been able to get home. The Man's boss is working from home today as he is literally trapped in his town because the road in leading and out washed out at both ends. Other friends lost their power and still haven't gotten it back yet. At Casa Crazy, we lost power for maybe five minutes in the early afternoon. It was off just long enough for us to have to reset all the clocks and listen to our next door neighbor's house alarm go off. For three hours. Then it stopped. I'm assuming it dropped dead from sheer exhaustion.

The scene in Jackson, NH

So we were lucky. Very lucky. As the storm clean up starts today (all right, so I'm in the midst of the clean up), my work is limited to the drying out of the basement and the picking up of branches in the yard. It's actually good that I have this to do because I really could use the exercise. I ate entirely too many donuts and peanut butter cups yesterday.

Hope everyone else who was in Irene's path is doing well...


  1. Glad you all are okay! Beer, pizza and books sounds like a pretty awesome weekend to me. :-)

  2. Crazy!

    We get flooding and earthquakes up here a bit, but it's always sort of bizarre when something like that hits close to home.

    So sorry for the loss of your towels . . .

  3. Raging waters are scary. Glad we were far enough inland all we saw was a little rain and wind on Saturday. Oh, and we had beer on hand as well, just in case.

  4. Glad you are ok and only had minor damage! I lived in Mississippi and Florida for half my life. One year in Florida we had 5 hurricanes in 3 weeks. We were without power for all of those 3 weeks...thank GOD for generators.

    My mom's husband's family lost everything in Katrina, but their lives - Thank God for that.

    Again - glad you and yours are ok!

  5. That's a lot of water. Good to see you had all those books in case you needed to try and make a raft with them.

  6. Glad you're okay and glad you got your priorities straight.

  7. @E.J- Seemed like a good weekend to me too.

    @Jolene- Thank you. Sometimes loss is just so senseless...

    @Alex- Beer is essential. Glad you have your priorities straight too...

    @Bonnie Rae- We once had a major ice storm that knocked out our power for about two weeks in January or February. But other than that, I've never had an extended powerless period.

    @Michael- And what a raft I could make.

    @Shelly- Thanks!

  8. We lost a number or huge trees. Our back yard looks like a war zone and suffered without electric but we got it back within a day. Lots of people had it worse.

  9. Very scary indeed! We prepared for the storm here in NYC but were spared - not so in the nearby suburbs.
    Glad that you and the Man are ok :)

  10. I experienced Hugo when I was staying in Charlotte, NC in 1989 but that's the only one that directly affected me. The hurricanes never make it out to California.

    Tossing It Out

  11. So glad you didn't get hit bad. We were worried initially down here in Florida, but well, people around here are veterans. Not me. I'm new. But they are. Glad it missed us too.

  12. That is just so crazy!

    My little sister is in Connecticut and we were on pins and needles all weekend waiting to make sure she was going to be okay. Thankfully she was, but I can't believe some of the destruction!