Monday, August 29, 2011

Good Night, Irene

Having a little adventure on vacation this week as we traveled to the Jersey shore for some fun and sun and ran right into the coming of Hurricane Irene and a mandatory evacuation of all shore towns 24 hours after we got there! Ended up in Philadelphia for the weekend but, hopefully, back to the sand and salt water soon.

We waited in a line for over 1 hour to fill up with gas before leaving. There were three lines feeding into the station and it was exactly like what we've seen on TV in numerous evacuation scenes. The locals here are split on the disaster warnings and preparations. Some think it's much ado about nothing and others think precaution is always the best decision. Everyone seems to agree that the east coast governors, mayors, and disaster officials have a strong memory of the Katrina mess in New Orleans and "don't want that on my watch"---so it's better to be overly cautious.

Unknown to us, Philadelphia just set a rainiest month record in August with over 13", so they rightly worried that an onslaught of water wouldn't be handled well by the city, its ground, reservoirs and streams.

As Irene passed by overnight the only two effects on us were 8 hours without electricity (3:00-11:00 a.m.) and a night of listening to wild winds and loads and loads of rainfall. Not much damage outside of trees down and isolated power outages. Low lying areas, as always, were the most affected with flooding in predictable places.

By noon Sunday we actually started to see bright sunshine and Jersey residents were allowed to start to return home. We'll be heading back Monday ourselves. Better a few days than none at all.

Meanwhile, back at the Mount, here is one of our loveliest bushes--the flowers are a beautiful light green.