The day after Irene.

Today has been about the most picture-perfect day weather-wise. No humidity, about 74 degrees, sunny, and blue skies! We spent three hours outside this morning—me playing with Owen and Tom getting the yard back in order (picking up twigs, mowing the lawn, unleashing the patio furniture and toys). If you didn’t know, you’d never guess there was a Cat 2 hurricane through here.

But then he went to check on a friend’s home across the subdivision, and said there are a crap ton of trees down everywhere, across the road, in yards, etc. We lucked out by being in a new area (where they cut all the trees down) and the older section had all the problems. People are now burning the remnants and the neighborhood smells like campfire!

Buh bye, Irene.

Well, we’re here.

We went to our friend’s house last night for a hurricane party (basically a potluck dinner!)—something that’s a bit of a ritual, and which actually has been good luck for us as we don’t get hit with much of the expected weather. By the time we were leaving around 8pm, the storm had already been downgraded to a Cat 2 from a Cat 3, so that was good news.

If you hadn’t heard a hurricane was coming, you’d probably not even have noticed—there was just some light rain and a little bit of wind. By the time we went to bed around 11:30, we could hear it getting a bit busier, though some of that might just have been since we didn’t have the TV on anymore. :)

I woke up about 3am to go to the bathroom and it was definitely more fierce and I slept fitfully until 5:30 when the power went off (at which time Tom had to get up and turn off all the UPS backup units because they beep to let you know they’re using internal power—we had thought about turning them off before we went to bed, but we really didn’t think we’d lose power), and then I didn’t get much sleep until we got up at 8 (when we both woke up with a start with a huge blast of wind that shook the house).

Owen was a little cranky because he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t watch his shows or play with his puzzles (iPad), so we tried to explain that the big wind and big rain made things broken. He had his snack as normal and I tried to keep him occupied with his train set, some puzzles, and a few new toys. He told us when he was ready for breakfast and he had a normal breakfast (PB&J and yogurt!), played some more, and then went down for his nap at his usual time with no problem.

Tom wasn’t feeling well and had a major headache so he was already napping when I came in after putting Owen down. About 15 minutes later—after I had JUST fallen asleep—the power came back on (noon) and got us excited…except, of course, it woke us up from our naps because the house alarm was beeping an annoying “I’m ready again” beep and one of the UPS units upstairs was beeping. By the time we got them both fixed, the power was off again. I had just fallen asleep AGAIN when Tom’s cell got a text—which beeped twice because he didn’t look at it—and he was sleeping so didn’t even hear it (and hadn’t turned it off after the last beep which woke me up—GRR). So when the power came back on at 1pm, I had to go down and reset the alarm again…and my shot at napping was over since I had been awoken three times. Tom and Owen had no problems with their naps.

So for the rest of the afternoon we just kept our fingers crossed that we didn’t lose power again…and that the cable stayed intact (I was actually surprised it was up and running). We have a small tree blown over across the street and tons of leaves and small twigs around the yard but not anything I’d consider actual damage. The only thing somewhat “damaged” was when the screen came off our sliding screen door.

We did post this photo to Facebook about our damage… :p

Hurricane Irene Damage

We haven’t even really seemed to get that much rain—probably because it was coming down slow enough that the system could handle it (usually when we get a thunderstorm deluge, the drains back up and the streets start to flood—but we didn’t even see that). The rain and wind mostly tapered off before dinner.

A surprising thing? Maggie, our scaredy cat little dog who trembles at the mere thought of rain? She apparently can sense that there’s no thunder with this system and is pretty damn calm. She even went out twice to pee!

The best thing? Other than our house is still standing with no damage…we can return the $800 generator! WOOHOO!

Prepping for Irene

So we apparently have a hurricane headed this way. :| We’ve had them before, but this one is supposedly a lot worse, so we’ve been prepping…

  • I busted my ass yesterday cleaning out half of the garage so we can at least get one car inside.
  • The grill is strapped down.
  • The patio table and chairs are flipped and strapped down.
  • All Owen’s stuff (water table, slide, playset) is off the deck and in the garage—which, when he noticed this morning, prompted him to say “Oh no! What happened?” :>>
  • The freezer and fridge have been turned to the coldest temps.
  • We have moved what we might want/need to eat from the big freezer to the little freezer so we don’t have to open the big one at all.
  • We have flashlights and candles.
  • We have plenty of non-perishable food.
  • We have two full propane tanks for grilling.
  • We have two cases of bottled water (and gallons and gallons of other beverages if necessary).
  • Both cars are gassed.
  • Tubs will be filled.
  • Suitcases will be packed and pet crates readied—just in case we need to leave in a hurry.
  • I’m making sure laundry is done and dishes are clean.
  • We are buying a generator, just in case we have a worst case scenario. We don’t plan on actually having to use it (we can return it if it’s unopened) but we know we will feel better having it ready if we really need it.
  • On a lighter note, I washed and straightened my hair yesterday. I figure if we lose power and can’t shower, my curly hair would start to look really bad after a day or so. But if it’s straight, I have at least a week of it looking good! :P

When Tom gets home early today (the base is closing at noon, except for essential personnel), he has to unhook the fireplace propane tank and we need to do one more sweep of the outside to pick up anything that could go flying.

We’re not in a flood zone, but areas around us are, so if we get the 12″ of rain they’re predicting, we could be stuck for awhile (some roads around here flood during a regular rainstorm). We have no big trees directly near us that could fall and be potentially precarious.

Wish us luck. We’re not terribly worried, but it has the potential to get interesting…so luck is always a good thing to have on your side.

=> If we lose power, we lose our new home phone (since it’s connected through the computer) so we’ll have to use our cell phones. Phone lines will likely be jammed, so I will post to Facebook and/or Twitter because texts go through much easier (I will also be able to email from the phone). That said, if/when we do lose power, we’ll only have one cell phone on at a time to conserve battery power.

Ophelia is coming!

One of the bases is closed (New River, not Camp Lejeune—so Tom has to work), government offices and schools were closed today and are already closed for tomorrow, and amazingly, our office is going to be closed! There are some recommended evacuations for people in low-lying/flood areas and mobile homes in our county, but that’s all for now. I know any hurricane is bad, but I really don’t expect much. However, as you can expect, people are a little gun-shy right now thanks to Katrina so people are playing it safe.

Please don’t worry about us. We have lots of candles and batteries, we have extra water, both our gas tanks are full, we have a full propane tank in case we lose power for a long time and need to grill, our grill and swing are safely off the porch, and our neighbor’s trampoline (while not inside) is flipped over for less wind resistance. And, of course, our property insurance is paid up!

I don’t mean to make light of a hurricane warning, but right now, it’s not even raining (there’s a few sprinkles every so often) and the skies aren’t even dark or threatening. I know it could change at any time, though, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed. We’ll keep you updated.

P.S. I’m also emailing this.