Evacuation, Heavy Rain, Broken Glass, No Sleep, Work Through the Weekend - Irene, I Hate You!

Hurricanes, those damn acts of Mother Nature. Really? Do we need them? Do they play some role in the weather chain like I'm told mosquitoes do in the food chain? You know, because both seem very unnecessary to me. Regardless of what I think though, Hurricane Irene came and went through Eastern Carolina this past weekend and caused one big headache for me and my family. Oh, and did I mention NO SLEEP!!!

My hubby and daughter evacuated two hours inland on Friday morning, before the storm. I, however, work in the TV news business if you did not know, so my journalistic butt got to stay right here to wait for the storm. I went into work (early) Friday afternoon and the outer bands of Irene moved in not long after that. Thank goodness my family evacuated to a safe and QUIET location. I made the decision not to sleep at work Friday night and came home around one a.m. OK, so technically Saturday morning, but whatever it was, I barely slept. As the winds and rain increased outside, and I tried to sleep in this still unfamiliar house, every noise, every crash, every creak scared the crap out of me and left me thinking I was about to die. After all, there are really, really big trees all around our rental house. At some point, I threw my comforter and pillow on the floor beside my bed and slept halfway under my bed, thinking if a tree came crashing through the roof the bed would somehow protect me. Oh, did I say sleep... no, I cowered there halfway under my bed, wrapped up in my sheets and comforter. When the power flickered for the last time around 5 a.m., I took that as my cue to get up.

That crash I heard in the night, it was the windows in the sun room being blown in by the wind and raining glass upon the floor.

Hurricane Irene 070
(this was taken after Irene was gone. it was certainly not this sunny Saturday morning)

I spent the next hour moving still unpacked boxes into the house from the sun room as the rain flew in through the now naked screens. Looking out of those screens, I could already see the flooded canal snaking its way toward my back door.

Hurricane Irene 005-2

And even Hurricane Irene's weakest winds had started a hailstorm of branches falling around my home.

Hurricane Irene 012

Heading into work around 7 a.m. Saturday morning, I passed by the beginnings of Irene's fury. The brunt of the storm had not yet hit, we were still just in the outer bands. But this is what I passed:

Hurricane Irene 015
The marina by my house already claiming an adjacent parking lot

Hurricane Irene 023
Traffic lights out

Hurricane Irene 033
A fallen tree in the road

Hurricane Irene 038
The road just after my turn into work disappearing into a newly formed river

Hurricane Irene 034
A power line in the road which I had no choice but to drive over to get into work

Hurricane Irene 042
A fallen tree and flooding in front of the TV station

Arriving into work, there's was the steady chaos of phones ringing, scripts flying, producers quietly yelling, lights shining, computer keys clicking, hairspray spraying, make-up glossing and the anchor desk perched solid, quiet and waiting. ::breathe in, breathe out:: I am home, and there is nothing like it. I spent the next 10 hours at that anchor desk, riding out the most Irene could throw at us with thousands of North Carolinians - whether they were listening to my voice via TV or battery-powered radio. At times like this, I have the greatest job ever. It's not often I get to feel like "I did something good."

Then the replacements make it in, and I'm back off through the storm to get home. I went into work with three days of clothes packed and an air mattress, but I needed to see if Irene had flooded or smashed my home. I would not be staying the night at work.

The drive home was not too bad, after all, Irene's worst was gone. It is Saturday night and there is not a soul on the road as I made the trek, it's only me and the fallen trees, downed power lines and flooding. Thankfully, my home was no worse off than when I had left it 12 hours before. There were more fallen trees and limbs, but all had missed my house. There were also a few more broken windows in the sun room, but I'm a renter, so I'm not as concerned about that. Thanks to 30+ hours without power, I also lost all the food in the fridge/freezer. But all in all, not too bad.

And the best part about coming home Saturday night? Without Irene banging on my front door... and roof and windows and walls and whatever else was there to bang on... I finally got some sleep!! Good thing, since I had to be back into work by 6 a.m. the next morning. That meant a 4:30 wake up call. Ugh.

But if that was the most of my worries, I'll count myself lucky. Some people had worries like this:

Hurricane Irene 044
Hurricane Irene 045
Hurricane Irene 065
Hurricane Irene 046

And my pictures don't even begin to show the devastation some people endured, and are still enduring, in Eastern Carolina. These pictures are just what I saw on my drive to and from work. And then there's all the poor souls in the Northeast. I know we are blessed to come out on the safe end of this storm.

So what will we take away from our first hurricane experience in our new home?

1.) always evacuate the hubby, kiddie and doggies
2.) buy a bigger cooler and a lot of ice BEFORE the storm
3.) don't leave the safety of work to go home and sleep if I'll only end up cowering under my bed
4.) have better food and beer stocked in the house as hurricane rations
5.) be thankful every day for being one of those lucky ones who will only remember Hurricane Irene as a storm that passed through, and not a life-changing and devastating event for my family

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP