Saturday, September 3, 2011

a week later

As I listen to the crickets chirp outside on this clear September night, it is hard to believe that just one week ago, we were slogging through Hurricane Irene. The boys initially had a high ol' time that evening playing in the mud and puddles that the torrential rains produced in our backyard:

Apologies for the poor quality; it was quite rainy at that point

The darkness eventually called them in, and we listened with half an ear to the ever-increasing intensity of the winds. At 10 pm, I went to do some laundry (I was desperate to get it finished before we lost power; I knew it was inevitable) and discovered a smallish but ever-increasing puddle in the basement. Just like that, the struggle was ON.

I mopped while my LSH and Primo fixed the issue; the younger two were in bed already. At that point, we lost power and our internet/cable connection -- and thus all communication with the outside world. Our generator kicked in, but it didn't help us with the problem of what the heck was happening out there. The only thing that offered a shred of hope was this handy device, an emergency radio powered by battery/plug-in/hand-crank:

We received it from my parents a few Christmases back. At the time, we didn't appreciate its potential usefulness. Now, I don't know how we would have made it through the night without it. At 11 pm we received several frantic texts from concerned friends and relations that a tornado warning had been issued for our area -- a TORNADO warning, in NJ!!! -- and we needed to get into our basement right quick. The boys set up a temporary bed, and the dog was happy enough to join them.

They were having a ball, except Terzo, who slept through the entire thing.

We had to use the set-up again at 2:30 am, when another tornado warning was issued. My LSH and I took turns throughout that dark night monitoring the radio and checking the basement.

Did I say dark? I meant pitch black, darker than dark, darkest before the dawn, dark. It was a long night, and we were so fortunate that we suffered no damage greater than lack of sleep. It turns out that the modern convenience I missed most was the little color-coded interactive radar weather map. Without that, I felt like I had no idea what was happening out there, and could only slog through listening to the voices on the radio -- NJ 101.5 did a spectacular job throughout it all -- and wait for the sunrise to see more clearly.

We did get eventually get our power (and cable and internet and phone) back on Wednesday night, and I have been playing catch-up every since, with no complaints from me. How can I complain? So many had it so very much worse.


  1. Glad you are OK Kris and family.
    I think I will invest in one of those radios.

  2. You and the crew have been on my mind in my prayers. Glad you made it through safely!