Monday, August 29, 2011

A Visit from Irene

I woke up around 6:30 yesterday morning and Tropical Storm Irene was in full swing - although technically the full force of the storm was a few hours away. But the wind was a'blowin' and the rain was a'whippin' and this is what the back yard looked like. (above)

Mike and I watched the news, flipping from channel to channel to see the best maps. We felt fortunate that we had electricity, so I made sure to make Magoo a nice hot breakfast. At 9am, after I'd been up and anxious for about 2 1/2 hours, I started to relax. Hey, this isn't so bad, I thought.

At 9:30 we lost power.

Then the fun began.

We live in what used to be a pond. It got drained and houses were built. But it wants to be a ponds and seizes any opportunity to return to a pond-like state. Which means, we have a sump pump in the basement. And the sump pump was doing it's job - chick - ch ch ch ch chug - until, of course, the whole losing-power thing.

So Mike and I strapped on our boots and sprung into action. (Actually, we had been prepared for this. Mike already had his boots on. Mine were out. Magoo's were out. Every available bathmat was on the floor between the basement and the front door. All we had to do was grab a flashlight and go.)

This is the set-up in the basement:

Stick the bilge pump in the hole, stick the tube in the bucket. 14 pumps for the small bucket and 20 pumps for the big bucket. Carry the bucket of sewage water up the stairs. Magoo opens the front door. Throw the water out. Go down stairs. Repeat.

Of course, the photo above was taken with a flash. This is what it really looked like:

We were like cave-dwellers. It was super creepy.

We were constantly pumping and dumping for two hours straight. At 11:30 I took a lunch break while Mike kept it up. At noon, things started to calm down a bit. We found we could pump for 10 minutes and rest for 20 minutes. Then pump for 8 and rest 25 and so on and so on.

Meanwhile, our friends on the other side of the block ... well, they didn't lost power at all. And since they are on the high side of the hill, they don't have to worry about flooding either. So Mike took Magoo over there to play and soak up the electricity. Shortly after Mike got back a HUGE branch fell from the neighbors' tree, knocked down their power lines, and narrowly missed both of our cars. (By our cars I mean mine and Mike's.)

So now we have downed power lines next door. Awesome! But we did get really lucky as far as the big branch and cars thing goes.

In the afternoon, we all went over to out friends' house for a pasta dinner - courtesy of electricity!!! We came home around 7pm. Tidied a few things up. Lit some candles.

Here's Magoo relaxing with the iPod.

And at 8:10 pm the electricity came back on! Hooray!!!

So all is well. There are still downed power lines next door, but things are up and running in our house. There's a little cleaning to do, a little laundry, but all in all we came through Irene A-OK!

And the moral of this story is: I like electricity.

Hope all my East Coast friends did as well!


Chicklebee said...

Oh man! Look at your backyard!!!! You guys are getting to be pros at the bucket brigade ;-)

Julie_c said...

If there's one thing I never wanted to be a pro at, it's the Bucket Brigade! How's your home? Did it affect you at all?

Mika said...

Glad to hear that everything is ok in your neck of the woods.

I agree, I love electricity. When we had snow, the power was looking like it was going to go...and we don't have a fire, so it would have become pretty cold, pretty fast.

Julie_c said...

Thanks Mika.

We're thinking about getting a generator.

I certainly hope you never lose power when there's snow. You'll have to put on all your sweaters at once! ;)