My power came back on yesterday. Still, I decided to write this post by candlelight. It brings me back to a week ago. Saturday night, Hanging with Irene.
Actually, let’s start on Friday. Work was busy – all buzzing with talk of a hurricane working her way up the coast. It was beautiful out – quintessential “calm before the storm” stuff. I prepped the big boss to do an interview with some local news – television (he’s on at minute 1:50) and print – just passing the word about safety during the storm.
On Saturday, I felt restless. I spent the day cleaning, pacing and waiting until it was time to go to work and prep the big boss again for a live interview on Geraldo – man, this was starting to feel like a big deal! I came home around 11:30 p.m. Just as the winds were picking up.
Twitter was all a-tweeting about the storm’s impact in North Carolina. Freaking North Carolina. It’s the last place I want to think about when I’m tired and stressed and emotional. The thought of sending a text briefly crossed my mind. I quickly decided against it. I had nothing to say and no reason to say it other than feeling slightly haunted by the images of Nag’s Head, Hatteras, Kill Devil Hills flashing on the news….
Besides, I was a little busy. The storm was rounding New York City and heading towards me. I had some major waiting to do.
I had two hurricane roommates due to nearby evacuations and spent the evening giggling, watching funny movies and trying not to be too creeped out by the hermit crabs that were renting some space on my dining room table. Evacuation means everyone, I guess – and who am I to deny entry to a friend and her tank of hermit crabs?
*Editor’s Note: Most of these pictures were taken with my crappy cell phone camera. If you want to see really amazing pictures of what Irene did to coastal Connecticut, I suggest checking my friend Matt’s pictures here. He also made an amazing video you should watch. Eh, professional photographers.
On Saturday morning, my landlords put hurricane shutters up, making the house look like this:
Hurricane shutters are a blessing and a curse. The blessing is not having to scrape duct tape off my windows or scramble to buy plywood. The curse is not being able to see out the windows. As the storm raged through the earliest and darkest hours of the morning, I could only listen and imagine. I was certain the tree growing through my deck would end up crashing into my bedroom, like Anne Bell from Queen’s Anne County, MD. I woke up around 9 a.m. still alive, and I saw this:
Of course, I didn’t find that view very satisfying. Irene was my first Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Bigger than Your Average Rain Cloud. I wanted to see what she was doing to my neighborhood. Plus, Huck needed to pee.
I grabbed my yellow raincoat and Huckleberry and I ventured out.
We stopped by the trolley tracks that run to East Haven. They are historic and important and were featured in the New York Times back in 1989. Usually, they are not under water.
This was when I had to tuck Huck up safe and sound in our little shuttered house and drive into work. He looked pathetic. Maybe he was predicting more doom and gloom with his innate dog 6th sense. I felt terrible, but I had to leave him. There was a down powerline on Alps, Short Beach Road was flooded out to the left and the little bridge over the Farm River to the right had just re-appeared from the water. Going to work was not an option – I had to get there while I had a way out. I asked a work-friend-neighbor to check on Huck in case I got stuck sleeping in my office, packed a bag and braved the streets.
It took me 45 minutes to get there (including pulling over to do a 4 minute radio interview).
Before I went back home that night, I stopped at Lighthouse Park. There was a group of three college kids flying kites in the strong winds. And the tide was coming in once again.
On Tuesday, Huck and I went out to see if we could predict how long it would be before our power came back on. We guessed: A really long time.
*Another Editor’s Note: Pictures were all taken around my neighborhood in Short Beach