Hanging with Irene

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.

We tried to get a closer look at the rest of the marsh area around the Farm River. But, we couldn’t get much closer than this:

Next,  I took Huck to see what was happening on the waterfront side of our street. This is what we saw when we crossed Short Beach Road:

We continued walking down Clark. Another block down, we met some more of our neighbors:

And got a closer view of the houses flooding on Beckett Ave.

I’d never seen Branford Harbor so angry.

This was as far down Clark Ave as we walked. For obvious reasons.

And from the rocks in someone’s front yard, I was able to see what was happening in the front yards of the flooded Beckett St. houses

Walking down Pentecost St, we saw a neighbor’s deck being washed away.

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 Monday, I pulled a 13 hour shift at work.

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


About ermodi

i like champagne and nachos. i watch people’s mouths move when they talk to me and judge if they are a good kisser i like to write with fine-tip Sharpies because i think it makes me look confident i bite my nails i think doing the dishes is a very lonely chore i think “autumn” is the prettiest word in the English language. i believe in love – or, at least something that resembles love, but i don’t trust this idea of forever.
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12 Responses to Hanging with Irene

  1. Savira says:

    Amazing pictures of irene… glad you are safe.

  2. Ermodi says:

    Thanks, Savira!

  3. jan says:

    great post photos that tell a story of natures fury! How brave you and Huck are! Glad you are both well.

  4. Chintan says:

    omg! hope you are alright…this sounds quite disturbing… 😦 thanks for sharing the photos….

  5. sukanya says:

    wow it hit you hard alright. we just got rain. glad you are safe. not having electricity is a killer but helps me not to take things for granted.

  6. Mel says:

    Amazing photos! Love how you still write by candle-light =) What scent? Also, if these are from a crappy phone camera, you might need to start planning your life as a heroic writer & photojournalist sometime in the near future.

    Learning the moves to Thriller now. Desiring zombi-fied makeup.

  7. Wow, Maureen:
    I would have LOVED to have been out at the height of the storm taking pictures. Wasn’t brave enough though. LoL. Amazing the fury of Mother Nature. These pics are quite good. EVEN IF they are ONLY from a camera phone.

    Love the one of Huck on the train tracks. The perspective is quite nice. Him in the foreground with the eye naturally following the train tracks into the distance. This is the sign of someone who knows what they’re doing.

    You seemed to time the pictures perfectly of the waves crashing. This usually doesn’t come naturally. Good stuff here, Maureen!


    • Ermodi says:

      Thanks, Chris!!! I think it’s more luck than skill, but I’d never look a compliment-horse in the mouth! Appreciate the positive feedback on the pics!

  8. Bongo says:

    Amazing photos….I am glad you and Huck are safe and sound…As always…..XOXOXOXOXO

  9. Abhisek says:

    Irene was a bad experience for people…Awesome snaps.

  10. Irene says:

    How brave of you to go out and take pictures! I never liked storms. I hated it when I had to go wading in flood just to get to work.

    Glad you’re safe, Maureen! 🙂

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