I was in the store on Wednesday finally grocery shopping to restock our pantry and ran into an old friend and commented to her about how "picked over" the store seemed to be "like a storm was coming in". She looked at me funny and said with a laugh, "Laura a hurricane IS coming in this weekend and it supposed to be coming right at us, category 3-4." I kinda laughed and said, "I am just here restocking my pantry from being away on vacation." "Well you may want to buy some water too," says Tiana.
So, I went home and asked my husband if he knew about the hurricane, and he said that it was all he heard about at work that day, and so he was going to go work on the generators and start working on lawn stuff. Truthfully I am surprised my parents hadn't said anything to us, but I guess they too were trying to let us get settled back in and they were just doing what they could until we had been home a few days.
In the end we were "hurricane" prepared, with loose items put away, generators tuned up and ready, pantry stocked with what we thought we would need for a day without power, plenty of water, and all the cars gassed up. Friday came, and my husbands work was canceled, giving us an extra hand around the house for last minute stuff that might have come up, Davey went off to school but shortly after he left we got a call from the alert system letting us know the kids would be released at noon, and we began the long wait for the storm.
One of our local channels became a non-stop coverage of the storm track LITERALLY. In fact, their search for things news worthy to say about the storm became so laughable, that at one point my husband and I mocked one of the news people for reporting on someone playing with their dog in the inlet water and acting like it was almost a criminal act for them to play with their dog and a ball and "such a time as this.
(this was totally a joke made at a time EARLY in the storm, when we were NOT in the eye of the storm and the total ramifications of what Irene would do in North Carolina and up the East Coast obviously were not known.)"
We lost power around 8:30 Friday night (much to our surprise) then got it back around 11ish (Thank you LORD). I was so happy to have power back and be able to sleep with AC during the storm because it was so hot when the power was off, I was miserable. Well, sometime in the night we lost power again, according to my mother we lost it again around 2:30AM and didn't get it back until 2 something Sunday afternoon on the 28th.
In the end, when the storm was over, God blessed us with no damage to our home and only four trees down in our back yard. However, our community was hit very hard, just down the street from us, our neighbors were initially cut off because of large trees and power lines down across the road. Now however, they are dealing with the larger and more expensive damages that the river did while it raged during the storm and tore at the very foundations of their homes. Approximately five different homes have over $250 thousand dollars worth of damage to them each if not more. Other homes in our area dealt with flooding or trees in them, some of our church family is just now getting power back. Here are just a few pictures from the storm and aftermath.
View out off our patio during the storm, this is the highest and worst we have seen the river all the years we have lived here.
The river just ripped away sod and dirt at the seawall and exposed all the drainage pipes.
Our neighbors home
When the eye of the storm passed over we checked out some of the damage.
My husband had his chainsaw in the van to cut up any trees in the road, and ended up having to use it.
This person wasn't so lucky, a tree fell on their truck.
The day after Irene dawned clear and beautiful on the river.
Clean up continued with cutting up large branches and trees that were down.
Two boats that came up in our back yard during the storm, we towed them to the front because they belonged to our neighbor.
Debris from the river . . . . . boy howdy did it smell nasty
My brother came into town to help with clean up and found a new friend . . . . . baby turtle, which Davey named Buzz.
The front yard finally gets finished.
I drove through our historic down town area and found one of my favorite homes had a tree in it.
Saturday we had a family workday planned to try and put a bigger dent in cleaning up the back yard so that we could all relax for Labor Day. David's plan was to go out and work a few hours ahead of us, cutting up the trees into smaller pieces so we could move them to the burn pile or stack them for later in the season. He went out and carefully checked he chainsaw, sharpened it's blades, and made sure he had everything ready and safe for work. Later I would send out David Jr. to get him for breakfast, but instead, David walked in on his own about an hour after working and sat down in one of my dinning chairs. He said, "I think you need to take me to the emergency room, I cut my leg." I don't respond well to the initial moment of things like this, but David kept me calm and Mom took over watching the kids while I rushed David off to the ER. It turned out to be an amazing accident guided by God's hand, because the saw blade was so sharp and moving at such a fast rate of speed that it left a very clean straight cut and involved no muscle and 12 straight stitches. The nurse said of all the chainsaw injuries they saw from the storm, his was the nicest one they had to treat.
It really didn't hit me hard until later in the day, when I kind of lost it and had to just stop and grab a hold of David, because all I could think of was what could have happened. Besides him being possibly being hurt so much worse then he was, David Jr. could have found his father and that would have devastated him. But God blessed and David is doing well, home and healing.
So we are blessed, we are whole, and we continue to work to clean up and put back the pieces from Irene. We will forever have a scar from Irene to remind us of her being here, but we still feel very blessed and know that so many others suffered so much worse then we did. When we returned from the ER, the family had worked on and had accomplished so much in the back yard even with the additional work of keeping up with my 3 little Miracles. Later in the day, my parents hired a clean up team finishing up at a neighbors yard, to come over and help move some of the larger debris and stumps to our burn pile, making our work even less for the weeks ahead.