CacheCrazy.Com: The Scene from Irene

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Scene from Irene


Hurricane Irene certainly took her toll on the East Coast, and folks here in Northeastern Pennsylvania got hit pretty hard.  As of press time, 85,000 PPL customers were still without power while over 200,000 had power restored some time Monday.  Pocono schools were closed on Monday and many will be closed still today.  We had some flooding and wind damage, but here at our headquarters at the Francis E. Walter Dam, we ended up being pretty fortunate.  Mostly it was just a lot of debris to clean up, and we weathered the storm without too much incident.  We had gotten all business taken care of Saturday so we were prepared to hunker down and ride it out. 

The fun started around 1:00 AM Sunday.  That’s when the heavy winds and rain kicked in.  All throughout the night I kept waiting for the power to go out.  Unbelievably, it never happened.  At 6:30 AM I was up and outside on the porches to see if we had any damage.  At that point, it was just a lot of leaves, sticks, and water – nothing major.  I turned on the TV to find that it, too, was still working.  Now that was a major surprise.  Our dish goes out even at the first sign of foul weather.  I mean, that thing even goes out when the humidity is high.  So I was thinking, “All right.  Power.  TV.  No damage.  This isn’t so bad.”  The rest of the gang got up shortly after and we enjoyed the morning while the storm raged outside.

Checking things out from the front porch
Storm debris as seen from back porch

We were having our own little hurricane party.  While friends were sending text messages that they had lost power, our kids were watching a movie.  We were kind of just going about business as usual and, despite the crazy strong winds outside, I started to believe we might actually make it. 

Well certainly that was wishful thinking.  At 1:00 PM, it happened.  Zappo.  No more power.  Out here in the country no power also means no water (well pump) and that’s when all our preparations began to pay off.  The candles, flashlights, and oil lamps were already in place.  Additionally, the front porch was stocked with emergency water.
Pioneer-style coffee... well, with gas stove and matches
We actually enjoyed the rest of the day.  We played games and read books and just kept waiting for the storm to end.  Finally around, I’m not actually sure now, I guess about 6, things started to settle down.  We went outside and assessed the situation.  Other than the debris, we had one major tree break, but that was all.  Really, it wasn’t bad.

It’s amazing how Mother Nature can be so cruel and so kind at the same time.  We woke up Monday morning to an absolutely spectacular day.  So despite the work ahead, it was hard not to feel good.  We didn’t have power still, but the kids were real troopers.  They never once complained about anything and were glad to help with the yard cleanup.  I’m proud of them. 
The Francis E. Walter Dam yesterday morning
Fog rising from the Lehigh River below the dam yesterday morning
Sunshine through the woods behind our house yesterday morning 
The woods awaken behind our house yesterday morning
Storm debris on house roof
Broken tree
Broken tree trunk

Broken tree limb
The Dodger Lizard Cleanup Crew

Just about 24 hours exactly from when the power went out, it was restored at 1:15 PM Monday and our little adventure had come to an end.  Even though we got a taste of what Irene was serving, I’m well aware that many folks had it much tougher than we did, and our thoughts and prayers are with them. 

Do you have any Hurricane Irene stories?

7 comments:

Erika Jean said...

I love ALL the shots with the fog. Beautiful!!

BLOODHOUNDED said...

Oddly, my hurricane story is nearly exactly as yours, hmmmm. We were lucky, and the storm left behind signs of her power all over the east coast. Living in the mountains has it's benefits. The pictures of our world headquarters look awesome! Nice job!

BigAl said...

Big Al here reporting from the CC.com HQ substation in Dalton, PA. Praying for all of those folks whom Irene did a real nasty job on over the weekend. We made out pretty good here. No flooding in the basement and my house only lost power for a few seconds, which is really unusual. I got called in to work Saturday night around 6:30 and had to stay there and report in to my Corp office every two hours. This continued util I was allowed to go home Sunday around 1:00 pm. At 5:50 a.m. on Sunday our power at work went out. Now when you're working at a Senior Living Facility and the power goes out before 7:00 a.m. it's not a good situation. THAT'S BREAKFAST TIME!! But all of our residents were real troopers. They did not complain at all. I had to call Dunkin Donuts and have them make up 8 boxes of Joe to go because our coffee makers are not on the generator; just the ovens, stoves, some lights, the freezer and walk in cooler are on it. I had called DD earlier and they had power. Yahhhhooooo!!!! So we cooked their breakfast, served them coffee and kept them busy until the power came on at 9:00 a.m. All in all we did pretty good. We only had a few minor leaks and lost one section of downspout. Everyone helped in one way or another and it turned out to be an okay time. Except that I did not get any sleep. I guess that's expected when you're the Director of Maintenance. I'll make it up somewhere along the line. I still feel bad for the folks who still have no power, and for those who lost a lot more than we did. Thankful to God for his provision of safety and watch-care over all of us. This is Big Al reporting from the CC.com substation in Dalton, PA. Have a great day.

Nichole BIelecki said...

Hey guys as the wife of a power lineman please keep them in your prayers as well. They are working soo hard to restore power to all of these poor people who got the worst of Irene, but their job is quite dangerous. There are people who dont really understand how tough their job really is after one of these hurricanes.So please pray that everyone stays safe until restoration is complete. Thanks Guys

BLOODHOUNDED said...

You got it Nichole, great point. I wouldn't want to be one of those guys who have to restore power. Electricity is a crazy thing and you never quite know what you're dealing with down the line. God Bless....

I was at the gas station yesterday at about 6PM and next to me pulls up a Red Cross Emergency Response truck. I noticed the plates were from OH. I gave the gal a wink and said, "Thank You". She smiled back and said, "you know, that's the first Thank You that I got all day". I was blown away! Have we lost our compassion for the men and women who respond to such tragedy or have we become desensitized, taking it for granted?

Thanks for grounding me Nichole, please let us know when all is well. I for one won't be settled until Paul is home with a GPS'r in his hand.

Dodger said...

These guys are doing great work - You better believe we're thinking of them and thanking them! Well said, Nichole!

Nichole said...

Thanks, you guys are great! By the way Dodger, I love the pics of the morning sun shining through the trees and I am very happy that you all stayed safe through Irene.

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