Sunday, August 28, 2011

Come on Irene!

Yep I have Dexys Midnight Runners "Come on Eileen" running through my head with slightly different words. (Thank you Husband for putting that song in there.) The rain and wind from Irene have started here in upstate NY. Not bad yet but there are a lot of leaves and dead branches scattered in the road. Every time I hear a wind swell I brace up a bit and hope it passes with nothing more than knocking off more leaves.

So now I should tell you my Hurricane Floyd story. We were living in Charleston SC. Floyd was set to come straight over Charleston on the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Hugo. Now Hugo was a humdinger. When you live with hurricanes you get used to them, well really when you live with any type of weather condition you get used to it and think 'oh I can handle this.' Hugo was a deal breaker for many people who had rode out many storms.

Now I am going to tell you this without any actual fact checking since I absorbed the rumors and innuendo that day you will get mine. So as Floyd was bearing down on us my office mates took great delight in sharing with me what it was like after Hugo hit. 'All you could hear for months was the sound of generators and chain saws.' 'Fed my family of three and my neighbor's because she did not stock up her freezer like she should have.' 'I'll show you the pictures of the boat sitting out on Rutledge Avenue. Yes a yacht sitting there on the land.' 'The town north of here had swells so big they pulled out the ceiling tiles and put the kids in the rafters. Not to keep them dry but to keep them alive.'

I could go on but I won't. We packed up the office up off the floor. And headed home to pack up our own stuff. Let me tell you it is a revealing moment when you pack up a car with essentials. Things you would still like to have if your home was not there when you get back. When I tell the story now I start off with; we had 2 cars, 3 drivers and 2 cats. My car was packed with; our computer but not monitor, my grandmother's quilts, our picture albums, financial records, clothes, cat food and litter, and toilet paper. Yep a whole bag of toilet paper. Hey if you run out that stuff is like gold to me, but easier on your bum. So what does my packing say about me? I am nostalgic yet terribly practical.

Now you know I think of myself as a midwesterner. I was called yankee a bit when we lived in the South. I always thought of yankee as being a New Englander. Well to people in the South, it is anyone that was not raised in the South. I have never felt more like a yankee than when we drove out of Charleston. D had relatives living in Florida so we planned on staying with them. We were two of three autos heading south that day. Everyone and I mean everyone was heading north. Our trip took 14 hours more than twice the time it should have. The station playing on my radio was just people calling in to tell everyone which gas stations still had gas.

It was a scary trip. But on the flip side once we took naps after driving all night, we went to Busch Gardens and there were no lines because everyone had been there the day before when Disney World had closed down.

We made it back to Charleston safe and sound with no damage to our apartment. There were tree branches all over the place, and they took a couple of weeks to clean up. But all in all not as bad as the forecast. I hope Irene plays the same song today.

Monday edit: Thankfully Irene just blew down branches and leaves where we are. Surrounding communities are dealing with flooding. All in all she could have been much meaner to us.

Oh and for those people complaining about the storm was overhyped, Shut Up! It is far better to be overhyped and alive than someone dying trying to help you.


  1. What an interesting post! I grew up in the middle of Canada, where the worst natural disaster is a blizzard, and even then it's not so bad because you just get to stay home from school. I'm hoping all goes well for you. Stay safe!

  2. Adriene, coming from the midwest myself all I used to worry about was tornados and blizzards. Now I have earthquakes and hurricanes living in NY. I think NY is just jealous of California.