After the Hurricane

Well, that was fun.

We’ve never experienced a hurricane before and, all told, it was a bit of a relief.

For days before we were hearing dire warnings about what was to come. Governors of the various states were issuing evacuation orders and one sheriff in Maryland, annoyed that some people wouldn’t evacuate, sent his men to collect information on next-of-kin from every resident, explaining to them that he wanted to know who to call when their bodies washed ashore.

We were not told to evacuate but we were instructed to stock up on water, batteries, flashlights (candles are too unsafe apparently) and canned food. I’m sure those instructions were well-intended, but a full two days before the hurricane there was no bottled water, batteries or flashlights to be found. I guess there are people who prepare for these things weeks in advance and scoff at those of us who only focus days before danger hits.

So we only had 3 bottles of water, we couldn’t fill the bathtub as advised because we don’t have a plug that fits, we didn’t have any spare batteries, and the only candles we had were the ones we got at Pottery Barn years ago and never lit.

I didn’t sleep much the night before. Storms are always hard where we live because we’re surrounded by old trees and every now and then, one comes down on someone’s house. But this one was more scary because a) they said it was worse than anything we’ve seen before and b) we’ve had the wettest August on record, so the trees were less secure than normal.

But as it turns out, it really wasn’t all that bad. It was a pretty fierce wind through the night, but the air conditioning drowned the worst of the sound out. We didn’t lose power until most of the storm had passed and with iPads, it really wasn’t that bad. Actually, cuddling up in bed to watch QI on Phil’s lap top by candlelight was even quite enjoyable. The power came back on at 2.30 in the morning for us, which is very fortunate because some people won’t be restored until the end of this week.

And because we’re on high ground, we were in no danger of flooding even though just down the hill at the bottom of the street, this was how things looked.

Bear in mind, that’s a busy 4-way intersection but it’s right next to the Bronx river and prone to flooding. Just across the road is a lovely complex of old apartment buildings – apparently the ground floor residents had to be rescued by boat.

When I think about people without power for up to a week, and people having their homes destroyed by flood water, I just feel very lucky. Very lucky and very thankful.

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