It was a hell of a week to live on the Eastern Seaboard of the US. First, we had an earthquake, which shook us up (ha!) but we all survived with a bigger appreciation for what those on the West Coast live with on a daily basis. Then, Hurricane Irene came barreling at us, guns a-blazing. Last week I wrote about how anxious I was for the whole thing to just be over and I’m just now realizing how on edge my nerves really were that week. It’s amazing I survived intact.
As I mentioned before, my husband didn’t want to evacuate but I did and was terrified, not necessarily of the storm (I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie) but of trying to keep myself calm and under control so that my children wouldn’t be freaked out. There really wasn’t any place to evacuate to because the storm was so huge and anywhere we tried to go would have the same rainy and windy conditions.
Saturday morning, the storm began rolling in with a little bit of rain and a gust of wind here and there. By the late afternoon it was consistently windy and rainy. We spent the time watching movies, playing games and keeping updated on the storm. Around six in the evening we were standing by the sliding glass doors when we noticed a HUGE gust of wind. The trees bent very low and the wind whistled through the doors and windows. Being the good photographer that I am, I captured the moment on my iPhone.
and here’s what it looked like a few seconds later
”That’s what it’s going to be like tonight”, I turned to my husband and said in a rather accusatory tone. The brunt of the storm wasn’t expected in our area until midnight and the prospect of dealing with those kind of winds all night had me shaking in my shoes. Immediately afterwards we looked outside and saw our neighbors talking on the phone so we went out to see what was wrong. It was then that we realized it wasn’t just a big gust of wind, but a tornado.
Yes…..like a ‘Dorothy-we’re-not-in-Kansas-anymore’ tornado.
We were so clueless because we weren’t watching the local news and didn’t hear the warnings or the reports that it had actually touched down in our town and was headed RIGHT FOR US. And the tell-tale freight train noise that accompanies a tornado? Not audible. There we were, faces pressed against the GLASS DOORS checking out the wind. What maroons.
Fortunately no one was hurt but the trees in our neighborhood really took a beating. We lost three on our property with one falling onto the house next door. It didn’t cause any serious damage or bust through the roof but it was impressive looking. I insisted that we all sleep downstairs that night because I was terrified we’d end up with a tree in our roof. We all survived the night and I am happy to say I kept my anxiety under control and I think my kids actually had a pretty good time. When else do you get to eat popcorn and chocolate chips for dinner but during a natural disaster?
Neighbor’s shed…toppled and crunched
This was jammed into the yard…crazy
My daughter took this shot of the tree that fell on the next door neighbor’s house
Phoebe took this one, too. They fell over like blocks
We lost one of our hammock trees in our yard. Now we have nothing to hang the hammock on
The fence was old and needed to go, anyway
Close-up of the doomed hammock tree
Glass stuck in the railing of one neighbor’s deck. Not two feet away sat a coffee cup, untouched
There used to be a Crepe Myrtle tree here. We couldn’t find in anywhere. Guess it’s in Oz
On Sunday when the weather cleared up we had tons of cars coming down our little cul-de-sac to view the damage. I wish we could have charged money.
The next day my kids and I enjoyed some high entertainment at breakfast time. The very nice guys from Sussex Tree took care of our whole street. The removed our trees with a big crane. I had my La Sardinia handy to catch the action.
It really was quite a show: Kind of like something out of Lord of the Rings, as a friend of mine commented. I’ve never seen anything like it before.
Now I can claim to have survived a tornado but I have to say, I will be listening to the LOCAL news next time. We were incredibly lucky in that not only were we not hurt, we didn’t really suffer any major damage. Houses in the neighborhood across the road were not as lucky and certainly those living in New Jersey, Vermont and other severely flooded areas have much bigger problems than just a few blown down trees.
I really think three natural disasters in one week is quite enough and hope to GOD we won’t have another week like that ever again!