August 28, 2011, Irene hit the south coast of New England. By this time Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm but the sheer size posed such a threat to so much area.
August 28, 2011 will be a day to remember for several years to come. Living on the ocean coast you are always aware of the dangers that go hand-in-hand with the beauty of the lifestyle. The unleashed forces of nature demand you bow out of competition unless you have a death wish. Nature will win so get out of harm’s way.
Preparing for bad weather is not uncommon for full time residents of south coast Massachusetts. We weather more than our share of squalls, rogue waves, astronomical tides, storm surges, sheer winds and nor’easters. Hurricane, however, is the dirty word. Go wash your mouth out with soap.
Hurricanes are not a common occurrence but represent a devastating experience. Any hurricane that holds its force up the entire east coast of the United States is packing power. Most east coast hurricanes lose their strength as soon as they encounter cooler waters around Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. So, by the time Irene hit New England it was only a tropical storm packing 65 mile an hour winds and heavy rains.
We here on West Island braced ourselves for the worst. Everything that could possibly become an airborne weapon was brought inside or tied down. Dead branches were removed from trees and became a bonfire symbol to the storm, like an offering to appease the storm gods. Large windows were boarded up. Piers were lifted out of the water as were boats. The island looked like it was being deserted for the winter season.
Reverse 911 messages reminded us that water and sewer services would be terminated as of Sunday morning. Emergency shelter would be provided at the local school in case evacuation orders were given (no pets). There was a rush on the DPW to get hurricane stickers for vehicles so we would be allowed back on the island in case evacuation became necessary. Even NStar called us with tips in case the power went out.
Store shelves were emptied of bottled water, generators, flashlights, batteries, snack foods, pet foods and canned goods. The latest magazines and best sellers flew off the shelves.
The astronomical high tide coincided with Irene’s storm surge at 7:47 am Sunday morning. Whew! The water level was far below predictions. The Weather Channel advised that the evening high tide would be even less.
Overall, damages were slight with downed trees being abundantly visible. Leaves and branches are everywhere. The power went out at 4pm Sunday and returned 8 am Monday along with water and sewer service. Winds never exceeded gusts over 60 mph. Rainfall never hit us either. We really lucked out. Our prayers were answered.
We eed to work on our emergency generator, just couldn’t get it to work when the power went out. Thank God we didn’t need it to prevent the cellar from flooding and damaging our furnace and water heater. We successfully weathered the storm that carried my name, Irene.
Irene Nevins, irenen1, writes online articles for several venues on a variety of topics including her tips blog, Online Article Writing For Profit. If you like the information you just read, please share with your Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Facebook friends. Join Triond and earn by writing, too. Triond will allow you to incorporate your Google AdSense account.