Aug 29, 2011

Mean Irene

Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc here in New Jersey.  Locally we had 12+ inches of rain.  High winds knocked trees down everywhere.  We lost power in the wee hours of Sunday morning and didn't get it back until this afternoon.  Our basement flooded with more than 6" of water.

But we are safe and sound.  Our house is okay.  We are grateful because it could have been so much worse, as it was for so many people up and down the East coast.  We are thankful for generous neighbors with generators who gave us an extension cord for our sump pump to drain the water away.  We are lucky to have seen a small water leak in the basement, just days before Irene, prompting us to buy plastic shelving for the basement and pull everything off the floor ahead of time.  We are glad we had pallets in the backyard from the paver delivery to put under our washer and dryer when the water was coming in faster than we could bail it out with buckets.

This cell phone pic isn't blurry - this is how hard the rain was coming down for hours on end

For a while on Sunday morning, in the pre-dawn darkness as the storm raged outside, we felt like Mickey Mouse in Fantasia, trying to stop the tide of water with a tiny pail.  Sporting wellies with one of those bright orange Home Depot buckets,  I couldn't get the tune out of my head as I scooped bucket after bucket of water from the flooded floor into the utility sink.  We worked in shifts so that water was always being pulled out as it flowed in. 

In the end, thanks to some serious water bailing and then help that saved us, everything in the basement is in working order.  We didn't lose anything except some food in the fridge and some plants in the garden.  We're incredibly lucky and grateful - this has been a harrowing experience.  It was frightening, frustrating, emotional, overwhelming and humbling.  And now that the power is back on, I'm going to go take a nap - we haven't slept in two days. 


  1. Glad you guys are okay!! Our basement had water too but nothing like 6"!

  2. I know your pain and agony. The big ice storm of 93' in Nashville, TN my family had to bail our little yellow house's basement out with buckets when we lost our power to pump the sump pump. We bought a generator and ended up with carbon monoxide poisoning due to the lack space between the generator and the house.

    So glad everyone and everything is ok!

  3. Haven't lived on the East Coast in a while, but I remember Floyd from '99. Our basement flooded a couple feet and we had lots of damage. It was awful - glad you are all okay and that you didn't lose much!

  4. We know your pain! We had flooding in our little yellow house too. Glad everyone is okay!

  5. Thank you all for your kind words! We're drying out the final pockets of damp in our basement and getting back to normal. It was a rough weekend, but we feel so blessed that things weren't worse - no trees fell on our property and other homes locally had up to 6 ft in their basements with massive damage!