Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hurricane Irene's Visit

"He stirs up the sea with His power, and by His understanding He breaks up the storm."
Job 26:12

I'm sure all of you have either heard about, or experienced, Hurricane Irene.  Well, we definitely "experienced" her visit!  We were supposed to leave for the beach on August 27th but Irene changed our plans (much to our chagrin).  She hit the Outer Banks of NC Friday night/Saturday morning and then came up the coast, hitting Virginia on Saturday (Aug. 27).  We woke up with electricity and after breakfast we got on the internet and found out that Nags Head (where our rental is) was hardly damaged and they had power the whole time!  So, that was a bit exciting and some of us (a.k.a. me) hoped that we could leave that night.  Well, as were reading reports the electricity cut 11 A.M.  Thankfully, we were prepared with a huge horse trough full of water and a nice size pool (with lots more water), if we got desperate.  If we were really, really desperate, we had a creek down the hill in our backyard.  :)  We had thought we had a few more hours till the power went out because the Hurricane wasn't full strength yet but...

  It was really neat watching the sheets of rain fall and seeing the trees bend precariously!   Thankfully it wasn't too hot out that day so we maintained some degree of "coolness."

Lexi and Hannah watching the rain and trees through the bay window in our bedroom.
I love stormy weather (right before a storm hits is my favorite) so I really enjoyed going outside on the steps (that are partially covered) and getting rained on a little bit while watching everything.

This is our big horse trough with our "drinking" water.  We probably didn't have to fill it up very far, because Irene brought enough of her own! :)

This is the view from the side of our house.  The pine trees just above the shed (far right) are really bending!

As Irene neared, we kept an eye on everything outdoors and I saw a tree fall...thankfully it was in our woods! :)  A tree near our house started to lean:
...and we prayed it wouldn't hit our Central Boiler.

It's amazing how little you can do without electricity...actually it's frustrating.  Not being able to flush toilets, wash your hands from a faucet, turn on lights as it gets dark, access the Internet, email, play music, and cook anything was very frustrating.  But at the same time, after being out of electricity for 2 days it really makes you appreciate it more! :)

Since the internet didn't work, and neither did anything else, we played a game of Settlers of Catan, upstairs in our room (which was the brightest room in the house).

We also read...a make time pass by.

Every minute that passed was a challenge to all of us (at least it was for me).  Every minute the hurricane continued was one less minute at the beach.  I didn't say anything because complaining wouldn't help anyone, but I know we all were thinking about it.  We just kept quoting Psalm 37:8b which says "Do not fret, it only causes harm."  So we tried to not fret! :)

Later than day, Daddy returned (when the hurricane was really getting bad) with a generator (which we didn't have)!  He had left our house soon after the power went out and he had been all over town trying to find a generator and some cords for us.
This photo was taken after Irene passed, FYI.

Along with a generator, Daddy brought home:
Pizza!  We were all very grateful he picked this up because we were going to be having PBJ's (which is not a Wass favorite). 

After grabbing a bite to eat, Daddy went and hooked the generator up, getting very wet in the process.

Here's our front yard about half-way through Irene's fury.  Talk about wet!  Do you see how deep the sidewalk is with water?!  Crazy! 

We experienced up to 70 MPH winds and with the enormous amount of rain we received, lots of trees fell down.  It took some people over a week to get their power back!  (It took us 6 days.)

Since we had the generator, we could now alternate hooking up our fridges and freezers as well as a light, a fan, and our T.V.  
 We had cords all over the house!  But there was no complaining, because we had a little bit of electricity! :)

Since the T.V. could work we ended up watching The Princess Bride on the new Blu-Ray Player and Surround System Daddy had got.  It was a great way to keep our minds off the beach! :)

The wind was still blowing hard and the rain falling fast when we went to sleep that night.  Most of us slept on top of our covers because we had no A.C.

The next day we woke up to a little bit of cloudiness but soon the sky cleared and Irene was gone!  Phew!  Surely, I thought, since we couldn't go to the beach yesterday, we can go today!  Well, once again, I was wrong, but I didn't find that out until later in the day. 

Once the hurricane was gone, we now had all the damage to clean up.  I went outside before breakfast and took some pictures to remember our second hurricane experience (we survived Hurricane Isabel a few years ago)!

Remember that tree that I talked about earlier in the post?  Well it did fall:

But not on our central Boiler!!   (Thank you, Lord!)

Our corn field during the hurricane...

 ...and after it was over.

This is our backyard that, thankfully, no trees decided to fall upon. :)

This picture was taken on Saturday as the Hurricane unleashed its power.  We heard this one crack and ran to the windows to see where it was!  It was to the side of our house and it didn't damage anything (actually it probably saved one of our fruit trees!)

This tree fell near the other tree in the photo above this one.

Same tree, but a different picture to show you how it snapped another tree in half. :)

 This is our granny smith apple tree that, sadly, decided to go 45 degrees.  Actually, a lot of our fruit trees ended up at a 45 degree angle...or worse.

 One of the branches on a fruit tree.

In this picture, you can see two more trees that fell.

Like I said before, the enormous amount of rain and heavy winds really took lots of trees out here in VA.

One of our dogwood trees.

A butterfly bush that, before the storm, was standing upright.

The sky Sunday morning was just beautiful!

 All of our animals (including Carmel, pictured above) survived, thanks to the Lord!

After breakfast, we hadn't heard from anyone about the beach, so we donned "work gear" and went outside.  Daddy started cutting up the trees that needed to be removed and the rest of us threw the brush in the woods and took the logs over to the Central Boiler.  That may sound easy but the trees were big!  And the ground was wet and soppy.  I went ankle deep in mud once trying to get from somewhere to somewhere else.  We rarely do work like this on Sunday's (since we like to keep Sunday's as a day to rest) but the stuff had to go, church wasn't going to happen, and we had little else to do.  It took us about 3 hours to get rid of the two trees.  We were all covered in leaves, dirt, and sweat yet we couldn't take showers.  Talk about miserable!  I can't stand staying like that so Daddy poured bucketfuls of pool water on my head to clean me up a little.  I felt much better!

After that was done, we decided to return something to a friend who lived nearby.  As Mama drove along, the amount of trees on the road and on the power lines was amazing!  As we were on our way, I finally asked Mom if there was any possibility of us leaving that night for the beach.  And that's when I found out I had to wait another least. 

When we got back home we prepared for a big dinner!  (Mama is always good at trying to make things lighter when things are looking rough by doing something we don't normally this case it was making hamburgers!)  Daddy had gone away after he cleared our trees to see if there were any trees on his customers property, so Caleb and Seth grilled everything for us.  They did a great job!  The hamburgers were juicy yet cooked, the potatoes were soft, and the buns were toasted to perfection!  It was a great meal!

I forgot what we did the rest of the night, but I do remember what happened the next morning....but you'll have to wait for the details in the next post!
Kimber :)

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