Hurricane Irene was a very scary experience for our little family, but we made it through. Hubby went grocery shopping and made sure to get lots of non-perishable food items on Friday, since the threat of losing power was very real. We filled up the cars with gas and parked them away from the giant tree in our front yard. The rain started Saturday afternoon and it wasted no time getting to be a heavy rain. The wind didn't pick up until the evening. On Saturday, we brought all the food down to the basement, packed a bunch of things into a basket for the night, set up the air mattress in the basement, and set up the pack n play. We didn't want to sleep in our bedroom, with a giant tree right outside the window. In the back, we have some pine trees and I was worried about them, but not nearly as much. We played with Isabella with all of her toys downstairs (our basement is fully finished and her favorite place to play) until we got her in her pajamas and down to bed. But as the evening turned into early night, the tornado warnings started for South Jersey. We maintained electricity, so we heard all the warnings. It was VERY frightening. At one point, I grabbed Isabella out of the pack n play and ran to our closet under the stairs. Hubby made me move to be behind the bar, since that was a better place, further away from the sliding glass door. I was scared to death that we would lose power, the trees would all fall on the house, we would have a tornado rip off the roof, and we would be helpless because we were in the middle of a hurricane. But God protected us and watched over us. The tornado warnings calmed down around midnight. They started up again around 3am, but they were to the north of us, so I tried to get some sleep. Thankfully, I slept for a few hours, off and on. Isabella slept on the air mattress between Hubby and me, since she was restless and I was still too scared to put her farther away from me.
Sunday morning brought very heavy rain and heavy wind gusts. We continued to maintain our electricity, though, and for that, we are very thankful. When the rain stopped, we surveyed the house/row of homes in our townhouse unit for any damage. A random piece of siding trim was in our backyard, but we don't know where it came from. No other damage, just some branches down, a lot of leaves lost from the trees, and some MAJOR flooding around the area. We took a drive after the rain was gone so that we could see how much flooding was around our local area. It was unbelievable how many roads were closed due to the flooding. The entire state is water logged. The flood waters are starting to recede, but it is crazy.
We survived here in this house without any damage. We are blessed and thankful. But some of our friends have not been so fortunate. Many homes have water in the basement. Some homes are flooded. A friend of mine lost her home when a tree fell on it during one of the isolated tornadoes. She had to get stitches in her head, as she was hit by the falling tree. Very scary. I watch the news and see all the devastation up and down the east coast and I feel blessed to be safe and yet sick to my stomach to know that I am safe while so many have no homes left. Many babies were born during the hurricane, they say the barometric pressure being so low causes women to go into labor. I'm sure many babies will be born nine months from now. As for me, I survived my own paranoia and nervousness. Isabella wasn't bothered by any of it. The dog was mad because it was raining. And I'm married to a man who is so calm and level-headed during situations like this and I needed that more than he will ever know.
I will leave you with pictures from Hurricane Irene as we bunkered down and then took pictures of a very small amount of the local flooding.
Hiding during the tornado warnings
Hubby and Isabella napping Sunday morning
Our sleeping arrangement
My hiding place under the stairs
Flooding just a few blocks from our house
Small driving trail completely flooded
Major highway (Route 73) flooded
Parking lot completely under water
Notice the sandbags by the door of the PNC bank
Drive-Thru at the PNC bank
Local intersection flooded