Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hurricane Survival

Hurricane Tropical Storm Depression Ernesto kicked my butt.

But not in the way you might think.

Sure, I lost power for 15+ hours, while neighborhoods on all sides of ours were well lit. (Grrr!)

Sure there were some downed trees here and there, (but not in my yard, thank God):

But the real hardship was what to do with myself for all that time while my two idiot boxes (computer, television) were unavailable. Yes, I realize I'm pathetic.

After the eye of the storm seemed to have moved beyond us, I decided to entertain myself by driving around town to see who still had power, (everywhere but my neighborhood, so it seemed), who had downed trees, [Ha! Two of 16 (!!) newly-built homes on my block lost trees -- that'll teach them to increase the population density in my neighborhood!], and who was flooded.

In my travels, I was stopped by a freight train, which has nothing to do with storm survival but made for fun photography:

Here's the engine...

And here's the graffiti'd caboose.

In search of interesting flood images, I decided to tour Riverside Drive. There was no flooding down there yet as of about 5:30 pm yesterday, (I should have driven down German School Road -- they always flood), but the river was beginning to rage a bit:

I'm such a thrill-seeker...

Tree caught in dam hydraulics
(or damn hydraulics, depending on your frame of mind)

That was one huge tree - wish my camera's zoom wasn't broken or there was something else there for scale -- you'll just have to take my word for it. That Danger sign is no joke, though. Seems as though there's at least one swimmer/boater/kayaker a year who succumbs to that dam's hydraulics.

On my way home I picked up a "nutritious" fast-food dinner and some extra batteries. And here's how I survived the rest of the night:

Solar/battery-powered radio; Sudoku puzzle book; Pride & Prejudice; electronic solitaire; flashlights; and a Hardee's Philly Cheesesteak-burger, (Have you tried these? Beef as condiment -- they're decadent!).

You'll notice there's no knitting in that survival kit. I'm just not a big fan of knitting in the dark. Especially with the frou-frilly yarn I'm currently using.

I must say that the radio is a God-send. I purchased it shortly after Hurricane Isobel, as back then I went stir-crazy without any power or news from the outside world for days. Its internal battery can be recharged via your normal house current or via the solar panel on top, and it even has a hand-crank for when it runs out of juice -- one minute of cranking equals an hour of sound. A fully charged battery lasts 24 hours. And I am here to report that David Letterman is just as funny without the visuals. Love you, Dave!

Thankfully, the power came back on sometime while I slept. Love you, Virginia Power!

And now my next step is deciding what from the fridge/freezer needs to be tossed. And I should probably hit Ukrops at some point today....

For those of you still without power, I feel your pain! Wanna borrow my radio? ... ;-)


Sachi said...

I'm glad your power's back on. But I had to chuckle at the irony of your offering your radio to those without power... who wouldn't be able to turn on their computer to learn that you offered... Poor people without power!!!

Krista said...

Glad you made it through the storm! We fared much better here. We didn't loose power at all, which I was very surprised at. I even filled my bathtub Friday morning as you suggested! Love the radio. What brand is it? I'd like to get one myself.

Anne Margaret said...

Love the river pictures! The water sheet slowing across those large rocks is liquid beauty.

The survival kit is my kind of kit. As long as I have Sudoku, I can surrive anything. OK - so I'd throw in some knitting - but just to kill some time while my equally-obsessed husband took a turn. You've given me some good ideas to add to my eventually-to-be-posted blog on kits.

Happy drying out!

Isobel said...

We were 7 1/2 hours without power. That means no water for us. I sat in front of a window & knitted as long as possible!!!
But around the corner they still don't have power & won't until midday today (Sun.) Numerous tress down on Qualla Rd ontop of power lines. Battery radios are great when this happens!

Patsy Barr said...

Mary, I always love your great pics. Such a photographer!!! I too, am a bag woman. I have many and always find the need for another.

Our power was only out an hour but I learned a few years ago that we seldom lose our power because we are on the same circuit with the water plant at Swift Creek. (Off 360 near Brandermill) Great for us anyway. No power is the pits. See you tomorrow night.


Robin said...

Glad you faired without damage! What do the weathermen know?!? My BIL had just as much water as Isabel and Ernesto hit at lowtide!
Oh Well...I bet you got a lot of knitting done!
Get ready there's another brewing!

Robin said...

Mary, you've got to get one of those headlamps!!! They're great! When our power goes out (a lot), I put that on and go about my business reading, knitting, feeding the dog, etc. It's terrific!! Check at Blue Ridge Mountain Sports of Dick's Sporting Goods.