The thing is, I'm not exactly a panicky person when it comes to stuff like this. I usually assume that the news media is attempting to scare the fuck out of us with all their "HURRICANE IRENE: WORST STORM OF THE CENTURY ON THIS PLANET AND POSSIBLY OTHERS" or "YOU'RE ALL GOING TO FUCKING DIE IN HURRICANE IRENE."
Oooh, pink! I love the color pink!
I wasn't buying it, which was why I bought more wine than water. Okay, okay, I bought it a little and moved all the twi-gear to a higher location and unplugged the washer and dryer in the basement.
The rest of our preparation mainly consisted of me reading books and ML furiously refreshing weather.com and spouting off little survival tidbits here and there because I'm pretty sure he's secretly waiting for something catastrophic to happen so he can a) show me his mad survival skills or b) kill me and blame it on the zombies.
In the end, we did what we usually do on Saturdays, impending hurricane or no - we had people over. Doesn't everyone throw a party when there is a potentially dangerous storm heading their way?
For awhile, we all hung around and munched on pizza bites and sipped some wine, commenting on the horizontal tilt of the rain and remarking casually about the 30 mph winds from the safety of my covered porch.
Maybe Irene thought we were making fun of her. Maybe she thought we thought she was a pussy. Or maybe I should have read the forecast. Whatever it was, Irene decided to show us all that she was, in fact, NOT a pussy.
That's when the distress calls started coming in. Snarkier Than You and I are very lucky to have an amazing group of friends who are always willing to help out when they can. So when the first call came in from the OPattz's, we were on it. The OPattz's, in particular, seem to have some rotten luck when it comes to storms. Either that or their house was built on an indian burial ground and holyshit are those spirits pissed. By the time we all showed up with buckets, a tree was resting against their house and their basement was rapidly turning into an indoor pool. We stayed and worked on their basement for a couple of hours until ML went home to check ours and realized ours was flooding as well.
There is something very unnerving about walking into your basement with nothing but flashlights and seeing shit float around. It also makes you feel pretty damn helpless. It's literally a sobering sight.
I won't bore you with the details of those six or so hours because it involved repeatedly filling up buckets with water to remove it from basements, and bailing out a basement is about as much fun as having someone kick you in the vagina over and over and over again. Unless you're into that sort of thing. I'm not.
It was like this but I was the broom, there was no wizardy mouse, and the background sound was my perpetual garbled cursing and wheezing.
I should point out that the power was out during this whole thing and I was holding a small flashlight between my teeth for the majority of this exercise. My jaw feels like I just gave a 24-hour blowjob. Without stopping once.
In the end, we managed to grab a few hours sleep and everything turned out more or less okay, albeit soggy. We lost a few non-major things in our mini-flood and our house currently has a very unappealing wet dog scent to it but all in all - we did just fine.
Once the wind calmed down to a manageable level, ML and I decided to go and check out the neighborhood. I can honestly say I will never, EVER poo-poo a category one hurricane AGAIN. EVER.
Our park is now a lake...
The bridge going over the Raritan River
The towpath is now a lake
ML standing in the middle of a highway because he could without dying.
Our highway is now a lake
Some nutjob riding his bike through our new highway lake.
Our other highway is now a pond. (Not included in this picture was some dude who was walking through that mess. It came up to his armpits)
Some house/wire/tree damage across the street from our friends' house.
We'll be back to our regular program soon enough. I know many of you also weathered this storm and didn't come out as luckily as we did. I am truly sorry for any loss you've suffered.
If there is one thing I've learned from this weekend it's "Mother Nature will fuck you up. And there ain't much you can do about it but brace yourself."