So we made it through. Let me just note, however, that anyone who says that Irene was a wimpy storm that didn’t do much damage shoulda been here. We’re safe, but it was a near thing.
We had close to 9 inches of rain and wind gusts that I’d estimate above 60mph – they took down two big locust trees and several willows. One of the locusts came down 10 feet from the buck barn where the buck goats and the calves were, another 10 feet from the rear of the house, while my kids were sitting in the room reading. Our enormous beech tree was entirely surrounded by the rushing creek (it is normally well up on the banks) and it rocked and creaked a few times, but did not come down, which is a good thing, since it would have taken out a good chunk of the house.
Both barns held up well – they got a little wet but not too bad, and will need only minor repairs. The goats are presently outside clearing fallen brush, and in the net pretty happy that these yummy trees came down. After they are done with them, we’ll move on to firewood.
The creek did cross its banks, but the house is on enough of a rise that we didn’t flood – but again, it was a nearer thing than we’ve had before. My neighbor, she of the shared sheep was not as lucky – she evacuated, her home flooded and her livestock are spread among friends and neighbors. Our friends down in the Schoharie Valley and at the lower ends of Schenectady have it very rough.
We lost power on Sunday afternoon, which worked out very well, since the sump pump ran most of the day. We were out until this morning, which again, isn’t anything I can complain about – we’ve had longer outages in winter from random storms. As always, we’re pretty power-loss ready.
Besides the trees and one of the barn doors ripped apart by the winds, the biggest loss was my garden – the main garden was under nearly 2 feet of water. I had debated harvesting a lot of things on Saturday, but elected to spend the day at a foster parent event instead. I lost a lot of stuff – including, sadly a lot of the flowers that were slated for table and bimah decorations at a friend’s bar mitzvah this weekend – I’ve been planning all summer for this event, but most of the flowers were blown down or broken. I’m working on finding more, but a lot of the farms around here have similar damage Still, this should be the worst thing that ever happens to us! A few broken flowers and rotting squash are small potatoes.
I’m not sorry I spent Saturday at the foster parenting event, however, instead of harvesting. Some of you (who track my stuff on facebook) will know that we were called on Wednesday to take a group of five kids (and no, not the same group of five kids that they wanted us to take the previous week, believe it or not), several of whom were suffering some severe health problems due to neglect. We got the call Wednesday afternoon and expected to have the children (ages 6 1/2 to 5 weeks) arrive that evening, then we were called suddenly and told that the judge removed only one of the children, the one who was actually hospitalized.
We weren’t able to find out a lot more information immediately afterwards, and I admit, I’ve been losing sleep worrying about the kids not being safe. I hadn’t intended to spend my Saturday afternoon at this picnic, but went in the hopes of getting more info on the kids. Fortunately, it worked – I met someone involved with the case who was able to tell me that in this case, she thought the decision was right. The parents are young, overwhelmed and have missed some major medical issues they should have caught – but from ignorance. The parents needed services and support – and now they will get them. I have to say, that did more to let me sleep well than knowing the basement was dry.
The creek has gone down enough that I’m not scared either the kids or the baby goats will fall in and drown, and I’m grateful for our near miss. I don’t usually put “hurricane” on the list of major threats to upstate NY, but I might as well add it to the list of reasons why I’m glad we stay prepared.
I hope all of you are safe and well. Please let us know how things came through in your neck of the woods!