Saturday, August 27, 2011

Riders on the Storm

Doesn't that song title bring back memories?

Several of my online friends and pen pals are riding out the storm on the east coast. That makes them riders on the storm in my book.

Marilyn in Norfolk checked in to say that they had battened down the hatches and were waiting for Irene to throw her worst at them. They have not yet lost power and she's assured us that her kits ready, including GOLDEN OREOS! That's planning ahead. She is originally from Illinois and is knowlegeable in the ways of Biblical thunderstorms, midwestern flooding and tornados.

We've got the TV tuned in to the Weather Channel and we're watching Irene's dreadfully slow march up the coast. I notice one of the big advertisers during this period is Generac, a manufacturer of whole house generators. (Disclaimer - NOPE, Generac isn't paying me either.... DRAT!).

A couple of years after we moved in here a large house was built further up the hill from us. All of a sudden we started having water problems during power outages. We hadn't had the problem before but when the neighbors house was built it totally changed the way the water flowed, diverting alot of the flow in our direction, and the neighbor behind us. We had a small gasoline powered generator that would never start when we needed it. The Farmer would pull and pull on that cord until I was afraid we'd be taking a trip to the hospital in addition to dealing with a sump pump with no power.

Finally we threw in the towel (literally, a rain soaked towel) and decided we were way too old to be dealing with such issues. One power outage in the middle of winter (minus 40 below evening) was the last straw. We could see our breath in under an hour. We marched over to the local home improvement store and purchased a whole house generator. When the power goes out I start counting.... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 .... BAM - power! The breaker switches over to a second panel, that trips the motor inside the generator and it starts providing power. The motor inside the unit is powered by natural gas from our gas line. When the power comes back on it seamlessly switches back to the electric grid. It's a big enough unit to run everything in our house - fridge, computers, lights, furnace, everything except the air conditioner.

I won't lie to you, it was an investment. But it was only 1/6th the cost of a power outage induced flood in our basement so to us it was well worth the peace of mind.

So anyway, everyone on the east coast stay safe. Marilyn, you have our permission to open those Oreos and dive in. Desperate times call for desperate measures. My dear friends in Ocean City, Maryland.... you are in my heart and in my mind, always. I'll be praying for you this weekend.

If anyone has Irene storm stories, please feel free to leave them in the comments sections. We'd all love to know what you are experiencing.


Elizabeth said...

Hi, recently found your wonderful blog and yes, I am in the thick of Irene.
We live in Springfield, MA which is about 1 1/2 hours north of NYC. It's raining awfully hard right now and the wind is beginning to pick up. My husband and I have been through a few hurricanes but never one that has come this close to home.
We both are struck by how slow the darn thing is moving...18/20 mph. Feels like it is taking forever to get here and go pass. We expect to lose power at any time and hope that it isn't out to long.
The tornado that went through Spfld. in June missed us but a severe thunderstorm on July 26 with
65mph winds took out 6 30ft. maples in our yard. Between the record snowfall in Jan/Feb, the tornado, the earthquake last week (which we felt) and now this...we are all exhausted with what Mother Nature has been throwing at us.

P.S. On the bright side of things, I now have lots less leaves to rake come October :)

Millicent said...

My son lives in midtown Manhattan. He didn't get horrific problems ~ no power outage, etc. He did say that a neighbor across the street didn't have their window unit secured enough, and it fell about 3a.m. Loud bang, cracked sidewalk. I'm not sure how far it fell. A street sign (large one) came off its pole and clanged down the street bouncing off the pavement and into the air many times. It hit a car and broke glass and dented it. Otherwise, all is well for him. Thank God.

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