Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane A-Coming???

Deus Ex Machina came home from work yesterday and informed me that Hurricane Irene is expected to hit Maine ... or at least come pretty damned close. If it continues on its expected trajectory, it will make landfall in Massachusetts - the Boston area, which, if the typical hurricane response to being on land occurs, will slow it a bit, and so it won't be such a terrible storm when it finally gets to us - but we will have a lot of wind and a lot of rain.

In answer the question when, "Sunday," he tells me.

At first the girls are a little freaked out by the thought, but then, he says, "Maybe the electricity will go out," and they cheer - like having no electricity is a Disney vacation. Who knows? To my girls, it might be.

I nod and go back to doing whatever it was I was doing before he shared that news with me - any thoughts about hurricanes quickly pass out of my brain like campfire smoke dissipating into the sky.

This morning, I'm reminded, as I'm reading on the computer and come across someone discussing hurricane preparedness. It seems funny to be talking about such things, here, in Maine, but I know that it happens. In 1992, a hurricane hit Maine pretty hard. From anecdotes from friends who were here at the time, I've learned that all of the major roads leading north from here were flooded for almost a week - including I-95 - the Maine Turnpike.

Closer to home, the dirt road built over the brook behind my house washed out, and the people who live just next door to me couldn't drive anywhere. They were, effectively, cut off, stranded in their homes. The road, has since, been significantly improved, and it's unlikely that it will wash out again, but paved roads often wash out. Worse, though, for us at least ... if there's that much water, the road may not wash out, but if the culvert running under road gets clogged, the road will become a dam, and our back yard could flood - especially next to the brook, right where the chicken yard happens to be.

The ducks would be happy :). The chickens ... not so much.

If the water in the brook rises enough and has no where to go, our house might get a little seepage, too. I wonder if our homeowners' policy covers flooding ... .

There would be significant coastal flooding. If it gets as bad as the 1992 hurricane was reported to be, we'll be stuck. The question is, are we ready?

The answer is, if my house doesn't flood, we'll be set for at least four days with no electricity, until the stuff in the freezer really starts to thaw, and then, we'll need to start canning what's in the freezer - which would be a lot of work ;).

I should probably check to make sure I have enough canning jars and lids to hold all of the frozen food ... just in case ;).


  1. Good luck and make sure to put away plenty of water - you can just fill up bottles from the tap if you want. Hurricanes can do nasty things to the water supply!

  2. Yep. And I was hoping to grill out on Sunday for a family get-together. Instead I'm taking stock of our preps here in PA, even though we have all of NJ and some of PA between us and the coast. I remember the torrential rain we got here from Hurricane Gloria in the early 80s sometime. I'd never seen the creek so flooded. It's unlikely we'll lose electricity, just because we're on the same grid as a major hospital, and I think our grid is somehow privileged because of that. To tell the truth, my first choice would be for it to just turn back out to the Atlantic and leave us alone. But it's a good excuse to recheck our stored water and everything else. As if the earthquake weren't enough!

  3. If you're set for an extended power outage, you should be OK. The main thing to worry about is trees coming down. In Oct 1994, Opal was "just" a strong tropical storm by the time it got here and it took down a huge oak tree & laid it alongside the house. If it had hit the house, there would have been major damage and probably injuries. So you might want to make sure your chainsaw is in working order & you have fuel for it.

  4. I'm just excited it's not winter ha ha!
    I've been thinking about how we're going to prepare...WWWD? What would WEndy do? Ha ha!

  5. Wendy, from what I've learned about you, Eric, and the girls over the last year and a half, you will be fine. The chickens may need to learn how to swim, but I know you will get through it in an efficient, organized, maybe a bit excited (ie. the girls) way... Will be thinking of you, keep us posted.