Sunday, August 28, 2011

Heartfelt Thanks

I am weary tonight, but happy to have power and internet back after only a little over 24 hours without both.  Amazing really if you consider the devastation my county suffered at the hands of Irene.  Everywhere we went today, or couldn't go since we were unable to get out of our road until late today, you saw scenes just like this one.  Trees down in numbers that were quite staggering.

My photos don't really do the destruction justice, but you can see that where there were once lush landscapes, there is now open sky and some of these trees were hundreds of years old and had seen more than their fair share of storms throughout the years.  But Irene's killer combo of wind and saturated ground made for a bad combination.

I consider us to be some of the lucky ones, as we suffered no flooding, and no bad damage.  The photo above was taken at my parent's home...yes the one that is due to close next month...sigh!  There were several large oaks (that is a full sized shed, so that is a huge tree) that came down, and one did hit their house, but it was as if my parents gently guided it as it fell and it landed rather softly onto their roof.  I have a photo of it, but I'm just too tired to find it at the moment.

There wasn't much sleeping going on last night as our little house kept us from feeling the damaging blows of the wind and sideways rain, though there were times when I wondered if Andersen windows truly were hurricane rated, like they claimed!  But we've been down this path before and know that it could have been so much worse.  

Our big dead tree finally gave up the ghost, well at least the upper half did.  We knew it was time to get this tree removed but we hated the idea of taking it down since the osprey have called it home for so many years.  Irene made our decision on the matter a little easier and brought it crashing down in the early evening hours, just after dark.  To get some idea of how big this tree really was, just know that the trees pictured around it are not small trees, this tree was huge, and thankfully no one, and nothing was near it when it fell.  We also lost most of a Bradford Pear tree in our front yard and had loads of debris, but as I said, we were lucky.  One of our neighbors can't even see the front of their home anymore after an equally huge live tree fell on their house.

I will share more photos tomorrow, but I had to come on and post to let you know that we are fine, and to thank you for your concern, the emails and text messages were truly appreciated.  And I would be remiss if I didn't thank the wonderful volunteer fire and rescue, our police force, the National Guard, our power and cable companies, friends (thank you Julie and Ken!), and perfect strangers who worked tirelessly to protect us and to get us back up and running so quickly.  

Our son spent 36 hours running with fire and rescue to help ensure our safety and others in our community, and he was one of many who put themselves in harm's way so that we can all sleep soundly tonight.  Next time your volunteer rescue and fire personnel ask for that donation, please remember all  that they do for you!

And to those still in the path of Irene, I hope she bids you farewell quickly and without leaving damage in her wake!

*In an effort to spend less time blogging, comments have been disabled on my blog, at least for now*