In August of 2011, Hurricane Irene marched through the Caribbean and up the East Coast of the US leaving much destruction in her wake. The devastation she caused was catastrophic, and this post is not intended to downplay the severity of the situation at all; however, looking back, my day spent in the hurricane was pretty amusing and I’ve been wanting to document it for a while. However, I didn’t find it so funny at the time…
The weekend of August 27th and 28th was supposed to be a super fun weekend for me. I had bus tickets to NYC to see two college friends and, of course, Miss Rachel. The people on the news kept saying that Hurricane Irene was going to hit us, but I ignored them…until it was no longer possible to do so. I made the executive decision on Friday to stay in Boston for the weekend, which ended up being the right choice, as my bus ride back home was canceled. New York also shut down its public transportation system, as did the city of Boston. I would have totes been stranded in New York had I gone through with my plans.
Anyway, now that my trip was canceled, I decided I should maybe start taking the threat of this hurricane seriously. My roommate, who is from Florida and has seen her fair share of hurricanes, had the same idea, although we did not share all of our ideas with each other. We both stopped by the store on Friday evening to pick up some bottled water and nonperishable food, just in case.
On Saturday, we teamed up to clean the back yard. Our landlord does not keep the tidiest yard and we wanted to make sure there was no debris outside that could come flying through our windows if the wind really got out of control. Upon the discovery of a snake in the yard, we abandoned our yard cleaning task and ran into the house. Well, I ran. And screamed. Like a girl. Which is ok, because I am a girl. We had at least secured the garbage cans and recycling bin.
The storm hit us on Sunday. For a while, it was just rainy. Then the wind picked up. A lot. There was a crash. The house shook. The power went out. And Roommate and I sprang into action. At first, we were convinced that a tree had come down on our roof. The crash we heard had been LOUD. The apartment seemed ok, though, and nothing looked amiss in the yard. Then we looked out the front windows: a HUGE tree had come down up the street, taking out a whole utility pole, crushing a car, and hitting a house. When the pole came down, it pulled a bunch of wires with it…wires that were connected to houses. Several wires had been snapped off of our house and the house next door had siding ripped off it it. Yikes.
At this point, we were both scared. We had been skeptical about this storm at first, but now it was very real. Also, our house is semi-surrounded by trees and the wind was clearly being an asshole. We decided to migrate to the basement until the winds died down. It seemed like the safest option.
Before the storm started, unbeknownst to each other, we had both packed bags with water bottles, snacks, important documents, toiletries, and clothes, just in case we had to evacuate. Roommate had blown up an air mattress to sit on in the basement. I had gotten Louis’s travel cage out of the attic. We had stocked up on candles and made sure flashlights had batteries in them. We may have been skeptical, but we were prepared skeptics. I guess my 6 months as a Brownie finally paid off.
Our time in the basement was comical. I immediately almost set the house on fire trying to light a candle. Louis got fidgety in his cage. And we all would get really quiet and hold our breath every time the wind blew. At least we had movies and a portable DVD player. And snacks.
After about 2 hours, we decided it was safe to venture back upstairs where we played Trivial Pursuit for a while. Then we went outside to assess the damage. I went out in what may have been my fanciest outfit ever: red athletic shorts, a pink hoodie with the hood on, of course, and olive green knee-high rain boots. So. Hot. I’m pretty sure Roommate has a picture.
Our house was fine. Our cars were fine. But, the power was still out would remain out for three days, during which time we got very good at living like the pioneers. At lot of candles were used, and I managed to not set anything on fire. Not even once.
Those few days were very long and stressful, but now I just look back on them and laugh. I can only imagine what we must have looked like: two girls, sitting in a dark, creepy basement on an air mattress and lawn furniture while a guinea pig stares at them from his cage.
Song of the Day: Rock You Like A Hurricane by Scorpions