We fled Irene and went to a friend's place, so we weren't sure what to expect coming home. Our neighbor had looked in through our basement window and said it was flooded, but she couldn't tell how much.
Meanwhile, we'd been seeing down power lines and serious flooding in the area where we were staying.
Yep, that's a person standing there. It's a street, not a pond.
A lot of people were saying reports of Irene were greatly exaggerated. The media did make it out to be Armageddon, and it could have been so much worse. But there was some serious flooding and damage in my neighborhood.
Where we shop for groceries
The underpass for the train I take to work. It completely filled up with water, and it's about 10 feet high. Creepy.
Our local Home Depot; it still hasn't reopened.
Getting home (we were about 1 & 1/2 hours away) proved to be quite the adventure; every time we tried a new route, some road was closed. The navigation system, which we are totally codependent on and which has surely saved our marriage more than once, wasn't doing us any good. "There's no way back right now!" a police officer at one roadblock informed us.
Then we stopped to get some drinks at a deli, Dave got into a conversation with a fireman, and he told us to go way west to head south. And it worked.
Our neighborhood looked like a mess—there were limbs and branches everywhere—but peaceful and calm in the sunlight. Our basement was a wreck. We have two halves, one finished and one unfinished. There's a sump pump in the finished half. The electricity went out. No sump pump.
Luckily, the water that flooded in had receded, and that was seriously lucky. Also, I had a lot of my father's stuff on the basement floor, and we got it to higher ground before we left. And the hot water heater was still working.
But the water got high, about a foot or more, and a lot of stuff got ruined.
I couldn't believe it when I saw the bottom part of the sofa was sopping wet.
One of the saddest things of all was Sabrina's school supplies. I'd actually found every single thing on this crazy-long list of stuff teachers had requested. But I left the bags sitting on the floor. Dripping wet notebooks, pencils, folders, you name it. Back to Staples I go.
We've been throwing out bags full of unsalvageable stuff (way to declutter!). We need one of those water damage companies, but their lists are hundreds of names long. It would be a good start to have a bunch of fans running to dry things out, but we can't get our hands on any.
So, we'll see. The power is back on. The water in our area needs to be boiled and the house smells like mildew, so we booked ourselves into a Ramada for a couple of nights. It is conveniently located right across the street from a Chuck E. Cheese's and next door to a car wash, and the kids could not be more ecstatic. They fell asleep last night in the same bed after a gigglefest and suddenly, things seemed OK.