Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricanes came to visit

Hurricanes came to visit

Buckets of water fell from the sky!

The whole idea of a hurricane moving toward our area and about to create devastation in its path, usually has most folks quaking in their boots as they prepare for its arrival. But when it rushes through the Atlantic Ocean, entering Texas as its western point and then rushes straight up and into Canada (and everywhere in between), there is a tremendous reason to be concerned.

We have discovered when checking our online weather source and a red header from Environment Canada appears suddenly in a separate header post, the same warnings begin to ripple out over every local media source to warn the locals of its content. We heard the warning, readied ourselves and wondered. It wasn't long before both the remnants of Hurricane Hannah came to call, and then Hurricane Ike followed along with a vengeance a mere 48 hours later.

It seems that no matter where one lives these days, there are always threats of weather nasties presenting challenges. While living in the west, we were visited with earthquakes and I can remember as a little girl having to participate in earthquake drills at school. Scientists are still predicting when "the big one" will hit some day in the near future. Last year there was a tsunami warning on the west coast, very odd forecasts can become almost terrifying for some westerners.

A friend took this photo in June, 15 minutes from us!

Here in the east we have had our fair share of tornadoes this year, and more than I personally care to have again. No matter where one lives, there is something to prepare for.

With the visit of Hurricane Hannah, but more especially from Hurricane Ike - in just two days, six inches of rain accumulated as it fell by the bucketful! Wind speeds of up to 80mph toppled trees, ripped off branches and blew garbage cans and potted flowers everywhere.

Looking to my left and then to my right,
rain fell, flooding our property very quickly.

Beforehand, an eerie sight met our eyes when exiting the church yesterday morning. We all noticed a stormy feel surrounding us even though it was hot (26 degrees) and very humid. Noisy crickets were the only sound we heard for a brief time, and then a gentle hush seemed to overtake the entire landscape during our drive home afterwards. The rain began to fall and wowza, did it ever fall!

The constant amount of precipitation became one thing and it was no surprise last night when the power went off after the brisk winds began bending tree trunks like toothpicks. It was still hot and muggy with no air conditioner cranking on from the lack of hydro, and opening up a few windows wasn't an option with that wind and rain blowing against the house.

Water was already leaking through window onto the sills and from the bottom of doorways at the back of the house, necessitating towels rolled and laying about those areas to soak it up. With the power out, the humidity and heat in the house accelerated the mercury on the thermostat and it became ridiculous inside by the time we entered the wee hours of the morning and still no power blinking back on.

Living in a higher water table, most folks in the general area have sump pumps built into their basement floors, a mandatory thing in this part of the country. Problems arise when the power disappears, BIG problems. THINK = flooding in the house and water all over the place! We hired a plumber when we first moved into this house, preferring to eliminate such a thing immediately because we knew over time this could happen to us. Even still when the power went off last night at 11pm., our back-up on the sump pump ran quite smoothly, though loud enough to hear all over the house in the still of the (hot and humid) sleepless night. I was told it was a great safeguard, but I couldn't help but keep vigil on it, if for no reason at all just to check it out periodically from the sheer amounts of running water streaming in from both pipes deep inside of it.

Today when driving towards town, there were visual reminders of this one important item on driveways, carpeting drying outdoors, basement windows opened wide. Obviously some weren't lucky enough to have a back up system on their sump pumps.

Tremendous amounts of water surrounded our property, flooding it greatly within just a few short hours. In less than 12 hours the back property looked something like the photos above.

Boots required!

These boots are making people around here SMILE!

This is what the property looks like today;

So much for all the newly laid bark mulch
on this garden. Much has now floated away.

And just when we were all mesmerized with the silly storm dropping water by the bucketfuls from the skies shortly after returning home from church, howling winds began pushing trees to and fro, and it was not long after that when my husband had planned to return to work. Rather than fly as usual, he thought it easier this weekend to drive back to work, and right in the middle of the storm. ugh!

Worry is such an emotional hindrance, crippling even! Of all weekends to choose to drive instead of fly! And it wasn't as though he was just driving a short distance to get there, it was a long road trip away! This was only the second time in five months where he chose to keep his rental car and drive instead of fly, and a storm yet to travel in! HA!

When he finally (!) called me later in the evening to announce he had arrived at his destination, even he admitted it was so much more than he had ever bargained for, slippery and dangerous at best. He said not too many people were on the roads, a good thing I suppose - but there was my hubby, feeling invincible~ right honey? Never again!

On another note, fast forward to this evening...

The sun came to glimmer upon our lingering lakefront back property (wink), looking quite spectacular at best. Just after I took this photo below, two huge blue herons came by for a dip.

Lovely! Now go away and rain no more tonight. :-)