Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene in Bucks County , Pa.

It's 4 AM on Sunday Aug 28, 2011
Hurricane Irene tormented our little city last night
She has past but we are quivering in the solemness of the aftermath
Our small town survived the ravages of Irene's wrath
Streets were strewn with fallen leaves
Broken tree branches lined the roads
Many a large tree was uprooted and obstructed paths 
And close by, the raging Delaware River crested and
flooded the streets on its New Jersey and Pennsylvania borders
entering the grand homes that had a nice river view
It is early, and we have not yet gotten out of bed,
But our digital clock revealed the secret that our
electrical power is gone! Gone!
No Internet, no lights, no microwave...
As we realized our delima,
our minds filled with the worry of food spoiling in the refrigerator and freezer
Our house phone was unusable, and there were no warm showers
We heard the  winds whistling and the heavy rains beating against our bedroom windows
We were experiencing  the " aftermath of the storm"

We got out of bed and left the house around 10:30 AM
We drive to another area looking for a restaurant that has power.
We avoid the roads that are closed due to uprooted trees or  flooding water
We find a Burger King a few miles away with very very very long lines
We find a Dunkin Donuts with lines of desperate coffee drinkers curling around the block.
We enter a Burger King and wait 45 minutes for our turn to order a hot cup of java..
What! No coffee.. Burger King is not making coffee today. 
They can't handle the demand!
Disappointed, we drive back home with a plan to do something useful
We clean our laundry room closet and purge our garage of some unwanted items.
WE nosh on nonperishable foods like bananas, nuts, and crackers
while we wait with hope for a glimmer of our electric to return and restore us to the life we know

The day after the storm it is sunny and exceptionally beautiful
Our grass is greener than it has been all summer
all is glowing and serene
Inside, we feel the absence of the connection to the power
The power that connects us to the television, the Internet, the phone, the refrigerator
The power that we depend on is still gone, and yet we find things to do
We weed the garden, we read books, we talk to each other
We clean closets, and we share bananas and peanut butter

It's now 5:30  PM and it's oppressively hot! 95 degrees!
 The lights go on for us on our street!
Hallelujah.. !!
Much of the town is still in the dark and will be for another day or two or three,
for those in the country, they were without power for weeks
But My power has been restored.
For me , I say goodbye and forget about Irene..
 except for the closing of the bridges, the railroads, and a few roads that are closed,
My life returns to normal.
my guestroom

It's 9:00 PM and it has cooled off.
The hot 95 degree daytime air has finally dissipated and
the cool night air is delightful and invigorating
I open all of my windows and invite in the welcome cooler air
I enjoy what feels to me like an crisp ocean breeze
I turn on the lights, the computer, and some music
And get back to business and life as I know it in 2011
Irene is gone, but she has left her mark
Goodbye ,Irene
Goodbye Irene.

We were well prepared for the storm. We listened to the news commentators warning us about the impending storm and followed the advice and tips of what we needed to do.  We took all the deck furniture inside, filled bottles with water, filled the bathtub with water, gathered candles and flashlights, and buckled down while we waited for Irene to pass through Bucks County, Pa. While there were many threats of tornadoes as well, we came did not experience any.. Just some leaves in all the streets, a few big trees downed and some uprooted, branches all over, a very high Delaware River,and no electric for 15 hours.
We did have some floods, and by tomorrow it will be worse.

Our Trenton train station is flooded, the homes along the river are evacuated and there is an 8:00 pm curfew to protect the homes from vandalism. The river will crest overnight and rise another 6 ft! We are 2 miles  away from the river- close enough but far enough to not have to worry about flooding

Goodbye Irene!

The interesting thing was that during the time of crises, everyone was friendly. Neighbors were out talking to each other, I made friends at a Burger King while waiting 45 minutes for a cup of coffee that I didn't get. Everyone was talking and was friendly. No one had anywhere to go, no one had anything to do. Without electric, everyone was relaxed. There were a  few places open that were lucky enough to have power but the lines for cooked meals were enormous.

We are safe and well and we are most thankful .
We pray that everyone who was in Irene's path is safe and well.


  1. Oh Judee, you know how much I LOVE Bucks County, I don't know if you've seen posts I did about Solebury Orchards, Peace Valley Lavender Farm and the Talking Teacup in Chalfont. I love to go there for day trips and do so quite often. I am sorry for the destruction but glad you did well except for the loss of electric. I did better than I hoped for and am so very thankful I had power/cable the whole time. Parts of my little island were knocked for a loop. xo,

  2. My bil and sil also live in Bucks county and they were driving around yesterday morning looking for coffee too.

    I live in central PA and we had quite a storm, but nothing like you got. Glad you survived and I hope you finally got your coffee.


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