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Monday, August 29, 2011

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other . . . .

Here at That Old House, we weathered Irene just fine.
Our worst damage?
Anne went out last evening to walk Dion,
and came back with Dion and a shutter.

One of our shutters lost its pintel hinge -- at the bottom --
and was hanging onto the house by only its top hinge.

Which probably explained the occasional thumps against the clapboards during the high winds.
Easily fixed, and a very minor inconvenience.


With Tropical Storm Irene (nee Hurricane) gone,
I just need to say . . . 

On behalf of the 1 in 5 Americans who experienced Irene,
and the Canadians and Bahamians who also were in her path,
thank you 
for the good wishes, positive thoughts, and many prayers from
all over the world that flew with Irene up the Atlantic coast.
This fawn is in our former neighborhood.
Now, we live on a hill but my heart is with my old neighborhood and the record breaking flooding there.

To the governors, mayors, and emergency management officials
who painted the direst picture for us ahead of Irene's arrival
and urged us in no uncertain terms to take all precautions,
thank you.
This is the town where our daughter Anne lives.
She wisely rode out the storm at That Old House.

To the people who chose to defy the evacuation orders and
"ride out" the storm in their own homes, or visited
the scene of the action because they were curious -- shame on you.

Your selfish, thoughtless actions put the lives of
emergency personnel at risk, and -- although less importantly
-- add to the already burdensome cost to the public.

If you have sufficient warning about an impending disaster, and the ability to leave,
and you choose to stay in harm's way -- you should be fined at the very least.
If I were Queen, I'd have you put in the public stocks so that firefighters and policemen
and military rescue personnel could throw flood-soaked debris at you, and call you unflattering names.

Golly, Cass, how do you really feel?
On the whole, we were lucky because Irene could have been worse.
But what she was, was very bad indeed.
Thank you, Laura Schank from Lincoln Park, for this shot of Wolfson's Market, the world's best little food store.
Our daughter Anne worked here -- her first-ever summer job.  The owners and employees are wonderful folks
and seeing water halfway up the door is startling and upsetting.

It won't be until emergency personnel and reporters can get into
towns now cut off from the world by water . . . 
it won't be until then that we will see the true extent of the damage.

Irene's winds tore up trees and did some damage,
but her real legacy is her water.

Along the coast, storm surges from the ocean or other salt water bodies roar in,
and then they roar rather quickly back out again.
And you pick up the pieces. 
In some communities all along the coast, there are a lot of pieces to pick up.

Freshwater flooding is very different.
There are flash floods, when smaller rivers and streams suddenly go rogue and --
like a storm surge -- quickly inundate,
do their damage and then leave.  And, you pick up the pieces.

Then there is the type of flooding that doesn't clear out quickly.
It's from the larger rivers, and New Jersey is full of them.
And they are over-full of water from Irene, which is still rising into neighborhoods,
shopping centers, parks, industrial areas, and small and large roads and parkways.

It takes days for this water to get back into the rivers' banks.
And it leaves behind a gawd-awful mess.

We used to live along a river, and several times had a basement full of water from the river --
a river that most of the time was a delight to watch.
But our old neighborhood is under much more water now; Irene brought disaster there.
It breaks my heart.

The good news is that disasters bring out the best in most of us.
People are helping people, just as we saw in Joplin and,
unfortunately, too many places this year.

Keep those prayers and good thoughts coming, folks!
It amazes me that all we have to clean off our front porch are some leaves.

It is a spectacularly beautiful day in the North East.
One other thing hurricanes leave behind
are skies scrubbed clean
and brilliant sunshine.

Good luck to all -- Cass


  1. Cass, I'm glad to hear you and your family escaped severe damage. Flooding is so scary, too, and my heart goes out to all those who are now doing the hard work of mopping up and assessing the destruction.

  2. Cass,
    Well said. We were lucky. The day was very long and I was very frightened at times. We heard crashing trees and limbs and the windows on the porch of the cabin let in quite a bit of water around the edges. But she is a little sturdy thing and she stood up well.

  3. Glad That Old House only shuddered once during the storm (yup, it's a pun...glad the shutter didn't shatter and Dion and Anne rescued it... I will shutter-up now :-) My heart goes out to all in the path of the flooding (good explanation, by the way, of the KIND of flooding Irene left behind)...I worked in Floodplain Management for a number of years and have seen how immense is the power of water. Sorry to hear that your old neighborhood is flooded...oh, rivers are beautiful, but they are never completely under our control, no matter how much the Corp of Engineers says so.

    Also, Happy Anniversary! Hope Hubby got along OK in NYC...and is the beach house OK?

    Take care, thanks for sharing your sense of humor, and enjoyment of life...I don't comment much, but I am always lur...reading :-)

  4. So glad you, your family and home are safe. How did the beach house hold up? I was thinking ya'll removed the shutters before the storm or did I read that wrong?

  5. I think the older homes are often much stronger than the new ones.

  6. Cass, I'm happy to hear that was the extent of your damage. It was a very frightening weekend for all along the east coast and for those of us watching from afar. Good to hear from you. ~ sarah

  7. Glad to know that everyone is okay -- Oliver was really worried about Dion (think he was afraid that Dion would have to go OUT in the rain -- it's not something that he (Ollie) is fond of doing!)

    I have been thinking about you. Prayers for all of those who suffered damage -- I've never been in or near a hurricane (tornados are our forte on the prairie) but I know the damage is ghastly.

    I know Howard will be back this evening -- I'm sure he'll be glad to get home.

  8. Hi Cass,
    Thank goodness your family is safe..There sure has been a lot of water damage this year through out he states. My sister in Law owns and live in her B&B in Elizabethtown IL. The Ohio river rose over 40 ft. and the two homes next to them were completely under water, their basement was full of the river. The town was on boil water alert as well..It has taken FEMA a very long time to come in and help. I hope and pray the process goes faster for your friends. I think Mama Nature has not been happy.
    Sending you big hugs and thank God no one was hurt.

  9. You and your fellow east-coasters have been in my thoughts and prayers! Glad to hear you weathered the storm alright, and that Anne was able to stay safe there with you.

  10. To Glenda -- we took down the porch shutters as they were not secured as well but left the ones on the sides and back.
    Lesson learned!

  11. So glad you are all ok and no serious damage. Such a blessing that the storm didn't turn out worse. Hugs, Marty

  12. So thankful you and that house are well. We have family friends who are flooded in Vermont.

  13. Well said, Cass. I'm glad you are safe and that the hurricane did turn into a tropical storm. Your home is still standing, beautiful as ever!


  14. So glad you didn't have lots of damage..but my heart goes out to those in the storm's path..water damage is hard to deal..ruins everything!! Sad to see those gorgeous old trees down and the covered bridges in Vermont gone...but grateful that it wasn't any worse.

    Miss Bloomers

  15. Whew! I am SO glad to read you guys were spared.

    "To the people who chose to defy the evacuation orders and
    "ride out" the storm in their own homes, or visited
    the scene of the action because they were curious -- shame on you." MEGA DITTO!!!! They should be fined thousands of dollars & made to pay for every single penny of the public's money spent on dragging their sorry a$$es out of harms way. Grrrrrr! Idiots! I'll stop now before I REALLY say something I'll regret.

    Warm DRY Hugs coming your way,

  16. Glad to hear that you weathered the storm--no pun intended. :)
    Take care.


  17. Applause! Applause! You said a mouthful there, girl! I'm proud of you for being just who you are and saying what you really mean! You go! xo Diana

  18. I'm glad that you and That Old House weathered the storm. What you said is so true - what is it about those foolish and reckless people?

  19. Glad you are all safe.

    I feel exactly like you about people who don't leave and make others risk their lives to save them.

  20. I'm glad you, Anne, Dion and That Old House made it through ok.

  21. Thank goodness your home was spared and thank you for sharing the photos.

  22. So right you are!! I've been through a few of these living in the deep south and we always hold our breath.

  23. AMEN SIster!!!! You are vastley eloquent and RIGHT ON!!!!!
    I am so thankful that you and your various families are okay. Maybe they will be able to patch your roof one more time :^) I am hoping that your beach house fared well and will only need cleaning up.
    Blessings to all of you,


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