Friday, September 02, 2011

How'd You Make Out?

That is the topic du jour in the BT dining room this week, and I imagine in dining rooms across the eastern seaboard (if they can get to one).  Many - ourselves included - are simply counting their blessings that it wasn't worse.  Locally, Millington was hit hard with flooding, and many pockets of communities suffered without power for more than a day.  The sole fatality in the state appears to be Anne Bell, from Queen Anne's County, who perished when a tree fell on her house.  Mrs. Belle was a frequent lunch guest, who always enjoyed the Tidewater sandwich; our sympathies go out to her family.

And, as I had hoped, there were some good stories to come out of the cloud.  One of my favorites was from two ladies who came into town last Friday - the day before Irene arrived - to help a beloved niece with her wedding scheduled for Labor Day Weekend.  They were booked at the Holiday Inn, having traveled from Kentucky, just in time for a Hurricane.  The power on that grid went out Saturday night and the dark came on.  Apparently there were many evacuees staying at the hotel as well, along with many of their dogs, and when the lights failed, the dogs and babies began to cry.  The two Kentucky women locked their door and waited it out in the blackness, well stocked as they were with wine and food.  Luckily the wedding they were involved with wasn't the one on Saturday, where the caterer from over the Bay called the day before and canceled on the bride.  Don't know how that ended up playing out, but I have a feeling that Jeff Carroll may have received  the Wedding Saver award for the weekend.

Most people spoke primarily about losing power, some for only hours, like us, but many for days.  Several still did not have electric on Tuesday.  The power crews from Louisiana, who must have had 15 trucks in town, were among the heroes to some of the more recessed neighborhoods, where downed trees created havoc both on the roads and driveways, along with the power lines.  One woman confessed that she eventually went to the College, where her husband is a professor, to take a long awaited hot shower.  Another couple told me, that after two days of no hot water, they came into town, booked a room at the Comfort Suites, took leisurely showers, enjoyed a meal at the Fish Whistle, and then went back home.  Several of our family members were with out electricity for several days, including my niece in Rock Hall, my sister in Hampstead on the Western Shore, and Kevin's brother in Spring Lake New Jersey, who just got powered back up Thursday afternoon. 

Downed tree stories were numerous.  I've talked to no one so far who had a tree land on their house, but one person told me one fell on her driveway.  On her car.  On her twenty five year old car.  She said that up until then it hadn't had a scratch or a dent on it.  And of course there won't be a big insurance claim on her 1986 vehicle, unless she can insist it was an antique, I suppose.  Others commented on the helpful neighbors with chainsaws who saw to the clean-up of felled hardwood - and reaped the benefits of some winter fuel at the same time.  Many were relieved to lose only a few branches or limbs, while many others were saddened to lose several large old trees from their canopy, impossible to replace in our lifetimes.

Tom, our driver for Cloverland, shared his story about his Leyland cypress that fell into his neighbor's yard, bringing the power line with it.  The power line that supplied the neighbor that is, not Tom.  Oops. 

Our staff all fared pretty well, a few power outages as was the norm, but nothing too cumbersome.  It was certainly an experience none of us wish to repeat, but the fact that so many of us got off as easy as we did, for the large part, is quite a relief.  There isn't a whole lot of news in "good luck", but that is for the major networks to fret about.  (They seem to have been able to make their own "news" out of the lack of bad news without any help anyway.)   Wet basements aside, the situation could have been so much worse on a much larger scale, had the winds and the tides taken a different turn.  Isabel it wasn't.  Thank goodness.

Now, what do we do with all this bottled water and bread?

1 comment:

  1. Maryland had at least one other storm-related fatality: a man in Ellicott City (I think) succumbed to carbon-monoxide poisoning when he ran his generator in his attached garage, overnight, I think. Now we have Lee+Katia to think about. Kathy Lee, anyone?