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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Afterwards

Well! That was an adventure!

My area got hit unexpectedly hard by the hurricane. Last night, on what would have been our 4th night without electricity, the lights finally came back on. Many people in the area still don't have power and won't for some days yet. The widespread flooding combined with high winds meant that an incredible number of trees uprooted and came crashing down on lines. Linemen from all over South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia are working around the clock (often with the help of tree removal crews) to try to restore power and I'm grateful for their hard work. The flooding over the weekend rivaled last year's historic flooding and a lot of people lost everything



A home sits in flood water in Nichols, S.C., Monday.
Aerial shot of a tiny little community called Nichols,
maybe 15 miles from my parents' house.



So I won't complain about being inconvenienced for a few days and losing all the food in our refrigerator and freezer. We were extremely fortunate. No big trees fell on our house (although so many were down in our neighborhood getting out was like running a maze at first), the flooding was minimal and nothing is water damaged, our freezer stayed cold enough to keep water and soda chilled, and maybe most importantly, it's turned cool outside. If this hurricane had happened a month earlier we would have been miserable with sweltering temperatures and high humidity. Instead, we are having some of the most beautiful weather of the whole year, gloriously blue skies, warm days, slightly chilly nights....just wonderful. The first two days after the storm, our water pressure was down to a trickle, but then it re-pressurized and never had to be shut completely off. And on top of that, we always have hot water when the power goes out thanks to our gas powered hot water heater.

Yes, all in all we were lucky. We were slightly inconvenienced, having to do without tv and limited internet access (as our phones had to be charged in our car and we didn't want to drain the batteries by using them too much), and cooking outside on the grill and Coleman camping stove, but all in all it was ok. I'll count my blessings.

And what a change it was to hang out by candlelight for three days, with almost no screen time. We sat outside each night and watched the sun go down, and marveled at how dark and serene the neighborhood was without street lights and well-lit houses. We walked the dogs with flashlights (that we didn't really need thanks to the moonlight) and the crisp autumn air felt great. The hurricane really seemed to usher in fall for us! So it wasn't all bad. Not at all.

Today has been busy, catching up with laundry and doing a final cleaning out of the refrigerator and freezers. Now I'm getting ready to head out grocery shopping. It's going to be expensive, stocking everything back up, but then we should be back to normal at my house. Thanks for all the comments and good wishes everyone left here for me during the ordeal! I really appreciated them all!

24 comments:

  1. Thank god ,never mind who's God, that you are safe and every thing is ok now. It is amazing the things that we discover when there is no elecrisity.We had snow storm 4 years ago. the first time here, and we lost power for 4 days,i know the feeling.

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    1. It was honestly getting a bit old by the third day, but we felt we shouldn't complain having been spared the worst of the hurricane's wrath.

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  2. Nice to hear your doing fine. How did the dogs and bird do when the storm was blowing.
    I am so happy to hear you all did fine. Another 2 blog friend houses are standing with trees and branches down all around them. None landed on their homes !

    cheers, parsnip


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    1. George was a little scared when the wind blew hard. He kept running outside and barking at the gusts! :) haha. Ginger was fairly calm and tried to nap through it. Marco doesn't mind storms.

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  3. So pleased you are OK. Candle light is fun for a while but the novelty soon wears off!

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    1. That's a fact! Besides candles, I used little battery powered LED string lights in each room of the house. They were pretty and gave off a surprising amount of light, but I'm grateful to no longer be "roughing it".

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  4. I'm glad you're okay. That was a long time to be without electricity. The weather is beautiful here, too! I haven't turned on the AC since the power came back on. As soon as the rain ended, I opened windows. The fresh air is great.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. October is one of the best parts of the year (weather wise) in South Carolina!

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  5. It's good that you found some positives in the episode. But it was a helluva way to announce the beginning of Autumn.

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  6. Yay, you and your house are still standing and safe. As soon as running water or electricity are off we miss them terribly. You sound like you survived with spirits high.

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    1. Yes, I felt lucky not to have lost anything of importance--so many others did.

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  7. If I lost everything in my freezers, I would be devastated. It's the one thing I dread. Good to hear you are taking a positive attitude, otherwise such things can be very depressing.

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    1. Yes, that was a big loss, but not as big as your would probably be, with all the gardening you do. I did manage to cook a couple of things on our camp stove (like ground beef) in order to save them. We ate pretty well during the whole ordeal!

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  8. You really were lucky, and I am glad you can see the positive side of the whole experience. You know, ever since I have read how you prepared for it (stocking up on bottled water etc.), I have been seriously thinking about my practically non-existent emergency supplies. The German government has caused a big public discussion when a few months back, our Minister for Inner Affairs recommended people make sure they have emergency supplies for a few days, just in case... (because of terrorist threats, mostly), but that did not half impress me the way your report did.

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    1. You know, it's really not terribly hard to stock up on some essentials, like a couple of cases of bottled water, some long-keeping foods like peanut butter, canned tuna, crackers, dried fruit, etc...and at least an extra month on any needed medications. Since we have animals we try to keep at least a two week supply of their foods on hand at all times and some extra bottled water. And candles, matches, flashlights and battery powered LED string lights are always good to have on hand, too. We like to camp, so we have additional tools in case of emergency: a gas powered Coleman stove, a lantern, tarps, an air mattress, etc but there's no real need for all that, although the Coleman stove and extra fuel meant that we didn't lose absolutely everything in our fridge and freezer. In fact, we had a couple of good meals, one of which was ground beef cooked and added to a minestrone soup mix! It's a morale booster when you're in the middle of a situation to have plenty of light and a hot home cooked meal to eat! :)

      I highly recommend having a few days of essentials put aside just in case. Then, when a disaster strikes, you don't have to be frantic and compete with crowds of people who waited until the last minute to stock up.

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  9. I only started reading you just before the hurricane…I came via either Cro or Yorks pudding. So pleased that you survived so well, and have even almost enjoyed the temporary changes that Matthew brought to you. I am not sure I would have been so positive! One thing I have always wondered…….where do all the people who have to evacuate their homes go to? There must only be a limited number of hotel rooms within reach but out of danger.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, and for the comment! As for the evacuees, many of them are being housed at local schools and some churches. The Red Cross is there along with volunteers making sure everyone is fed and has access to showers, cots, and medical attention.

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  10. I am glad your family is well and safe. I so much love your attitude Jennifer! :)
    Greetings Maria xx

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  11. Wow...that's a rough three days but you made the best of it and it could have been a lot worse. That picture is scary, I feel terrible for those towns who were hit the hardest. We had two hurricanes in two years here in NJ - Sandy and Irene. By some miracle we didn't lose power or suffer any damage either time (though we're nowhere close to the shore)

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    1. Some of the areas hit the hardest are very rural and most of the people are poor to begin with. This has been devastating.

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  12. So glad that you all came through with very few real problems, and no injuries. Losing electricity and water is always the worst - we forget just how much we rely on them.

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    1. Thank you, and you're right, losing electricity and water is a real eye opener, as far as how reliant we are on them!

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