Saturday, August 27, 2011

Goodnight, Irene!

As we unpacked our last box, this was the image on the local news:

Irene's path 4 days ago

Had we really moved in only to be forced to move out?  What does mandatory evacuation mean, anyway?  

We watched and planned.  Since buying the Fripp house in 2006, we have never had a Hurricane threaten our coastline.  The house came with plywood sheeting for the windows, but we had never checked how they fit.  At Lowe's in Beaufort, we purchased an extra case of water and wood screws just in case.  No one in town was panicking which I found very comforting.  Maybe they knew something I didn't.  

Irene, Friday, August 26, 2011
Two days later, Irene's path moved eastward and we were unofficially deemed safe from the storm.  Looking at the storm on the satellite, we breathed a sigh of relief for us and said a prayer for those north of us.  Anabel was disappointed.  At twelve, a hurricane sounded exciting.  She has no concept of storm damage.  (Let's hope she stays that way!)  The weatherman said to watch out for rip currents and extremely high tides, but the low country area should miss most of Irene's path.  I thought, "Thank, God!"  Greg and Wyatt thought, "Surf Board!" This must be the biggest difference between men and women.
However, we both did a foolish thing on Friday: drove into Beaufort to pick up Greg's Harley.  The power had gone off briefly in the morning and we had a little rain, but other than that the weather seemed like any other day at the beach.  When the repair shop called to say the bike was ready, it wasn't raining at all.  Greg thought it best to go on in, pick it up and get it over with before heavier winds and rain began.  The kids stayed at home finishing school work while I dropped Greg and headed to the grocery store and other errands.  By the time I made my last stop at Publix, I felt my first drop of rain.  I called the house and Greg wasn't home yet.  Should I worry?  No, Greg is an excellent driver and a smart guy.  He'll be fine.  Driving home, the closer I got to the outer barrier islands (Harbor, Hunting, then Fripp) the worse it became:

My view driving home to Fripp.
If this was what the outer bands of a hurricane was like, I can't imagine how scary being hit head-on would be.  I pulled over to call about Greg.  He had stopped three times driving back and was wet to the bone, but had made it back safe and sound.

Finally, I made it home with groceries and new art supplies for the kids.  Perfect for painting the edge of a hurricane sunset...

We hope everyone made it through the storm safely!  Goodbye and Goodnight, Irene!

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