Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane Irene

photo credit 
We may not live by the ocean, but Hurricane Irene's wrath effected more than just North Carolina's coast and beaches.  She impacted many inland ENC communities, and Rocky Mount took quite a hit.

The wind and rain began sometime during the night Friday night, and we woke up Saturday morning without power. We were without power until late Sunday night. Thankfully our neighbor had a generator and we were able to cook a few hot meals and brew some coffee too! We were also fortunate enough to have friends (with power) who invited us to spend the night and enjoy hot showers! We were also very lucky to have our power restored in just 48 hours, as there are still homes without power today (Tuesday).
Me navigating our dark house Saturday night in my nifty headlamp.

Our neighborhood is about 10 years old and we have very few mature trees. As a result, we did not sustain any serious damage nor did any of our neighbors. We had to re-secure all of our screens, and we will have to replace a few shingles on our roof. Other than the power outage, the impact on our home was minimal. However, many of our friends were not as lucky.  Many had uprooted or downed trees. They also had tons of fallen limbs, leaves and pine needles. Luckily, none of our friends had structural damage to their homes, but cleaning up their yards and ensuring that their property was safe was an immediate priority.  

We began the clean up process at the Brown's and Webb's homes (the Brown's were our generous friends who let us crash and shower at their place). They had a number of fallen trees that needed to be cut and hauled to the dump.  After all was said any done the guys made two trips to the dump, which each included two trailers stacked high of debris and two pick-up trucks full of limbs and leaves.
On Sunday we loaded up the backyard in the truck and transported it to the street.
This was the growing pile at the street.
The last two pics above taken by Andee Brown
On Monday we loaded the enormous pile into multiple trucks and trailers, 
and we hauled it to the dump.

After finishing up at the Brown's/Webb's, we headed over to Gary Smith's house. Gary works and coaches with Timothy, and unfortunately Irene definitely left her mark on his neighborhood. As of today (Tuesday) Gary and his family still do not have power and have a significant amount of water under their house.  They had five trees fall in their backyard as well. Tim, the Brown's and I helped chop-up trees and haul the debris to the road. The slight silver lining for Gary, is that his neighborhood is in the city limits and qualifies for bulk-trash pick-up.  Thankfully, no one was responsible for hauling the lawn debris to the dump. 
Gary's backyard. These pictures do not even begin to document the damage to their yard. I definitely didn't document the before and after very well.
Getting it done.

We have missed three days of school (including tomorrow). While her impact wasn't wide-spread in every neighborhood, Irene definitely made an impression on Rocky Mount and ENC. We may not be on the national news, but our rural community is in the mists of a pretty detailed/costly clean up. Tim and I drove around today, and we realized that some of the hardest hit families are the farmers living and working in eastern North Carolina. The tabacco fields were just a mess, and many of the plants looked sad and ruined (to the untrained eye).  The cotton was soaked, and some plants were completely under water - for those of you unfamiliar with cotton, it is a resilient crop. Ond of the reason it grows so well in NC (and other parts of the South) is it's lack of need for immediate and constant water. Only time will tell how Irene impacted this year's crop of cotton and other crop staples like soy beans, sweet potatoes and peanuts.  (Sorry. My phone died and I have no pictures of the crop fields).

Needless-to-say, Rocky Mount has had quite the long weekend. Let's hope that this is the first and last hurricane for ENC in the 2011 storm season.

Kelly Anne

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this update! My natural curosity has been anxious to know how things were there. Great reporting and pics. Looks like you guys had quiet the work out helping friends. Hope someone can use the firewood!