Irene tore through the Northeast packing quite a punch for those of us who reside here. Although Irene made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 and was downgraded to a Tropical Storm by the time she reached NJ, she left a wake of damage in her path. It wasn’t the wind that did the damage, it was the rain. Pounding us with anywhere from 4-10″ of rain in 36 hours, flooding was unavoidable.
Millions of people from the shore line and low lying areas were evacuated, forced to leave their homes behind and hope for the best. Those of us more inland, prepared our homes as best we could.
For me, that meant moving most of my fabric inventory out of my basement studio and place everything else at least a foot above the floor.
Our basement has flooded before, but it hasn’t had any major flooding in over 10 years. We always tend to get a trickle during a major rainstorm and the finished part of the basement is not in those areas. So we prepared for the worst and kept our fingers crossed.
The rains started in the afternoon and my husband took the kids out for a romp in the rain before the wind came in knowing it was going to be a long 2 days stuck indoors….
The winds picked up and the rains started hurling around dinnertime. My husband and I took turns all night checking the basement and changing the towels in the few areas that were slightly leaking. There was no sleeping…..By 8am on Sunday, the worst of Irene’s rain had passed and it looked like we were in the clear. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The massive rainfall overwhelmed the house/street drain and water quickly backed up. In a matter of 30 minutes water had soaked through 1/3 of our carpeting and padding.
Thankfully we had a water pump and wet vac ready and were able to keep the water from spreading throughout the entire basement floor. But we have a mess to contend with over the next few days….It’s been 24 hours and we have 5 fans working overtime which I rearrange under and over the padding and carpet to get every spot dry before we put everything back. So, needless to say, Sewplicity® is out of commission for a few days while we deal with this.
As much as this stinks for us, it is nothing compared to others around us. Most of our neighbors basements flooded also, and unfortunately many of them lost power so they weren’t able to react with pumps and wet-vacs like we were. After the rains, many of them ran extension cords to those of us with power so they could pump out.
Most of these people will have no power for at least a week.
There are downed branches and pools of water everywhere you look….
|Pools of water in my backyard.|
|Flooded basements and garages everywhere.|
|Tree limbs litter the sidewalks and streets everywhere you go.|
|Overflowing street drains.|
|Water, water, everywhere.|
And sadly, for most of NJ, the worst has yet to come. rivers, reservoirs, inlets and lakes are expected to flood at record levels in the upcoming days. This will devastate many of the communities that made it through the actual storm. My heart goes out to everyone who has been effected by this destructive storm. My thoughts and well-wishes are with you all.