As a continuation from my last post (since it got lost, boo!). I am in a better mood now at least. 🙂 Now onto this week’s weather non-sence. Good Grief!!!! As most of you are aware, Central VA, Mineral, Virginia to be exact, had a 5.8 earthquake on Tuesday. Mineral was the epi center of the quake. The quake occured at around 1:51 p.m. I was at work and Mitch was home with the pups. Mitch said it shook for about 3 seconds. He thought at first that it was a low lying plane flying over, as they sometimes shake the house and we do have Military planes that fly over quiet frequently. Tthey are low lying and powerful jets and do shake the house. He soon realized that it was an earthquake. He went outside checked the foundation, under the crawl space and around the property for any damage. Luckily there was none. The pups all did fine. Maggie wore her thundershirt for a bit afterwards. Meanwhile, I was at work on the phone with a patient when the shaking occured. I work on the 5th floor of a local hospital. The building felt as though it was swaying and shook a good 30-40 seconds. Work is a bit closer to the epi center than home is. Although, Virginia has had 20 quakes since 1973, this is the first one I had ever felt. I will have to say it would be fine by me if I never felt one again!! It scared the crap out of me, espicially being so high up surrounded by glass windows. There have been several after shocks, as expected, but neither Mitch nor I have felt them. They say the quake was felt from as far North as Canada and as far South as Alabama. I read somewhere, might have been FB can’t remember, that someone here in VA texted a friend in NYC to let them know about the quake and a few seconds later the person in NYC felt the quake. That is a bit erie, don’t you think?
Now if that isn’t enough weather anomoly for any storm chasing thrill seekers out there, we also had a Hurricane yesterday. I have to wonder what is next.?? Now we have survived a Hurricane in our house in 2003. Isabel; which brought tropical storm type of conditions to our area; did quiet a bit of damage. None of which was to our house, thankfully. We lost around 20 trees. All in our yard and none in the driveway. We were without power for 11 days. The ground was already so saturated prior to Isabel that the mud under the trees and the excessive water just weakened them and they fell one right after another. It took us weeks to clean up the aftermath Isabel left. We did buy a generator after the storm. We have been preparinf for Irene all week. Does anyone else think it is erie that both Hurricanes start with the letter I? I have been thinking this all week. When you live out in the country like we do and rely on a well, you know how bad things suck when you don’t have power. We filled up both bath tubs Friday night (so we could at least flush toilets), took out 3 gallons of our distilled water from our emergency essentials kit, stocked up on food, gas, propane, batteries, etc. This is where my OCD is helpful. Situations where advanced preparation is needed…..I am your gal. Other times OCD is just annoying like when I have to check the iron 10 times just make sure it is really off. But, I digress…….I also do not trust our local meterologists to be reliable when predicting extreme weather such as a Hurricane. I have learned over the years to rely on Dave with Weather Risk (www.wxrisk.com). He is usually spot on the money. He had been predicting a massive storm since Monday. Needless to say, we were prepared for the worst. The winds/rain started for us in the early a.m. and got increasingly worse as the day progressed. Below is the first sign of damage to our mini van. Back wiper…..gone.
This was no big deal. Then I found this guy (below) by our front porch. Not sure where he came from. We have lived here 11 years and I cannot ever remember seeing any turtles in our yard. We took him to safer, higher ground to ride out the storm.
Then around 7:30 p.m. things went downhill fast. We began to see those 60-70 mph wind gusts and sustained winds of 50 mph in addition to continued rain throughout the entire day. We estimate we got about 7 inches in total rainfall. Oh and did I mention we lost power at 2:30 p.m. Yes, it is still out. I anticapate to not have power for at least a week. The pups did really well through the entirity of the storm. Maggie wore her thundershirt all day. Best $38 I ever spent!!! Other than not wanting to go out to potty, who could blame them, they were angels through it all. We woke up at 5:30 a.m. this morning and headed outside around 6:30 a.m. to assess the damage. We knew trees had fallen, we heard them last night. we just did not know to what extent and where. Below is what we saw.
The mini van upon further inspection only suffered minor damage. One dent on the hood. No big deal. I was quiet relieved my car was able to be squeezed into the garage. Mitch worked all day Friday cleaning a space otherwise it would have been parked right beside the van and would have had significant damage, I am sure. We lost 5-6 trees down the driveway and one in the yard. We were completely blocked in.
Looking down the driveway.
Almost mid way down the driveway. You can see my neighbor’s house across the street.
Good-sized Oak bit the dust.
Driveway by the road looking back towards the house.
We now have 2 Oaks and 1 Maple that will need to be removed. We hate to do it but these trees are now leaning towards the house and the root/support structure has been compromised because of the storm. They will be taken care of this week.
Below is our Hurricane clean up kit!!!
2 1/2 hours, 1 Chainsaw, 4 peeps (including two of our neighbors) and 8 beers later and our driveway is clear. Horray!!!
They will be back to cut up the trees and take the firewood. Pretty fair trade I think. Well that and the beer, a case that is. What they didn’t drink, they took with them. By 10 a.m., we were no longer trapped by downed trees in the driveway. It was a good feeling. There is still much to pick up with all the debris around the yard but we are all okay and only slight damage (one piece of siding) was done to the house. We were lucky!! Just plain lucky!!!! Our thoughts are with those who remain in the path of this storm and to those who lost loved ones during the storm. We are continuing to keep a watchful eye on Irene as she makes her way North to New England. Our prayers are with our family in Maine. We hope they are as fortunate as we are.
A calm after the storm. It is sunny, no wind, 90 degrees, beautiful skies and beautiful day today. It is a bit toasty in the house as I am typing this. The gernerator does not run the AC so I am bit freaked about the pups. I keep checking their bellies to make sure they are not over heating.