After Irene – We’re the lucky ones

We sat comfortably in our dry house during the storm and listened to the wind whistling through the trees.  I thought we might lose power and made dinner early, since we only have a small generator, which couldn’t power the well pump or stove.  The power flickered on and off and was out for about a half hour. To prevent a mess in the freezer, I finished what was left of the half gallon of ice cream stored there. Then the power returned.  We got a call from neighbors to let us know our dead end street was under water from the river a half mile away.  We donned our foulies and headed out.  We didn’t get far.  We live atop a hill but when we got down to river level, we were walking through a three foot deep, rushing stream.  The road was flooded, with more water streaming onto it, for a half mile and I was unwilling (perhaps unable) to forge against the current to check out the bridge over the actual river, which is our only way to and from our house.

Our road becomes river road

Thigh high

By morning, the water had receded but washed out the road.  No problem.  I had my bike and walked/rode it down the street, over the bridge and merrily made my way to work.  I passed major road erosion, downed trees and detours and closed roads.  I stopped at the food store on my way home and by the time I got back to my road, it was already repaired – filled and graded with sand and stone.

We are amazed to see the amount of damage Irene caused in the North Country.  Neighboring towns have extensive flooding, small brooks flooded with the 11 inches of rain and became locomotives tearing things down along the way — roads, bridges and houses.  The entire Eastern High Peaks, where we camped last week, are closed because of washouts, flooding and limited access.

Yesterday a NY State Trooper pulled into the driveway to tell me the State DOT had inspected our bridge and found damage and was closing it until it’s repaired.   How long? Can’t say.  So for now, we’ve left our cars on the other side of the bridge and will ride our bikes or walk to them.   We are used to this after spending a winter on Fire Island where we had to ride two miles to our cars.  But we had garbage pickup.   I haven’t figured out how we’ll haul our trash out.

The bad news

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