I don’t care what anyone says Irene was scary!  I cannot fathom the destruction and devastation that a Category 3,4 and 5 hurricane leaves in its wake.  Here in central NJ, the rain started in the early evening of Saturday.

And so….the girls played in the rain….

Irene was upon us by 11p.m. that night.  Thankfully, we were lucky.  Aside from 5 hours with no power, no sleep and 15″ of water in our basement which houses our furnace, we escaped unscathed.

It was a long unnerving night.  Situations like these make me feel so small, child like.  I had to repeatedly remind myself throughout the night that I WAS THE GROWN-UP.  I was IN CHARGE of my children’s safety AND for REMEMBERING to wear my darn TOOTH FAIRY HAT!!!  

1 a.m.– Sump pumps (we have 2) were unable to keep up with the water that poured into every crevice of our basement.  Dan and I attempted to bail….that is AFTER I overcame my unrelenting foreboding that most certainly A SNAKE was stalking me, lying in wait to ambush me, eagerly awaiting the opportunity to encase me in its slithering clutches and choke the breath from my body (in my mind ALL snakes squeeze you to death…welcome to my hell).  By unrelenting foreboding I mean….slow my heart that was racing and palpitating, recapture my breath to a state of normalcy rather than hyperventilating and eradicate  the visions of my impending DEATH BY A SNAKE.  For Pete’s Sake Lisa…GET A GRIP…there is a HURRICANE HAPPENING and you have a HOME AND CHILDREN to keep safe!  And so, I took a deep breath and plunged into my unambiguous demise….er…uh, I mean into the dark, muddy, murky, no-way-to-see-the-snake-coming-for-me water of our basement, which at that point was reaching my knees.  We bailed approximately 30 minutes to no avail.

It was time to call for back-up!!  And by back-up  I am referring to my ABLE-BODIED children!

Imagine being awaken by your mom at 1:30 a.m. incoherently babbling about the urgency of your rising (from your cozy bed and sweet dreams) for a rescue mission of a furnace!!

You want us to do WHAT?  Now?!!  All kidding aside…the girls were great, not a whine did they utter…no huffy sighs….no rolling of the eyes…thanks girls!

And so….we BAILED!

We bailed for 40 minutes…tiring…we figured we were emptying 30 gallons per minute.   That is A LOT of water.  Grievously, we couldn’t even make a dent….sigh.

And so….we waited for Irene to pass.

15″ of WATER!  

This is where I decided to “zen” myself…heehee.

3 million people without power!  Homes destroyed.  Roads caved in.  Bridges collapsed.  We were lucky.

Sunday morning the FANTASTIC White House Station Fire Company pumped us out!  Yay!  Unbeknownst to me, our furnace was not our only concern….our basement also houses our electric panels….DANGEROUS!!  The fire company first sent out a man to inspect the basement to confirm that we, in fact, had as much water as we claimed….

 Fifteen minutes later, the fire truck arrived….

They set up…..

             

Rescued a long lost binki….

And 2 hours later, we were the proud owners of a water free basement.  It took the firemen 2 hours to pump out the water with a trash pump and a sump pump….sheesh.

They packed up.  

We gave a donation, that I had to practically FORCE into their hands!  We called the furnace peeps!

To my EXTREME relief and shock, 24 hours later we turned on our furnace and hoped for the best!  AND IT WORKED!!   Remarkably, our only fallout is dealing with the fact that Talia now carries her dream catcher with her at all times…..this, of course, is to catch her scary thoughts about hurricanes….poor lil’ bunny.

I am grateful for our favorable circumstances.  Most importantly, I am thankful for the health and well-being of my loved ones.  As horrible as it is to be faced with destruction, our loved ones are irreplaceable and we must try to hold this truth in the forefront of our minds and hearts.

Thank you to our Fire Company and the many volunteers who are helping to restore the East Coast. 

If you are able help a neighbor.  Offer a shower if you have water.  A dinner.  A tv show for the kids.  The smallest gesture offers, if nothing else, a feeling of hope and camaraderie.  There is nothing like feeling alone.

Reach out.

I send prayers, love and positive thoughts for those who experienced and are still experiencing devastation from Irene.

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