Posted by: Debbie Abrams Kaplan | August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene – View from the Ground

As some of you know, we were vacationing last week on  a barrier island in South Carolina with Mark’s family. By Tuesday, we all decided to reschedule our Saturday and Sunday flights to Thursday. Concerns over island evacuations and the hurricane there. Turns out the New Jersey Kaplans needed to worry more about the hurricane hitting New Jersey. Our Thursday flight was cancelled due to rain in New Jersey. We worried that our Friday flight would get cancelled as well, and we’d have to try to get out through Charlotte, NC or even drive the 12 hours home in the rental car.

We got a room at a hotel with free happy hour  (our favorite kind) and got tickets the next day to see historic Charleston houses before heading to the airport. We only made it through one house, since they were closing early due to the storm (which started while we were touring).

Fortunately we got out on Friday. The airports in NJ/NY closed at noon Saturday, confirming our fears that we would have been stuck there. Friends trying to return from CA this weekend got rescheduled to flights next Thursday.

We returned home exhausted, but still had to get the house ready. The grocery store was not as bad as I thought it would be on a Friday night. Since I never shop on Friday night, I can’t compare it to the normal crowds, but people were surprisingly nice to each other.

The one picture I didn’t get was of the water aisle – I didn’t even go there (we have enough at home).

Slim pickings in the bread aisle

shredded cheese was quite popular as well

eggs were in short supply

plenty of ice cream!!!

We evacuated the LEGOs and were able to see the basement floor for the first time in 2 years.

our new LEGO display case

Our basement floor – fortunately dry. Normally covered in LEGOs. I was able to vacuum!

Though all public transportation and airports were closed by noon Saturday, the rain didn’t really start in force until around 9 p.m. The worst was to hit between 3 and 9 a.m. Sunday. We awoke with trepidation.

This is where I normally park my car. We worry about this tree falling down and hitting the car, and taking down our power and cable. Fortunately the branch that fell wasn’t very big.

This is one of the trees that had me worried when going to sleep last night. Visions of a tree like this hitting our house. Notice the branch that came down.

The kids watching the storm, a hummingbird (we haven’t seen those here before), and playing Poptropica and Club Penguin.

The storm isn’t over, but by 10 a.m. it slowed here considerably. We haven’t lost power, but some in town have (as well as neighboring towns). Some reports of floods in neighboring towns, basements with water, and sewage overflowing. This confirms why we didn’t buy a house in the neighboring town (thank you Mark for looking up flood zone information when researching where we should live).

We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re grateful to have escaped damage. Seeing friends’ Facebook photos of their areas (from Washington D.C. to PA and NJ), and the Shore, are a little scary. We’re awaiting word from Mark’s company as to whether they’ll be open tomorrow (possible flood day!), and NJ Transit is starting to assess their trains. Apparently the tunnels into NYC are flooded, and water overtook the banks of Battery Park City in New York, as well as several other areas. Here’s the NYT blog on what’s happening there.


  1. Glad you are all safe and dry. We’d been watching the news and thinking of you. Just want to say that it’s sunny and warm here in CA. As always, I might add. (Well, almost always.)

  2. Deb, I was equally as worried about the trees around our houses and we all slept in the living room on air mattresses because of this. Rob thought I was being a little carried away, but I had terrible visions of one of those enormous trees crashing through my skylight! Better to be safe than sorry, right?

  3. […] Guess what we’re doing this weekend? […]

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