Suouthest After-Irene Check-in...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by LittleDudesMom, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know those in the mid-to-northeast are still getting hammered, but those of us in the southeast are just getting our first glimpses of the damage from Irene.

    First thing I saw was a tree down in my yard! It was standing when I went to bed at midnight, but this morning it's down. Fortunately it fell away from the house and the neighbors house, but went towards the street and blocked her driveway. There are branches, leaves, and debris everywhere!

    I think you've heard it said before, but I live in an urban forest and 85% of our city is without power. Miraculously, we still have power. This is a first because we loose power with minor thunderstorms. My cell is another story. Emergency calls only. I got some text messages over night, but can't respond or make calls - emergency calls only.

    If you were watching CNN (or other national news) you will have seen that because of the way this storm put together, the interior of Virginia got hit hard with wind and rain. We had sustained winds of upward of 71 MPH in the early/mid evening. Most of the day we were at sustained 35-57! It was unexpected. So this week it was an earthquake centered 30 minutes away followed by Irene. An interesting end to the summer.

    I hope, as this storm continues its path north, that our CD family stays safe and remains hunkered down.

  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'm glad you are safe, I slept very fitfully worrying about you and others. You can PM #'s and names to me if you need me to make a few calls for you. Give difficult child a big hug for me! Is easy child with you?
  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am not far from Sharon big trees near me and no damage to my home. Haven't heard from oldest but she was updating.fb last night so think she is ok. Power went out around 6:30 last night and still out, but power co says our area should have it.back today. Many others not so lucky.
  4. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Sharon, we had worse weather when we got the back end of the hurricane. As you know from the fb page, we lost a big pine that blocked the cul de sac. TG for the firemen. They came and cleared the way. At least if there was a fire, the fire dept can get through. I'm sure the neighbors are happy.

    You are right, an earthquake and a hurricane is enough for one week. I still can't believe that I have had to deal with 3 hurricanes in 3 different states. I think the jinx follows me. At least this time my house is still standing.

    Glad you are ok and you still have power. We have underground utilities so we are ok with power this time.
    Hang tight the NE part of the US, it will get better and don't go outside if it seems calm. Keep up with the weather reports to make sure it isn't the eye passing over.
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The just announced that this is the second largest power outage in Virginia history (second only to Isabelle in 2003) and 1/2 of those are in Richmond! difficult child and I just got back to checking out the neighborhood. Trees down galore. One dutch colonial had it's second floor split exactly in half by a fallen tree - everyone safe though. When you live in an urban forest, you learn to sleep on the 1st floor during a storm!

    We have really weird power grids here and there are five of us at my end of the block with power but the other 80% of the block are dark. My cousin, who doesn't live too far from me, has been without power since last night. She will be bringing the meat from her freezer over shortly. She was out at 6 am to find ice - it's hard to find around here.

    TM, easy child is at her place with no power but she's downtown so the power should be restored soon. She left here about 6 last night for a hurricane party! But she's a city girl and carried her flashlight in her purse - came in handy at midnight when she got to her place with no power.

    Crazy, since you are so close to all that commercial, I bet your power will be on shortly!!!! How did the grands do with the outage?

    Fran, underground utilities are the bomb! You have definitely been through your share of hurricanes.

  6. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just heard the hurricane update and they said Richmond got the strongest winds in the state - higher than the coast even when the hurricane went by - although they got a lot more water Richmond at 6 and they were 10"!
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had hoped that Richmond would be spared since my dad had His house seemed to be a magnet for hurricanes and trees! I called my step-mom last night who was hunkered down at her daughters house over in the far west end. She has a brick house as opposed to my dad's stick built - and tree They are without power and she will call me when she knows about the house. Crossed fingers on that one.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My update- well, it's been an adventure. The hotel lost power and communications yesterday about 2 mins after I posted that post on the previous thread. They had a generator which got us through 3-4 hours on minimal power- lights only, no ac, and still no communications and cell was not working. This morning, with NO coffee in my system, I went to car to listen to the radio to get an update since the rain had finally stopped. There was still no power or communications at the hotel. I couldn't hear any details on the radio except the vast number of people without power. I went to visit difficult child after sitting 1 hour in a drive-thru at the only fast food restaurant open to get a cup of coffee and a biscuit. Visitation was cancelled. I went back to hotel, still nothing up and running. I drove to surrounding hotels and found only half had power and those were all booked or didn't allow pets.

    Now- here is my beef for the weekend and it's geared toward the government officials who are supposed to be on top of emergency preparedness, supposedly having learned their lessons from previous times, and the media:

    When people have evacuated and most of those either ordered to or strongly encouraged to and it's been made well-known that we can exppect major damage, flooding, etc, and this happens and there is a MAJOR power outage, communications are down, and most of the places that are open must take cash only so they are going back to actually using math and counting change, so the only thing you have any hope of getting to to learn any information is a car radio, here are my suggestions:

    1) Don't refer people to a website or tv station
    2) Don't refer people to a place to call
    3) Provide REAL updates on the radio: such as "people who were told to evacuate from area ABC can now safely return, or can expect to safely return in 2 days, or people from area A can return but not those from areas B and C, or we will let you know at 8:00PM when you can safely return"
    4) If you are the dj of the ONLY radio station that can be heard 100 miles away and there's been such a disaster, don't just get only the radio with "updates" to say only "we have major power outages"; provide whatever detail you can, such as "outages appear to be in areas A, B, and C;or scattered throughout and there is flooding in neghborhhods ABC or scattered throughout", whatever. And the city officials should be gathering this info from emergency agencies and communication providers and the power company.

    The problem is that there are thousands of people dislocated from home with no power, phone service, or internet, or tv, who have NO idea if they should return home today, or plan to stay 3 days, and can't find out anything of any substance from the only source they have- that radio.

    I left to return home late morning due to not being able to find a place in that town that accepted pets, had power, and had a vacancy. I got half way home (and let's not mention traffic headed back that way right now), and stopped at a hotel. This is the cheapest hotel chain there is and I got gouged. But I'm here, in AC and with communications because I have no idea if I can get home, if my neighborhood is flooded (although it appears there's a huge chance it is) or if I have power and communications there (and I would assume they are out).

    I tried to get news from the website of a tv station in my hometown but they have high-tech videos of everything instead of "words" and this hotel hifi is too slow to let it load and run, so I'm still in the dark, so-to-speak, about conditions there. It wouldn't matter except this is not paid time off work and I have to make the time up IF my street is flooded and the hhouse has no power. If it does have power and I could get to it, then I have to use vacation time. And of course, the hotel is my bill even when told to evacuate. I'll get there tomorrow am. But I need a shower and to do laundry. I can do the shower here but it won;t last until Tuesday, obviously.

    And here I am spending time off feeling like it's all wasted instead of being able to get the dogs to the vet and seeing an attny re difficult child/PO stuff, as I so desparately need to do.

    It's taking this site about 3 mins to load every time I click on a thread or forum. Argghhhh!!!
    Does everyone want to get together and say "YOU ARE GROUTCHY" now? LOL!! Yes, I most certainly am today.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    see if the local news has a facebook page. Our local NBC news does and it's filled with pictures of neighborhoods, who has gas, ice, food, power, etc.

  10. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    my cousin and I just spend two hours driving from the city out to glen allen, mechanicsville, ashland. Glen Allen was hit real hard, all up route 1 power is out, businesses are closed and state police are at the major traffic lights. Huge pockets of mechanicsville and ashland/hanover are without power. Any gas station open has huge lines - any fast food places have huge lines and the parking lot walmart was fuller than I've ever seen it!

    Since we are talking not big station issues or even large transformer issues, I think it might be awhile before power is restored to neighborhoods since it's hit or miss trees down on power lines. It will take a lot of work and they are already talking about sending in crews from power companies to the west of virginia for help.

  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sharon, so sorry about the tree. And you didn't even hear it!

    I'm glad everyone is safe ... albeit grouchy. I know the feeling.
    I'm in husband's ofc, where he has AC --yes, AC!!! and a microwave.
    We took separate cars, so I can go home and paint or read by candlelight and flashlight while he and difficult child stay here for another 2 hrs. :)

    We lost one small pine and several scrub trees. No power, no phones. I can charge up my cell ph in my car (which, by the way, was so covered in debris it looked like a camouflaged army vehicle and I took it to the car wash). And I can get AC in my car. I heard that Ben Franklin is open and one of the Starbucks is open, but they are 20 min away, so it depends upon how desperate I get this week.

    I raked for a while this a.m. b4 it got to hot. Forgot to wear gloves. Duh. Now I'm wearing BandAids. :(

    I visited P at her assisted living place. She'd never been through a hurricane b4 and didn't understand what all the fuss was about. She does now! She has no power and no phones (heh heh ... no phone ... I'm kinda liking that ...) and was sitting outside in 92 degree heat in her nightgown and a sweater, chatting with-other residents, happy as a clam.

    Klmno, I agree, that TV and radio broadcasters can sometimes be lazy. "Power outages" is a worthless phrase.

    I'm hoping our power is back on tomorrow, but frankly, anything shorter than the 13 days we went after Isabel will be welcome.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    P.S. Klmno, how ironic that the hotel lost power. I think you have to go to Indiana or someplace when there's a hurricane on the E. Coast!
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member


    I can understand if the dj didn't have all the info to pass along- but isn't that part of the job of those in charge of the evacuation- to gather that sort of info and get it out to those who need to know it? Is there really any reason why mayors, city managers, governor, etc, couldn't get info from the companies and police/fire dept. then get that info to a radio station so thay can tell the public? I mean really, if they can get a website or phone number, can they not get the actual info that people need broadcast?

    I'm glad you're ok, Terry, even if uncomfortable. Same to the others in this region- we can survive a lot and I'm just glad no one from the board was injured.
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Klmno, did your neighborhood have flooding etc.? Are you back there and with electricity? DDD
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm not back in my neighborhood yet. I'm staying in a hotel about 50-60 miles away. This town still has 40-50% of places without power. From what I gather, over half of the households in "my town" are still without power and neighboring businesses are flooded. I can't get info on my exact residential area but it's just as low-lying as the businesses around it and the streets flooded before just after a regular, short storm. And communications and power go out over the least little thing. So I am expecting they'll all be out.

    My point of contact with the job (the "owner's rep"- not my super) had asked that we check in today so I emailed him and his only response was that he had no power and for me to contact him when I am back in town. I guess it just doesn't register with people that a person cannot make contact without power, cell, home phone, or internet, unless they show up in person and do you really want a person to show up at work if they can't do laundry or take a shower?
  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Good Grief, Klmno. I was hoping that your fears were unfounded. I know you're very intelligent but I keep thinking to myself "there must be someway to find out exactly what is going on. My brilliant to zip. If emailing is possible perhaps the pia Realtor or the pia Owner would be able to tell you?? In the aftermath of a crisis I guess you are stuck inbetween a rock and a hard place. I'm glad your safe but sorry you are in limbo. Hugs. DDD
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    realistically today the officials expect that most households have at least a cellphone if not a laptop or Ipad. with most cell phones you can access the internet to get to FB and get onto the weather channels FB page which would give you most of the needed information for your town. Or you can access your local news outlet via their www page. its all a virtual world today.

    Every news outlet I was watching was giving their apple apps or android apps. Maybe you should download one for whichever phone you use. This is exactly why I was telling everyone to get that thingy to charge the computers in the

    I think the government has done an amazing job with this storm. The agencies have been right on top of it from the get go.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    But if you don't have cell service available, none of that works does it?

    DDD, I can only assume that this "owner's rep" either has a generator or went into work to access email and respond to people. Actually, since I sent the email to both his personal and work addy (per his request) and he responded from the work addy, he must have gone into the office. We have security measures that would prevent otherwise, unless he has a gov computer at home with him and I don't think he has a laptop- I do but that's only because my job requires travel. The neighborhhod I live in is probably about 3 feet above sea level and there are a lot of old trees around and a port is 1/2 mile away that hasn't opened back up yet due to damage and/or flooding so that's what I'm making my assumptions on.

    As bad as it is for me, my boss's wife is due to give birth and they were both adamant that she would have the baby naturally, at a specific hospital, so refused to evacuate or go to a hospital a few days before being in "true" labor even though she was having the braxton-hicks (sp) pains. (Why am I not surprised.) And the roads between where they live and the "only hospital she would give birth in" were flooded, but they were warned time and time again.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Internet tends to be up more than cellphone calls actually and texts go through even when cell phone calls wont. Odd how that works. Smartphones are smart for a reason.
  20. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ohhhh.....I assumed if cell service wasn't availabe, then no communications would be. I know there were others at the hotel who said they couldn't communicate with anyone or find out any info. For one thing, cell batteries were dieing and whether or not they had the adaptor to recharge from their car, the rain was beating down and they weren't going to the car.