Your chainsaw engines, that is! It has been a wild week thanks to Hurricane Irene. First it went right through the Abacos, and we had our fingers and toes crossed that everyone was okay and damage was minimal. My eyes were also crossed from spending so much time on the computer trying to get any and all information available off the internet. Luckily several people were able to still post updates on their Facebook pages, including pictures and videos. Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue has a website that they were posting reports on also (click HERE for their website). When the Category 3 hurricane continued on its way, and the damage was assessed, it wasn't as bad as expected, with no injuries or deaths, which was wonderful news. Clean up is immense as it seems that most damage was to trees and plants, and chainsaws are even being brought in from the States to help clear the debris. This I can certainly understand after watching the video of the storm, and wonder how any trees or buildings were left standing at all.
For a video taken by Neil and Phyllis during the storm in Hope Town, click HERE.
For many pictures posted on Facebook by Cookie at Firefly Resort, click HERE.
Power and phones are starting to come back into service, but we still haven't heard anything about our boat in Green Turtle Cay. However today, the boatyard posted on one of the message boards that told of several boats that fell off their stands, and New Horizon wasn't on the list. They are still checking all the boats inside and out for any damage, so we have to wait for them to contact us. This is a huge job that takes lots of time, so we figure, "no news is good news."
As Hurricane Irene made its way up the eastern shore of the U.S., my eyes were still glued to my laptop screen, waiting for the three hour updates as to what her path north was going to be. There seemed to be a constant clicking of the mouse back and forth between hurricane updates and the latest Abaco message board news. Unfortunately the predictions didn't waver much as Irene headed almost directly between us in upstate New York, and my sister near Manchester, NH. For once the rest of my family in Florida wasn't in the 'cone of doom' (although my nephew in Daytona has really enjoyed surfing the big waves)!
The day before the now Tropical Storm Irene was due to pay us a visit, it was absolutely beautiful out and we all wondered if we should take the warnings seriously. I did store away anything that might blow away, or clank around outside, "just in case". Dave helped our friend Jim haul his boat out of the water up at Sacandaga Lake, since the lake's water depth really varies, and the winds were predicted to be 35-60 mph. It was such a calm evening they almost went for a ride in the boat instead. We are all so glad that we took the precautions that we did, because Irene showed us no mercy.
We woke to howling winds, driving rain, and trees crashing. After about 8 hours the weather had eased enough to go check the damage. In the end the high wind gusts and 6-7" of rain took its toll around the property. Trails were barely accessible, and a huge tree size branch fell in the backyard along with another tree out front, blocking the driveway.
Although overwhelming at first, clean up has begun, and we put a huge dent in the mess, thanks to Chris, Suzanne, James, Jim, their chainsaws, and the New Holland!
When we finally got out and around the town, we realized that the tree damage in our whole area was intense, with roads not only closed because of downed trees and power lines, but also because flooding is occurring in many streams and rivers, including the Mohawk River. The media is calling it a 500 year flood. Many bridges over the river were closed and the 10 knot current is dragging huge trees, debris, and even a few sheds, down the racing river. Below are a few pictures of Mohawk Park where the boats were hauled out when they knew flooding was going to occur.
Also, here is a picture of Jumpin' Jack's Drive-In Restaurant that was sent to us.
This is where our local water ski team is based out of (Click HERE to see them featured on CBS). Their docks have floated downstream.
Vermont also has major flooding issues and roads are washed out. All of this makes our downed trees seem very insignificant.
All I can say to summarize this week is to quote what so many people are saying..."Good Night Irene!" I'll just add good riddance to it too.