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Back in August, 2003, just a few months after we moved into our house, Alexandria and Washington, DC were dealt a glancing blow by hurricane Isabel. Being an area that tends to over react with disasters or extreme weather, the government shut down for two days, the metro stopped running above ground, and people started to prepare while others started to panic.

The result was an indirect hit that slid up the coast, but it was accompanied by significant flooding and left some in the area without power for up to and beyond one full week.

The day after the hurricane we went for a walk to survey the damage. Here are some of the things we saw.

King Street was seriously flooded and the first several blocks were under water.

As the flood water receded, river debris was left strewn throughout streets and shops.

Some had no choice but to wade through the water to get to where they were going (we even saw some kayakers in the street).

Walking up through the parks you could see the extent of the damage to trees and homes.

Several businesses were closed for months to repair, and some still have water level markers in their stores to show the extent of the historic flooding.

Our neighborhood was lucky and we lost power for a total of 15 minutes that day. Wendy and I actually spent the majority of the storm in the basement stripping paint from a disgusting cabinet we bought off eBay. We received the cabinet only a few days earlier, so it was perfect timing to get us a good start on the work. To this day, the smell of Peel Away 1 reminds us of Hurricane Isabel. Ahhh, memories.

Now, almost eight years later, another "I" letter storm, Hurricane Irene, is preparing to make landfall along the east coast tomorrow and is threatening the DC Metro area Saturday into Sunday.

What are the odds of a significant earthquake of the largest magnitude ever recorded hitting the area, only to be followed up by a potentially significant hurricane just five days later? Really, any statisticians out there have any ideas?

With my WEEK OF ALEX ending last night when Wendy returned to town, we immediately move into planning mode for the storm. Why? Because I didn't do any grocery shopping during WEEK OF ALEX, but I did eating. This means there isn't much food in the house. That's bad news given the tendency of people to panic and go on a bread, milk, and toilet paper buying spree with the first mention of "major storm" by local news outlets.

Fortunately, we have enough bread and toilet paper, and we drink almond milk, so we should be all set there, they never run out of that stuff. If you're reading this on Friday, there's a good chance Wendy is braving the mob of shoppers to prep for the weekend and pick up a few recipe items and essentials that I shockingly survived without (I don't know how I did it :P ). 

I also hope Wendy picks up some party essentials because nothing beats a good hurricane party.

We're planning on live blogging the storm as long as we keep power. If we lose power or internet, we'll do a little tweeting while we have batteries in our phones. It's our first "Live Blogging" attempt, so we shall see how it goes. Wish us luck, and drop by to see the carnage typical overreaction of the area. Maybe I'll be able to convince Wendy to let me leave the house and do an "on the scene" reporting type of thing. During Isabel I wasn't allowed to :-( 

If you're in the path of Irene, I wish you luck and hope you are able to emerge unhurt and undamaged. Stay safe east coast, we've put up with a lot over the last several days. 

Hopefully next week we'll be able to turn this blog back into a DIY renovation blog rather than a DC area natural disaster blow. But until then, you can play this and change the words on your own... Come on Irene!

Comments 1


8/27/2011 at 12:58 AM
Also funny anecdote... My middle name is Irene, and my sister's name is Eileen, and I was always jealous that Drexy & the Midnight Runners sang about her middle name and not mine.
Stay safe and dry!!
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