Sunday night turned out to be a goodnight, in fact a beautiful night with only brilliant stars and not a single cloud filling our local skies. So, I guess that Hurricane Irene lived up to the saying. There was not too much damage at my house. We had a leak, apparently through a wall or maybe down the wall from the eaves of the roof. I think it came it through two holes drilled in our wall for external electrical outlets, a box for our AC unit and a box for power outlets for outside. Something tells me the installer never put any silicone sealant around the wiring in the holes he drilled through the wall. I know he did not seal around the edge of the boxes. I will have to do that and see if we still get water in the next big storm. If so, it will be time to look up at the roof eaves. We got maybe half and inch of water at one end of the back room in the basement, concrete floor so no real problem. Most of the water had either soaked into the concrete or evaporated by the wee hours of this morning.
Outside, we had a few branches from each of our trees down. Nothing big. A tree around the block had a huge limb break off and crash onto a house, looked to be mostly damage to siding and to the gutters and such. Another tree about two blocks away came down. It took the electrical power lines with it. Amazingly they got rid of the tree earlier today and we already have power restored tonight. It was nice to see lights on the houses when I parked my car tonight. Nicer yet was that I knew the fish tank filters and air pumps were back on and I no longer had to rely on battery operated pumps to aerate the water. I think all the fish and salamanders made it but have to check closer as I jut gave a quick glance when I was setting up the dehumidifier in the back room. Since the first floor sub-floor and our beams got wet from the leak in the wall (the water was coming in at least 8 feet above the basement floor) I want them to dry out as soon as possible to avoid rot - thus the humidifier was set on high.
I am convinced I will be getting a portable generator. My neighbor has a 4,000 watt gasoline powered unit. He easily had his refrigerator, computer, televisions and some other things up and running. I am not that concerned about another storm like this but more about ice bringing down the lines in winter. We would be without heat because my oil furnace fires up electrically. Even if not hooked up to the circuit breaker box, I could at least set up some portable electric heaters in the house if I had a generator and keep pipes from freezing. Other appliances worked fine. Our water heater worked fine and I thought the thermostat was electrical - I guess not. Hot water for a shower was very nice. Of course, the gas range worked too. Well, not the electronic ignition but that is why someone invented matches. The BBQ grill worked fine too, and I grilled up some steaks last night. At least they were not ruined by lack of refrigeration. It would also be nice to have a fridge for warm weather power failures like this one. I am guessing we lost some food. Most seems okay but some salami I had in the fridge smelled rancid. I don't know about stuff in the freezer. I have to check to see if the electric company reimburses folks for such losses. I think they do but only if the power is out longer than 48 hours.
The neighborhood was mostly in pretty decent condition from what I saw of it last night and earlier today. I heard other trees came down and power was out here and there. Nassau County, NY had about 450,000 customers without power after the storm. It could have been worse though had Irene turned back into a Category 2 hurricane instead of fizzling into a tropical storm. No complaints from anyone I know about that though. No injuries in the neighborhood of which I am aware, no major damage to homes or property - so we were lucky.
All the best,