Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane Irene August 28, 2011 Long Island Under Water and Trees

In addition to the most rainfall ever in the month of August, Long Island, Suffolk County and other surrounding areas in the North East got smacked with Hurricane Irene.  Town workers clear a giant fallen tree.
 Huge old trees toppled over due to the soggy soil and winds.
The park near the Jarvis House suffered broken limbs and fallen trees.
 Electric, and phone cables have been out due to down wires as trees fell over.  Without electricity for more than a day, cell phone batteries died.
 This huge limb, the size of a medium tree, in my back back, fell on the wood pile, missing anything important.
 I heard this tip on the National Weather Channel, stuff the freezer with 3/4 full baggies of water before the storm.  After they freeze, not only would they keep the frozen food longer, but they would keep the refrigerator below cold longer.
 These are my highest rubber boots which I needed.
 The back yard flooded, but there between the barn door and the chair, underground is my outside sump pump.  It can run with a gasoline generator to empty out the water, and is piped  underground down my driveway.
 My old, but really good generator.
 The generator needed tweaking and two very nice gentlemen from the Greenlawn Centerport Historical Association got it going well.
Water in the basements.
 The outdoor sump pump does its job.
 The Huntington Volunteer Firemen helped me get half of the water out, because it was coming in faster than the pumps could remove it.
 Their pump does its job.

My candle holder that works best during the evening's darkness.  Usually I never burn candles in this old house, but I tried to make it a safe as possible.
 I have a gas range, so a cup of tea was possible, but no hot water for a shower.
 This is a siphon pump that my neighbor had.  It worked so well that it is now on order for the Jarvis House.
 It works just like the fireman's pump, and no one has to go into a dangerous basement full of water.
 The many branches and leaves that were down and needed to be raked up.
 The outdoor sump pump.
The only piece of mail on Monday (LIPA, the Long Island Power Authority).  They did their best, but it was daunting to get power back to the North shore houses.
 With so many people unable to cook, the bagel shop was buzzing.
 Fans drying out the furnace which is a steam system with a natural gas heater that I converted to in the 1970's when we had to wait on gasoline lines.  Remember that?
 I opened the basement windows for cross ventilation.
 A tall fan by the Bilko doors leading outside.  Here's hoping the water heater and the furnace start up again after they dry out.
Since the Jarvis House was built in 1838, many other things have developed, such as the paved road, other houses, and general development.  Only the basement is below grade.  The foundation is  way above grade and not in any danger of flooding on the first floor.  Nothing of value is kept below grade, and with electricity, the two sump pumps in the cellar and the outside pump can handle most rain situations.  This is the first time in 35 years that the electricity was out for such a long time during a storm.  With the new shopping list of generators and siphons things should not be this crazy again.  This old house suffered no tree damage. As with many of the area's historic neighborhoods, huge old trees hit houses.   We were lucky this time, but two trees that we removed last spring, would probably have blown down this week.  Two older dying and rotted trees are scheduled to come down before the Nor'easters hit this winter.


Elizabeth said...

You make the best of a pretty devastating event!
God documentation.
So glad the damage was not worse!

Willow said...

Wow, I'm so glad you're safe and that Jarvis House didn't sustain any damage. It could have been so much worse.

diane b said...

Sorry to hear of your flooding and yard mess but happy to know that you and your house are safe.

Kat_RN said...

I am glad it worked as well as it did. Sometimes these old houses are better than the new ones. Ours is much more comfortable when the power is out.
Glad you are ok.

Bella Bheag said...

As bad as it was it could have been so much worse! As long as life and limb is safe the rest can be taken care of. Glad to know you are safe.