It was a blowdown, not an all-out blowout, and that’s more than OK with me. Irene, the first hurricane I’ve felt up close, left almost 5 inches of rain, a massive power outage and enough branches and leaves in my garden to keep me busy for a while.
But the storm also leaves the lasting experience of having an awesome act of nature become the center of life in ways large and small – and the widespread belief that there will be more to come.
Years ago, I wrote stories for the Los Angeles Times about hurricanes, but that was after they’d gone; I did not live with the waiting, watching and worrying in the days and hours before the storms struck. Nor did I have to deal with the aftermath of those storms.
That changed last week as I read and watched Irene reports with trepidation, trying to gauge what it might destroy, whether we’d need to dash to safety in the basement, whether it would dump enough rain to flood the basement again. Such concerns were enough to keep my wife Lyn and me awake much of Saturday night, so we heard Irene roar in, heard the unmistakable crrraaack! of a tree, the sounds of unknown objects going thud in the night.