Monday, August 29, 2011

More Irene Follow Up

I've seen several stories calling the new coverage of Irene over-hyped, and in some measure it was. However, what a lot of folks seem to have forgotten is that even a Category 1 hurricane dumps a lot of rain on an area, and combines it with high winds. Irene may have been no Katrina, but that's far from saying it was a non-event.

I was lucky in that I only had a relatively brief power outage (9 hours, followed by a 1 hour outage). However, I did get some water in my crawlspace which has resulted in my den being filled with stuff that was in the crawlspace, while it dries out.  Combine a ton of rain along with already saturated soil, and you have a recipe for flooding.  Several areas including upstate New York and Vermont have seen massive floods.

Two words I repeatedly heard at work today were "sump pump." A coworker has a home with a wet basement. He'd gone and bought an auxiliary sump pump beforehand and used it along with his primary pump, until the auxiliary unit burned out.  He's looking at getting his yard landscaped to better divert water away from his home, getting his basement waterproofed, and seriously considering an automatic, natural gas powered generator to power the sump pump in the event of a power outage coinciding with flooding.

Over at Snowflakes in Hell, Sebastian and Bitter have posted about their experience in trying to keep water out of their home, along with a few other major inconveniences.

Aside from the flooding, even sub-hurricane force winds can take down trees, which knock down power and phone lines.  We have a lot of people in the northeast without power now, and who won't get it back for several days at least.

No comments: