An apocolyptic week in the Baltimore-DC region. Ok so last Tuesday’s earthquake was scary but not such a big deal, though it did do some damage to the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral. Mostly it gave us a bad commute home and some good stories to share. It may also have caused the sewage problem in Baltimore County, though the culprit there could be Irene and not the earthquake. Next we got Tropical Storm Irene. While DC and Northern Virginia didn’t get much of an impact, Baltimore and surrounding areas sure did.
In our neighborhood we had trees down, fences torn up, cars trapped, and multi-day power outages. We finally got power fully restored on Friday. Here’s how things looked from our front porch last Sunday morning:
Two big trees came down between our house and our neighbor’s. They blocked the street entirely and entrapped John’s Mini. Looks like the bike rack saved the day. The car’s paint is scratched and the antenna broken, but the rack held firm and I think it kept the tree from crushing the car’s roof.
The uprooted trees left big holes in our yard and damaged our fence.
Our bike storage shed came through unscathed. Now, that is good news! None of the big trees behind it came down, though they swayed a lot in the heavy winds. There were other good things too. One neighbor came over with a chain saw and helped John cut his car free of the tree. Another, who somehow still had power, invited us to run an extension cord from our refrigerator to his porch outlet. We have a gas stove and so were able to cook. There was much commiseration here and at work. All these things helped make the next 4 days more tolerable.
“More tolerable” does not equal good, though, and we struggled to keep our spirits up as the week went on. Each day I commuted to DC where things were normal. We had electricity, Internet and (thank goodness) showers at work. I got dressed and ready for work in the dark, and came home each evening to about 1 hour of waning daylight. Power was restored Wednesday night, but it went out again Thursday evening, this time affecting over 1,200 households. Friday while BG&E was finishing up they to turn it off again for a while. I know. It could have been worse. My heart goes out to those who have had to deal with much grimmer circumstances.
I’d been concerned for my sons and their housemates, since they live close to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. It turned out their neighborhood was ok. They had no flooding and they never lost power. They told us to come on over if we needed a place to stay, and we considered taking them up on that offer.
Today’s forecast – for tropical storms with 28 mph wind – made me shudder. So far so good though, just some distant thunder and gray skies. As for Katia, let’s hope that the storm stays out at sea and leaves the Eastern seaboard alone!