Well, so how did it go for you? At least here at the digs and most of the surrounding environs I think Sandy was kind. Don’t believe we got the predicted 60 mph gusts, although we did get fairly steady winds I think in the mid thirties, with some higher gusts. I think she (he?) took out revenge further north. Did you see some of the horror shots that were floating around on FaceBook of damage up in New Jersey and New York? Amazing.. Those poor people..
Anyway, living “on the water” with quite a nice view does come with a price (besides the inflated initial cost!). How high will the surge be? Is there enough rip rap to protect the shore this time? Will it erode the cliff? What about that pool that is feet from the precipice? Fortunately the winds shifted so that most of the higher winds were pushing water AWAY from the shore so surge wasn’t an issue here.
This year we had a new challenge. We are replacing the aging and cracking pool deck surrounding the gray lagoon. All the way to the ground, break up the old one and pour the new one. The current state is that we are waiting for the new cement to be poured.. Forms in place, then came the specter of Sandy.. so we awaited the pending storm like this:
With the forms in place it provides for a nice captive place for water to gather. Early Monday morning, I awoke before dawn to the unmistakable humming of the sump pump in the basement. It pretty much goes on only when things are bad. And it began to cycle.. a not good sign when much more precip is predicted and the prospect of no power to said pump of the sump. Besides doing the pool deck we are also redoing the patio just outside the lower level door, and I observed with much consternation it was almost brim full, trapped water with nowhere to go except down the foundation and into the pump. So I don my waterproofs, and go outside. Of course I didn’t take time to document anything in progress but here is the result of my labors after draining the thing.
The tools included that squeegee to get as much off the area as possible, a shovel used to create a hastily dug “ditch” for drainage (the hell with the lawn at this point)
And the little pump I used to drain the remaining puddles. I used that pump off and on through the day as water continued to accumulate. I knew it worked because the sump pump didn’t go on again. Engineering conquers all!. I also used the little pump to drain some water from the gray lagoon (it isn’t closed yet, another story) so that rain water wouldn’t overflow it.
At some point, you’ve done what you can do, survival (bottles) plan in place, candles assembled, flashlights gathered, ice hoarded for the survival effort, and you just sit back and wait. At about 5:30 the expected power outage came, everything got quiet (so that you could hear the generators kick in at the neighbors), and dark. It is funny how dependant you get on power driven things.. No computer/internet, no TV, no lights, no heat, no refrigeration, no hot showers, etc. In desperation, you are forced to actually talk to each other, or perhaps read a book by flash or candle light. Just think, people used to live this way all the time! And it’s the little things that surprise you. At one point I went to get something from the garage and instinctively hit the light switch. Oh, yeah. Let’s look in the fridge and see if there are limes… oh yeah, hurry up! Since we have a gas cooktop, MFO managed to put together a rather nice plate of spaghetti and we dined by candlelight. Hey, Monday night football is on…. Oh yeah.
We awoke this morning still with no power… what time is it? Oh yeah.. We eventually gathered ourselves and decided to do a neighborhood tour and get a coffee. We’ll just get in the car and I punched the garage opener.. Oh yeah. We were pleased to see relatively little damage in the ‘hood, and were even happier to see a bunch of power trucks and men at the intersection of Millstone and 235. We went into the mercifully open Coffee Quarter, ordered a HOT latte and cup of tea (MFO) and an egg, ham, and cheese sandwich on a croissant. We were chatting with the barista and mentioned we lived in Esperanza Farms with no power when from behind me came a “It’s BACK!”. Some other residents of the Farms were there for a similar mission as ours, but a daughter called to inform them power was back. We also saw some other friends who live near us and they also confirmed. Love those linesmen....
So, we enjoyed our sandwiches and headed back to the digs to see us welcomed by the porch lights I had turned “on” for just such an indication. Went inside and happily began the ritual of setting the digital clocks, turning on the fans, retune the thermostats, reboot the computer (holding breath all the way) and start to get back to “normal”. Soon the boats that had evacuated the piers along us began to reappear. And life goes on. You can sort of “make do” and “camp out” with candles and such for a while, but conveniences are nice.. i have to admit that night we didn’t