Me and Irene

So, this storm came to town yesterday and we lived to tell the tale.

Deb and I took the warnings seriously, having lived through a few, including a devastating one in 1992, our first winter in Fairfield. We stocked up on this and that while trying to find a good camping lantern for use. Stores were empty of lanterns, batteries, and similar tools by Thursday. Deb wisely ordered an LED lantern from Amazon which arrived Saturday morning. On Friday cooked every veggie in the house along with lots of chicken so we were fine as long as the fridge stayed cool.

Sunday morning we awoke to a house without power as the worst of the storm seemed to have come and gone. It went out at 4:50 a.m. and at least we were prepared – except for a radio. We somehow overlooked that vital component. We took turns powering up our cell phones to check in with the world and periodically sat in one of the cars to use the radio (which also allowed us to recharge the phones).

 

We spent the idle morning craving caffeine while I read and Deb spun fiber on her wheel. By 2 or so, things had died down enough that we leashed the dogs and headed out for a lengthy walk.  We gaped at the sizable trees that were down along with numerous power lines. As we got closer to downtown Fairfield we saw signs of life as several restaurants were open and doing brisk business.

After returning home, we read for a while then headed out for pizza as a treat. Returning home, we fired up the lantern and played backgammon until our early bedtime.

Much as I had hoped to wake up to power it was not to be. I subsequently learned that 64% of the town was powerless thanks to 80 downed power lines. There was massive beach flooding, countless trees blocking numerous roads, and 3 destroyed homes.  While this may sound partisan, I think our First Selectman, Mike Tetreau, did the right things from the beginning including the mandatory evacuation of the beachfront homes. He also sent out four townwide phone calls updating us to as to the current status of things. While some I know pooh-poohed the storm, it was as devastating as predicted and we’re better off over-prepared than caught by surprise. I’m also impressed by the public works, fire, and police services I’ve seen working through the day and night.

Once we were up, we headed into town and settled in at Chef’s Table where the coffee was good and the Wi-Fi operational. We settled in for the morning and spent a good three hours reconnecting with the world. Ironically, we left that splendid restaurant to come home for lunch and shortly after walking in the door, the power returned. 31 hours, almost to the minute, which was pretty good especially since our fridge was warming up and we could not find bags of ice anywhere in town.

Despite cleaning the property of branches yesterday, I went back out after lunch and did a second round. Then I folded up tarps and swept off the deck before moving to the front where Deb helped me sweep the driveway and curbs, bagging the debris for the dump.

We still have no cable/phone/internet and can only hope Cablevision manages to get the town reconnected soon.

Darien has closed today and tomorrow so the first day of high school kicks in Wednesday while my grad courses at Bridgeport begin tomorrow, just a day late.

All I can think is that it could have been much much worse and I hope all others affected by the storm recover without too much damage.

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