The morning of Irene, the kids woke up and looked out the windows.
“We told you it would just be a little rain,” my daughter said.
“You did say that,” I responded.
“And you said it would be a big storm,” she prodded.
“None of us is the expert. You made a lucky guess,” I said.
I was thankful we were okay and that everyone we knew was okay, but I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. I had kind of wanted my kids to experience a real storm – but safely. One of these days there really will be a direct hurricane hit here, and nobody will believe it.
Upon further inspection, I discovered my gutters had come a little lose in three spots. That will require some tacking down. Maybe we did have enough of a storm after all.
I drove to the library to return a movie. The traffic lights were out. I passed three uprooted trees. The Longwood Public Library was closed. The Middle Island Wal-Mart was boarded up and the parking lot was empty. On the front were several signs: “We are sold out of water, flashlights, and batteries. We apologize for any inconvenience.” The Middle Island King Kullen was open and stocked with most items.
On Monday, we thought we would inspect the erosion at Smith Point State Park Beach (see my review joltleft.com/motherhood-in-long-island/beaches-101-smith-point-beach… ) . Thankfully, the traffic signals were functioning again. Before the bridge was a sign that digitally declared: “Park Closed”. Two official vehicles blocked the bridge from entry. The marina was also gated off.
We turned down Parkview Lane toward Shirley Beach. That was also gated off, but the entry to the play park was open. People picked up pieces of wood that had washed up and took them away. My kids flew a kite in the gentle breeze. Some of the windows of houses facing the bay still had tape or corkboard covering them. On the side streets returning, we could see signs of massive cleanup. A large tree had come down on an electric wire, which was on the ground, stretched to dangerous limits.
We stopped at the King Kullen in Shirley, which was open and fully stocked. We went to our library again, which was still closed. Yellow tape was stretched around a fallen tree, its roots exposed.
We turned into the Wal-Mart parking lot. The plywood was off the windows, and the cars were sparse. “Probably the employees restocking the shelves,” I told the kids. A car was blocking the entrance and an employee made a hand sign that they were closed.
On the radio, a meteorologist stated that this year several hurricanes will follow the same path. The next one is due in 15 days. “Consider this last one a dress rehearsal for the direct hit of a real hurricane,” said another of my favorite meteorologists.
I have a full stock of batteries and water, a roll of strapping tape, and five loaves of bread. Maybe I should leave the flower pots and lawn furniture in the garage.