Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Come On, Irene

I know. It's not an original thought. But the song got in my head almost as soon as I knew the hurricane was bearing down on us.

The smart thing, would have been to hunker down in my NYC apartment. Our neighborhood was unscathed by the storm.

Unfortunately, we already had plans to leave the City for a family visit, one which involved collecting my mom in Saratoga Springs and bringing her over to my sister's in Vermont . . . with us staying at a motel somewhere in between.

Vermont did not survive unscathed. Neither did many of the areas on the drive back to Saratoga or down into the City.

It started off gently enough. Steady rain. There was no thunder or lightning. No high winds.

At three, a police car drove by issuing warnings from its loudspeaker. It was gone before anyone knew what the announcement was. Neighbors gathered on their front lawns to discuss. Word trickled in that a car or bridge had been washed away.

We decided it was best to head back to our motel, just over the border in New York. But in the twenty minutes that had passed since the indecipherable warning, the police had shut down every bridge leading out of Bennington, Vermont. We were trapped.

The rain had stopped. Everything looked normal. Larry, Jill, and I decided to go see what was going on. The police wouldn't let anyone near the bridges, so we scaled the flood wall that sat about thirty feet from the Wallomsac River.

Our short walk convinced us closing the bridges was a good idea. We camped out on the floor and took a circuitous route home the next day. Everywhere we drove, we saw rivers churning over their banks, sometimes over houses and cars.

Happily, home safe.

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