Now that cable is back on, things are getting back to normal here at Casa Machina. For me, the storm was relatively uneventful. Never lost power, although there were some flickers in the afternoon. Much of the town is reportedly out, although I don't know how current that report is. The gas grill got knocked over yet again, despite my precautions. I'd placed it right next to the house, so that it would be supported when the wind hit. Instead the wind just bounced off the house and blew the damn thing over from behind.
The big Bradford pear out front survived yet anther major storm intact. It has to be the luckiest 23 year-old Bradford pear in existence. My next door neighbor's Bradford lost another good-sized chunk.
The cable went at around 6:30, and did not return until this morning, which is basically the same thing that happened with Irene last year*. Of course, last year I went to work the next day, so I had at least some source of news about what happened. Not so much this year. In these modern times I get all my news through the cable, either over the net or by TV. It was weird yesterday having absolutely no idea what was going on at all, even locally. It was actually pretty nice here for most of yesterday, partly sunny even, so the view from my front window was encouraging. In the old days I could've switched from the cable connection to rabbit ears, but even if I had a set of HD rabbit ears, they wouldn't work with my obsolete TVs. It's a mild version of the technology trap that James Burke described in the first episode of Connections
way back in the seventies. I suppose I could've dragged the radio up from the basement, but I don't have much faith in local radio giving me much of any kind of useful news.* It's strange to me that cable should be more vulnerable than power lines. Losing power I would understand. Power lines are the most vulnerable of the wires on the pole, and they can't be reinforced the way telephone wires are (which is why the phone usually work even when the power is out). Cable is even lower on the pole than the phone, so I doubt the issue is physical breakage of the lines.
Now that I can see the outside world again, it looks like Rhody got hit about as hard as it did with Irene, except for the beaches, which were clobbered. RIDOT flew a helicopter along the coast to assess damage. There are pictures here
. The photos run roughly west from Misquamicut Beach in Westerly to east in Newport, although I noticed the section of photos of the area I'm most familiar with, Narragansett, starting here
, is arranged in reverse sequence if they were flying west to east. It looks like the surge even broke through the sea wall
at one spot. If you happened to see any of the Weather Channel's live reports from Narragansett, they were made at the 4-way intersection in the upper left corner of this one
. The brick building there is the 'Gansett post office.
I talked to my folks down in Jersey last night. They live a long way from the beach, but still got clobbered. No power, no heat, but my brother hooked up a generator for them so they have some power. My mom had just gotten home from rehabbing after her surgery. What a nice welcome home. My sisters are also without power, and Jane has no water since her well pump has no juice. She and the kids are camped out at Rie's house, where there is city water, at least. Word is, at least according to the city councilperson neighbor that my dad talked to, that it'll probably be a week or so before the power is back. OTOH, I suppose it could've been worse. A big tree landed on my parents' next-door neighbor's sun porch. There a lot of very old, very tall trees in the neighborhood. Dad had the most at risk trees in his yard taken down a few years ago after one landed on the garage.
Now to go out and buy some treats to hand out tonight.