While my home suffered no damage due to Hurricane Irene, I was stuck at work for thirty hours because of the storm and the resultant flooding. If I had been asked about Irene's severity at four in the morning, I would have opined that Irene was really no worse than a typical Nor'easter (granted, a Nor'easter is certainly no picnic). By five-thirty, the rain began to pick up, and things got interesting. The major task I had to perform throughout the night was monitoring a pump that our head of maintenance had set up to prevent our (sandbagged) basement from flooding. Every half-hour or so, I had to venture out in the night and wind to check up on the damn pump, and (if necessary) get it started again. Luckily, I had packed as if I were on a camping trip- I ended up changing clothes more often than Lady Gaga does in the course of a concert.
In the light of day, things didn't look so bad, water not too high, pump working on the main building. The rain stopped around eight AM, and I figured I was out of the soup, but (Irene being a huge, slow moving storm) the accumulated floodwaters dumped in the region caused a local waterway to crest For a while, I and the skeleton crew that had showed up in the morning, thought "we're gonna make it, we're gonna make it" but then the stream overtopped the bank, flooding another building on site to a depth of a foot and a half. I was standing calf-deep in dirty, rushing water as this dimwit was characterizing Irene as a bunch of hype. It must be nice to live in a bubble. Of course, with local roads being flooded, I wasn't getting home, and my relief wasn't coming in. I hunkered down until nine PM, when the guy working the Monday graveyard shift came in to relieve me, three hours early. He's not my type, but I could have kissed him.
I got my ass kicked, but, besides being dirty, fatigued, and sore, I skated out of things pretty well. Others, of course, weren't so fortunate.
Enough of my yapping, think I'll post a video- here's The Storm by Scotland's Big Country, with an intro that beautifully showcases the late, great Stuart Adamson's use of the E-Bow, which gave the band its characteristic sound: