Well, it looks like this will be a doozie.
Four of the eight possible tracks on that image from The Weather Channel go directly over my home.
The Weather Channel's website had a few pieces of information.
This is taken directly from their website, minus the emphasis, which I added. Consider the italics the places where I had to reread a few times for my brain to process:
"- Irene is a hurricane that poses an extraordinary threat and is one that no one has yet experienced in North Carolina to the mid-Atlantic to the Northeast and New England.
- We can now narrow the projected path corridor. Confidence is growing that locations from eastern North Carolina and the eastern Mid-Atlantic states to Long Island to southern New England are all in the potential path of Hurricane Irene.
- It is becoming clear that Irene's future track will NOT be a Hurricane Earl (2010) scenario where a hurricane barely brushes the Outer Banks of North Carolina then stays well offshore.
- There is historical precedence for a hurricane impacting the major metropolitan areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast but these hurricanes are rare.
- However, with a population explosion along coastal areas of the Northeast during the past several decades, a hurricane this strong hasn't affected the Northeast urban corridor for at least the past two decades.
- Regardless of track and intensity, confidence is growing that Hurricane Irene will cause extensive tree and power line damage. Electricity infrastructure will be greatly compromised for millions if not tens of millions of Americans.
- Recent heavy rains over parts of the Northeast, especially New Jersey, have made tree root systems highly vulnerable. Flooding rains combined with high winds will add to tree destruction.
- Extent of water level rise (surge) for local bays, inlets and sounds is dependent on the local geography however suffice to say new high water marks could be set.
- Severity of Irene's impacts are dependent on the final track.
- Please begin to think about and act on your hurricane preparations. Now is the time."
Scary, right? Yeah. Scary. Seriously scary. I'm not quite certain what to do. I live here. This is my home. I should stay because the storm will pass and I will need to assess the damage. I will need to make sure that everything is OK. (Like my new kitchen. Sigh.) But then there is that what if that is nagging at the back of my mind. What if?
I live in the purple area. The "extreme" threat area. I'm making the (hopefully) appropriate preparations. (I bought Oreos.)
I was able to place most of our outside furniture, grill, the neighbor's grill, my bike, plants, construction junk, etc in our little shed. I did manage to break one of the window panes on the door with the handle bars of my bike. (Oops. Sorry, beau!) I couldn't fit the wheel barrow, outdoor heater, or my potted lavender plant inside. Hopefully they are heavy enough to not blow around and crash through a window.
I went to the store for supplies. I'm emptying the ice maker into bags to keep things cold when/if the power goes out. I've got a plan with neighbors to move vehicles to a parking garage at the local university. I've got flashlights, candles, batteries, water... but I'm still nervous. This gal is no joke. Irene will be mean. (I just made that up, so if it is a headline in the papers, they can credit me, please.)
Beau is out of town for work and there is no way he can come home; that's part of his job. I'm not going to lie (even though he may read this and I really want to put on a brave face for him), I'd feel better if he was here to be strong. He's not, and so I will take that fear that is slowly growing, push it down, keep it there, until it turns to resolve.
My father (who is directly in the path as well--he's on the Albemarle Sound in NC) says I'm stubborn. That's true. I'm not stubborn enough, though to ignore sage advice. If this thing gets more powerful overnight, I'm out of here first thing in the morning. I'll wait it out in Williamsburg at mom and Perry's house. I really don't want to do that. I don't want to be stuck there not knowing what the damage to my home was.
I am comforted by my neighbors, though. most of them are staying and most of them have been here long enough to know how bad the flooding can get. Katharine, my neighbor across the street has been here for 50 years. She came over to let me know if I need any help I just need to come get her. Bless her heart, she's 80 (ish) and lives on her own. She assured me that her house is more low lying than mine and I should be fine. I'm not 100% sure.
Look at it from space. "High above the Earth from aboard the International Space Station, astronaut Ron Garan snapped this image of Hurricane Irene as it passed over the Caribbean on Aug. 22, 2011."
(Photo and quoted caption from here)
I'll keep you posted, and I'll post photos (albeit not as jaw dropping as Ron Garan's) when I can.
Prayers would be appreciated.
What would you do if you knew getting home would be an issue? What if the city just issued a mandatory evacuation for all low lying areas? What if you looked on a map and you were low lying for a category 1 and this is looking like a category 3?
I know. I should leave. I'll assess in the morning and make my final decision when Mean Irene makes her path of terror more apparent.
Note: Beau and I both have family all the way up the East Coast. I'm hoping and praying for safety for everyone we love from North Carolina to Massachusetts. Will you join me?