It's Friday May 24, 2013
September 19, 2011
In the weeks since Hurricane Irene, it’s been often said that no one thought Irene could flood Pamlico County any higher than Hurricane Isabel had in 2003. After all, that was the 100 year flood, surpassing the previous highwater storm of 1933.
Two 100-year floods within 70 years seemed a stretch after Isabel. But 2 inside of a decade? Who knew? More than any other, that may have been the biggest takeaway from Irene for all of us.
Or as TownDock reader Doug Sligh put it:
“This line is out of my lexicon: ‘It survived Isabel, so it will be alright where it is.’”
Oops. That’s just one of many “Lessons Learned From Irene,” compiled from what readers sent in. Some are practical. Others leaned more toward the philosophical. And several of them were like haiku, a few words offering glimpses of what had to be much longer narratives.
Here then, “Lessons Learned From Irene”, which are being updated as more come in.
After Irene flooded his first floor on South Water Street, Mike Vardy has been working to kill the chance that mold and mildew could grow in the walls or under the floors. From Robbie Beal, he got a mix-it-yourself mildicide formula. Basically, it’s one gallon bleach, to three gallons of water and a cup of TSP – TriSodium Phosphate which you can buy at the hardware store. Mix and spray on. Click here to download a PDF of the formula.
I disassembled 12 solar yard lights to make them easier to use inside. After charging in the bright sun all day they provided enough light to easily walk around the house and do simple tasks. Three grouped together were bright enough to read a book. Our power was out for six days and they really helped.
- Bill Deighton
Trip the automatic garage door closer. With power off you will need to raise door by hand. Bring your deed with the important papers.
- Tony Murtha
Make sure your power is OFF before tearing the wet insulation out from under your house.
- Dianne and Joe Clay
Read your insurance policy BEFORE the storm. It may be a guide in your storm preparations.
- Jim Colavito
Smart things: Taking the fishing boat off the lift and anchoring it in the yard both fore and aft with 100 feet of rode. Putting the sailboat on a mooring ball but double tying.
Dumb things: Thinking 300 duck decoys can’t go very far with weights attached. Thinking the kayaks would just float around the garage like rubber duckies. No. When the doors came off the kayaks and decoys migrated together into the Bay River like cousins at a wedding.
NoBrainers: Putting the “spare” generator up on the porch and not in the garage. Having the submersible pump on a higher shelf than the chainsaw. Having a spare LP regulator and connector.
News from TownDock.net was an invaluable “communication” during hurricane Irene and the stressful time after the storm. Thank you!
Cell phone charging:
12 volt car jump start battery boosters often come with one or more cigar lighter sockets. This was perfect to keep my cell phone charged during our time without power. Some boosters can be recharged from your car.
Water exiting a flooded garage, which happens rapidly, often bends or breaks the door outward. Leaving the door raised 6” let’s the water out without damage to the door. This is even more important if you don’t have (water) vents installed in the door.
I had 13” of water on my garages but no bending of the doors.
This hint was given to me by Deloris Townsend of Nationwide Insurance.
Chafe guards on dock lines:
Canvas guards worked well on cleats and pilings. I should have also used them to reduce abrasive action from tree bark.
Keep up the fine News from Oriental,
Marshall E. Tyler
If it’s important, stow it up high or take it with you when you leave.
Firewood will not stay put during a storm.
Remove weak trees in the Spring or early Summer, do not wait until August or September.
Fill the freezer in late October, not August. The power WILL go out.Doug Sligh and his 1991 NIssan truck in happier days, last December. The truck did not survive Irene’s flooding.
Don’t fall in love with a red truck. She will break your heart eventually.
To light up surroundings – or a page – when power is off and to keep your hands free, I recommend a lightweight headlight band with choice of infrared or led light. Mine is an “Energizer” and saved worrying about wind blowing the candles or hurricane lamps or keeping track of the flashlights and batteries.
Our biggest lesson is that propane tanks float well and if not turned off, they float and spew dangerous gas very effectively. Everyone should turn off their tank in anticipation of a storm surge, even if you are staying in your home. Though your tank may still float away, it will be somewhat less dangerous!
Mary Beth Thorn
When we walked through our neighborhood during the last hours of Irene our major focus was making sure that overturned propane tanks were turned off. Big lesson to everybody with a propane tank: Make certain that it is tied down!! REALLY SECURELY! If you are leaving your home, turn the gas off at the tank even if it is tied down. We saw a number of tanks that broke their tie down straps and their gas lines.