August 31, 2012

Typhoon Bolaven. . . The End.

I have to say I'm sorry that it's taken me a week to write about the rest of the typhoon. One of the reasons is that we lost power in the middle of the night and were without it for 15 hours. While being without electricity for 15 hours is annoying, irritating, and infuriating, especially considering that my neighbors down the hill still had theirs, it could hardly be considered a hardship in comparison to what could have happened. Also, my son starts school after the Labor Day weekend and we've been very busy preparing for that.

So here are my thoughts on the beast that was Bolaven. First of all, it was not nearly as bad (for us) as they made it out to be. Its intensity diminished a bit right before it hit us, which isn't really saying much once the winds get over 100 mph. It was downgraded to a Cat. 3, but then back up to a 4 as the eye was approaching and within a few hundred miles of the island. My family lives up on top of a hill so you'd think that would make the winds worse for us. But our building is protected by a retaining wall on two sides, and another building on a third, which really muted the worst of it for us. It was actually louder upstairs where the winds and rain had easier access to smash up against the windows, than it was downstairs which is a bit more protected. I can only imagine what it was like for folks who live right on the beach. Aside from our power outage we had no real significant damage in my neighborhood. A few saplings didn't make it, and there were some small downed branches, but everyone's windows, and cars survived. Several people did experience leaking and flooding, but we got lucky and did not.

I did learn a few things from this though. My typhoon preparedness skills are not totally lacking. We had more than enough food and water and batteries. We'd have been fine for a few days!! My husband's grill, which I had to tie down to our patio and sandbag, didn't move an inch, nor did our garbage can which received similar treatment since I refused to bring either item inside my house. Next time though I will make absolutely certain that we have multiple computers, ipads, iphones, etc powered up and use only one of them at a time, and use them sparingly. I'm also considering purchasing a second Leap Frog Leap Pad for my daughter so that BOTH kids have one for such occasions. My kids were bonkers with boredom! We did everything we could think of! We played board games, cards, did arts and crafts, played tic-tac-toe and other various games of that sort. We played hide and seek, did gymnastics in the living room, put on a play, read books, took naps, played with the dog, and so much more. But by 2 PM they'd had enough and so had I! That's not to say we can't live without technology, it's just that when we do live without technology we're usually able to leave the house. Anywho, the stress and pressure of having to instantaneously come up with new activities to keep a 2 and 5 year old entertained prompted me to crack open a bottle of wine around about noon, and I ran out around 4. Lesson learned. Next time, buy more wine. Not to get drunkity drunk drunk, per say, but a glass an hour to take the edge off would be ideal. And all those who know me well, know that I have a perpetual stick up my ass thus, wine (during a 15 hour power outage whilst stuck in the house with 2 children and having no chance of leaving, hiding, or escape, and having my husband gone) is an asset.

Another thing that my first typhoon experience taught me is that our houses rock. They're made out of concrete and can withstand just about anything. The sounds of the wind gusts and the rain running into our house at 100+ mph were quite loud, we could barely hear the rest of the storm. . . until our power went out. . . and with our tv on you'd have to look outside to really believe there was a typhoon occurring outside. Builders and contractors on the eastern seaboard should really take some advice from the Japanese on how to build hurricane proof houses. Sure you can get hurricane proof windows and doors, but when your house is made of matchsticks wood as opposed to concrete, yeah, it's probably gonna get destroyed. It would be much safer for residents and cheaper for insurance purposes if coastal houses from the Texas Gulf Coast, around through the Florida Keys, and all the way up to oh, say, Virginia, were made the way ours are. Just my opinion.

So with all of that said I wasn't able to get the photos or videos I wanted to be able to show you because the worst of Bolaven came raging through in the middle of the night which is why we lost power at 3 AM. While we were relatively protected from the wrath during both the front and backside of the storm, here are some pictures of what the rest of the island experienced. (the following photographs are not mine, therefore I do not claim credit)







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