So pretty much anyone who doesn’t live under a rock (and maybe even if you do) knows that there is a big Hurricane that has just hit the US. A HUGE Hurricane. Hurricane Irene. It just recently hit the North Carolina coast, and is headed east towards New England.
This time last week some friends and I were planning a trip to Six Flags New England this weekend – a rollercoaster and water theme park about 2 hours away in Agawam, MA, on the MA/CT border. Earlier this week, however, when we found out that the hurricane was headed this way, we cancelled our plans. Instead, we started planning and preparing for Irene.
It’s funny to be “preparing” for a hurricane when it’s 30 degrees with clear blue skies out. As I woke up yesterday morning with the sun streaming into through my window and looked at the brilliant blue sky, I thought that this was definitely the calm before the storm.
Most of you know of my love of grocery shopping, and my fascination with American grocery stores and food in general, so you might guess that I was a little bit thrilled when my host mom asked me to go to the grocery store tomorrow morning with the kids and pick up a bunch of non-perishable food items “just incase”. And water. Gallons and gallons of water.
So off I went to the grocery store yesterday morning at 8.30am, kids in tow, hoping to avoid the crowds. No bueno. The usually empty-at-9am parking lot was at least half full, and the long wide aisles of Market Basket was full of people stuffing their shopping carts with canned food and water. (Question: what kind of canned food, other than fruit, would you actually seriously eat cold from a can? Soup? Ugh. Spaghetti? Double ugh. Baked beans? Let’s not even go there!) So we filled a cart with granola bars, fruit, chips, milk boxes, bread, yoghurt. And water. Did I mention the water? My host mom told me to buy 8 gallons of water, but the magnitude of that didn’t actually hit me until I had to lug those things into the house and down to the basement. A gallon is nearly 4 liters, so we bought nearly 30 liters of water. Lol. Although I guess it’s not really a laughing matter. Later my host dad came home with 6 bottles of wine, and my host mom followed with batteries and poptarts. Mission accomplished. We are now ready for Irene.
We are not evacuating. Parts of New York City are evacuating. Beachside towns are evacuating. We are not evacuating. We are pretty safe here – we are not in the direct line of the eye of the storm (at the moment, unless it’s path changes and it heads out eastwards). Our main worry is that the power will go out, our water pumps will stop working, and the basement may flood. If you are praying, pray that this doesn’t happen, because apart from the annoyance for my host family of having their basement flood, I LIVE IN THE BASEMENT. Haha. And I don’t particularly want my bedroom to turn into a swimming pool.
This weekend has presented the perfect opportunity to get my head down and bum up and do some uni work. Not that I have started yet, haha, but I plan on it. I have assignments due soon, and since I have cancelled all my weekend plans in favour of staying home I should probably use this time to do some work on them.
I have been watching lots of TV (read: the weather channel) and keeping up to date on the hurricane news. The first fatality report has come in while I write this – a man hit by a falling tree branch in NC. There is a crazy news reporter on the scene in Virginia Beach, VA, and he’s literally in the middle of the storm. Crazy.
I will keep you up to date. Don’t stress about me. I’ll be here, watching from my window. That is, after I take one more quick shopping trip before the storm sets in.
It seems that parts of The Lee’s song “Irene” are now fitting, since we can now actually blame Irene.
(On a more serious note, the storm is due to hit here from lunchtime onwards tomorrow (Sunday). If for some reason we lose power AND phone lines, I may not be able to get in touch with anyone at home easily. I have, however, left instructions with a couple of people at home, and will try my hardest to get in touch with someone, who will then inform the rest of my immediate family and update my facebook and/or twitter for me. For those of you reading from the US, stay safe. xx)