On Friday the landfall predictions were further south, which had the eye passing near our tiny town after obliterating Dover, DE. We happen to be surrounded by water. The Patuxent River on one side, Chesapeake Bay on the other, plenty of swamps and creeks in between. Not a good prospect.
Josh and I had gone out that night to try and secure supplies and already, there were no batteries or flashlights. We also don't have a grill and thought "we'll try Lowe's tomorrow"I mean, most people already own grills... right? Everything in our house is run on electricity (including the water pump for the well) except for the fireplace. I don't know what builders are thinking when they do that. I at least want a gas stove and water heater! So, anyways. We got a few hours of sleep before trying to brave the crowds and buy us a grill. We were awoken by a phone call early Saturday morning. A reliable source (aka Josh's Dad) encouraged and even begged a little that me, the boys, and the dogs, consider going back to Ohio before the storm. We weighed the pros and cons, called my parents, and I was finally convinced to evacuate. Josh had to stay behind for work. I was just in Ohio last weekend and was not looking forward to the drive again, but we didn't want to take too many chances, especially with Josh having to be gone. The drive was not as beautiful this time. My how the scenery changed in one week!
The boys and dogs were little angels on the trip. We only stopped once on the way there, maybe twice for coffee. We found a great rest area with a playground for our picnic lunch in Pennsylvania. I was exhausted from staying up late and waking up early plus the weather was making me groggy. Needless to say, I was not in a cheerful mood when we arrived at my parents' house at 7pm. It was raining there, and it never stopped. They were getting some of the other front coming down from Canada, which was the one combining with Sandy to make "the perfect storm" come Monday.
Most of our time Sunday was spent relaxing and enjoying each others company. We kept an eye on the storm and saw it had shifted a bit, but also picked up speed. Looks like our house will be spared after all! Sunday night was when things started to get a little interesting. But, Monday night was when Sandy finally made landfall in New Jersey. All day Monday we watched the storm get closer and closer. Weather channel experts were perched around the shores of the New England states, giving updates in their parkas, trying not to get blown over. It hit hard and fast. All the bridges and public transportation in the DC area was shut down to prevent casualties. People just hunkered down at home, waiting for the inevitable. Monday night at around 9pm Josh reported they lost power. He never was able to find a grill, all sold out, so he had no way to cook whatsoever. Thankfully he filled up a tub with hot water, but I was worried about him. Who knows how long the power would be out! Answer: about an hour. The wind was still roaring outside, but SMECO had restored power (hooray for nuclear power and good customer service). I stayed up pretty late that night worrying, but eventually I got tired and the live coverage stopped. Best to check in the morning.
We left on Halloween after the dogs were done at the groomers. I knew I'd hit DC rush hour, but it was either that or a blizzard. I think I made the right choice. As soon as we hit right around Pittsburgh the roads got a little interesting. The boys threw a few snowballs at the rest stops and I loaded up on more coffee to keep me alert. We were out of the snow within an hour and suddenly things were clear and warm again. It was weird!
The setting sun combined with storm clouds in the Laurel Valley of Pennsylvania made for a pretty drive back once we got out of the snow and rain.
Today I took a few pictures of our little bitty damages. Our clubhouse, a few lawn chairs, Noah's bb gun target box, some already dead trees. We were very lucky. I'm glad I evacuated because things could have been much much worse and it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to kids. Plus I got to spend some time with my Aunt Jayne, Michelle, Pam, Hayleigh & Eric this time! :)
Parts of the north are still being pummeled by the superstorm. I hope it lets up soon. We're getting together a survival kit so we don't get stuck having to go out with the rest of MD when winter storms hit. I have a feeling it's going to be a rough winter.