Good-bye Irene. I won't say "goodnight Irene" because there wasn't much good about that night with Irene except that it wasn't quite as bad as some had predicted. It left homes and properties devastated with billions of dollars of damage. It produced a major blow to insurance companies and the economy. We didn't anticipate too much of a problem at our house because the forecasts called for only 2-3 inches in our area. We actually had 4.5 inches but we were spared the damage that so many others are still facing. Our problems developed at 3:40 a.m. when we both got awake and suddenly realized that our electricity was off. As I listened to the pounding rain, my first concern was the basement and our sump pump. Thankfully the Lord got us awake just in time because I found that the water had just begun to overflow the pump pit and the water hadn't spread too far. Using a flashlight I quickly found a bucket and began to bail water out and pour it down a nearby sink. Dianne soon joined me. We set up two chairs, turned on a portable radio, and spent the next few hours, in our night clothes, taking turns with the bucket. For the first hour or so the pit filled up about every 3 - 5 minutes. Each time we took out about 4 buckets of water. By about 5 a.m. it slowed to about every 5 - 7 minutes. Later it slowed to about every 10 minutes and it finally began to get light outside. Waiting for the daylight reminded me of the many times we were up at night with sick kids waiting for the morning to come. You feel like it will never happen. I had responsibilities at church to count the morning offerings and present an Awana award. So when it slowed to about every 15 minutes, I left Dianne to handle the water and I went to church. I made a quick trip home between services and then when I finally returned at about 11:40 the electricity finally came on and our problem was solved. And finally we could use our well once again to wash and go to the bathroom. We decided to go out for something for lunch only to find that most restaurants and fast-food places were closed because they had lost their power as well. We finally found a Golden Arches that had just opened and we were their first customers of the day. But that wasn't the entire story. At church in the first service, while the organist was playing the offertory, the power went off. No lights, no instruments, no power points, and no sound system. However, the pastor was able to preach and finish the service in the dark. They began the second service with guitars for the singing. And, just as I was about to present the award, the power came back on. It really was a morning to remember. As far as our basement goes, since we do have a water problem when we get large rains, I guess I need to buy a generator. We had a similar experience back in 1972 during Hurricane Agnes and that really was worse because the storm got ahead of us and we did have considerable water in our basement. But since that time, thank the Lord, we have never had a serious problem of flooding during a power failure, at least for any length of time. So is a generator in our future? That's a good question. But as I said, good-bye Irene! We won't miss you!
4 days ago