Click to view latest update - Tuesday, October 30 at 4:30 PM 

This is it, Hurricane Sandy is upon us. They've been calling this a historic and massive storm, and to not be fooled by its category 1 classification. We're starting to see what this is all about as the rain has begun falling at a steady pace as Sandy, still substantially offshore by hundreds of miles, begins to interact with another storm system coming across the country. I just think it's a little bit funny that this hurricane of epic proportions bears the same name as my mother-in-law.

We'll be keeping tabs on Sandy throughout the day and will update you throughout the day with additions to this post.

Real Time Reporting

Here's a live look at Sandy out our front window. I'm most worried about the several very large trees along the sidewalks as the wind begins to pick up. This image will update automatically every few seconds.

Live Shot

Personally, I have to eat my words a bit. Last week, on Tuesday or Wednesday, a coworker said "Looks like we're gong to get hit by a hurricane." I responded incredulously, "It's too cold to hit up north and it will probably go out to sea!" Boy was I wrong. 

As we all began to realize that this hurricane is more or less imminent, Frankenstorm preparations started in earnest over the weekend around the area. Most utilized an absolutely picture perfect fall day to do a bit of shopping and stocking up. We headed out on Saturday to pick up some necessary food and supplies from the farmer's market and our local Safeway. We found the grocery store shelves to still be largely stocked, though there were some exceptions. The batteries had already been picked over with all of the D cells wiped clean from the display...

...and the absolute essentials were already quite picked over, as only a few six packs of beer remained.

Yesterday we noticed quite a bit more prep around the area. The Papyrus store on King Street went to extra lengths and actually boarded up all of the windows. This is actually the only store we saw on the main thoroughfare in our town that had gone to these extremes.

Down near the flood-prone areas of Old Town, the city was filling and giving away sand bags to residents looking to shore up their homes from a potentially rising Potomac River.

I snapped a quick before photo of lower King Street, which I fully expect to be flooded with both news crews as well as water.

That's Wendy and Lulu crossing the street on the right.

We also noticed the city wraps the parking payment stations with garbage bags, we assume to protect the devices from water damage. It seems strange these things that are made for the outdoors have to be protected, but I guess they aren't made for torrential and sideways rain.

At our house we moved forward with our own prep. Picking up leaves, clearing drainage holes, taking down our umbrella, etc. We tried to get everything that could easily fly away out of the area of danger.

I also did a little work on our "downspout"...hrm, should we really call this "work"? Okay, I wrapped some duct tape around it to try to secure it a bit. I'm very concerned about our downspout's ability to withstand the wind. Boy did our downspout thief pick the worst time to steal our downspout. I hate that guy even more now.

My final item of pre-storm prep was to clean up the basement a bit. Our basement will probably get some water in it over the next few days, so it was important to get as much off of the floor as possible, including the rather large amounts of saw dust I had created over the past few days. If the saw dust gets wet it turns into a sludge that is nearly impossible to clean up.

As the rain began last night we headed to bed and listened as the rain fell against our windows.

Waking up this morning we turned on the television to see what all of our favorite local stations were reporting. Our station of choice, News Channel 4 of course. Not for their hard hitting journalism practices, no sir! We love them for their zany reporters, Pat Collins and Shomari Stone. Though their A-team of Jim Vance and Doreen Gentzler haven't taken their anchor chairs quite yet, I'm sure they are just off camera eating raw eggs and drinking protein shakes in anticipation of their upcoming 48 hours straight covering this storm. I can only imagine Pat Collins giving himself a pregnant pause laden pep talk while putting on his yellow rain slicker and Gorton's Fisherman style cap. "Let's go...out there...and report...the...hell.......out of this storm."

Though we hope to provide you with examples of their hysterical antics later in the day, the B-team in the morning didn't disappoint. As only local news stations can do, the on-the-scene reporter gave this awesome shirtless man wearing a horse head the camera time he so desperately wanted (and we, as viewers, absolutely needed).

So now we wait for Sandy's arrival. We expect conditions to take a real turn for the worse a little after noon today and continue into the evening. We hope our house fares well, and there are no serious catastrophes that impact us, you, or anyone for that matter. Hopefully you're reading this from an area well west or south of any major storm impact. But if you're in the heart of it, we wish you well and hope you emerge unscathed. 

We'll be back in a bit with more updates as long as the power stays on.

Basement Cleaning 2:45 PM Update

Well folks, not all that much to report thus far. Lots of rain, wind is starting to pick up a bit, and we have a dog that will NOT go outside to go potty. 

We've been keeping ourselves busy today, that's for sure. We've been working for our real jobs for much of the day, but we were able to get a little bit done during lunch. Most notably, we used the potential for minor basement intrusion (I'm being optimistic here) to straighten the basement up a little bit more. 

Now we have a food storage shelf that we can actually access when we need to get to the food as it's no longer blocked by the router table. What a novel idea.

We've had a few heavier bands of rain come through, and the wind is starting to play with our "downspout" a bit, so we're really hoping that will hold.

I'm going to head outside in order to deal with this dog that won't do her business. As much as I probably shouldn't head out, I'd much rather get Lulu situated now rather than needing to deal with a bathroom emergency when the storm gets really bad at about 6:00pm.

So until later, Lulu and I are headed out with our rain coats on and we're going to see what we see around town. Don't worry, we'll be safe, we promise. I'll be back in a little while with an update that will include photos from our excursion.

Out and About 4:45 PM Update

Lulu and I are back safely from our walk and it seems we are back just in time as the wind has REALLY started to pick up. We just had a gust that had to be up around or above 60 mph. If that was any indication of what we will be experiencing from roughy 6:00 pm - 6:00 am, it looks like we're going to be in for a bit of a tense night. It's eerie for sure. I can hear the gusts coming about half a second before it hits, then we just brace for whatever comes.

I made sure to kill two birds with one stone and check out the area while walking the wet-weather-and-potty-challenged canine of mine. Overall, the city is doing well. The wind has started to cause a bit of damage here and there. I noticed a few of the Old Town light pole banners have been blown free on the bottom.

I'd say the majority of the issues that I saw on the walk had more to do with clogged gutters than anything else.

There were a handful of people out and about, but not many. I did see one woman out for a jog. Regardless if she should have been out or not, that's some serious dedication. The shops around Old Town and along King Street are largely closed for the day or were planning on closing by 4:00 pm.

I thought the above photo on the door of the Gap Outlet was hysterical. Why did they put "Sandy" in parentheses? Did we need the additional clarification? Is there another hurricane we could have confused it with? Or perhaps they want to prove they're not just reusing old signs? Who knows, but it made me laugh.

Though the stores are closed, the doors to the old Restoration Hardware that is becoming an H&M were wide open and people were still working inside. They've probably got a schedule they have to stick to.

I did see a USPS carrier out delivering mail from door to door, so I guess their creed is true. Neither rain, nor hurricane, nor Frankenstorm, not pelting rain stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. At least I think that's how it goes.

I walked near the base of King Street but there wasn't much to see. The river hasn't risen above its banks yet, but I could see several news trucks down there, probably with their cameras trained on the banks just waiting for the first stray puddle.

I did notice that the city and residents had pushed leaves out of rain gutters to keep a path open to the storm drains. This is quite an important item that I'm very glad to see people doing.

Other than that, Lulu was wet and miserable, but at least she took care of her business.

We had to be careful where we walked. We had a few instances where a rather large puddle could have ended up with Lulu practically swimming across.

On the way home I saw a firetruck returning from a call and realized that these guys are going to have a seriously busy day and night. 

Now that I'm home we're planning on staying in the rest of the day and hoping for an uneventful evening. I think it's going to surely be tense, but at least we can cut the tension with a little bit of broadcast levity. The A-team storm team has started to arrive. Shomari Stone is now reporting from a random downed tree somewhere in the metro DC area, and he's accosting passer bys and asking them why they are outside. All is right with the world. 

Any minute now Shomari will begin to run out of things to talk about and start reporting on his kids again. Any minute now. 

I'm still just waiting for Pat Collins to show up. Come on Pat! Where are ya buddy?!?

We'll be back with another update a little later.

Pat Collins 5:00 PM Update

THERE HE IS! I thought you'd.....never......show up....... . . . Pat.

We need to start a Pat Collins drinking game. Take a sip each time he takes a dramatic pause. You'd be hammered in under an hour, I assure you. I'll try to get a shaky handheld video of me recording the TV up a little later to give all of you non locals a better idea. 

Horse Head Jogger 5:40PM Update

We found some video of the horse head shirtless jogger from this morning. This guy is pretty awesome.

Ok, what's next?

Pat Collins, My Hero 8:30 PM Update

Stranded indoors, power on the fritz. I think that's cause for celebration! Wendy and I decided, in honor of Sandy's visit, we'd crack open a bottle of "special" wine. The bottle of choice tonight was a 2005 Chiarello Vineyards Gianna Zinfandel, autographed by none other than Wendy's Food Network boyfriend Michael Chiarello. (Ladies, can we get a collective sigh over Michael, his delectable food, and his "dreamy forearms"? My wife's words, not mine.) We picked this bottle up during a trip to Napa Valley several years ago.

We enjoyed the wine over a homemade meal of rigatoni, garlic bread, and salad. Apparently our four legged crew members were as interested in the meal as we were. Mel was making his move on Wendy's plate the entire meal. Here's his best Puss in Boots "my parents don't feed me" face. How adorable is he? (He was rewarded with a bit of cheese.)

Lulu was also making a move onto Wendy's lap during dinner. She's been on edge all day, shaking, quivering, and not letting us out of her sight. We think she absolutely senses there's a major weather event in progress, so we put her in her Thunder Shirt and have made sure to give her a lot of extra TLC today.

What effects are we seeing from the storm so far? 

  • We have water coming in our bedroom windows, thanks to our old windows that are in desperate need of a makeover (and storm windows, ahem).
  • We're starting to see a bit of water in the basement. Luckily our earlier organizational efforts have prevented any damage so far.

  • Water has also been making its way into the vestibule via the mail slot and blowing beneath the doors. We're keeping an eye on it and have been periodically mopping it up.

  • We witnessed the chimney cap come off a neighbor's house. It's precariously dangling off the side of their roof. You can just barely see it in this somewhat blurry photo.

  • We're the proud owners of a new garbage can that showed up in our parking spot. Sweet.

  • Our makeshift downspout came loose, dangling from the upper gutter like a slinky making its getaway. I braved the storm and was able to secure the downspout without too much issue. This photo is looking through the window, and since the air is so cold outside, and we were cooking pasta inside, we got some really foggy windows.

  • And finally, Hurricane Lulu showed her dissatisfaction with Hurricane Sandy by tearing up her dog bed. "Take that, Sandy, I put stuffing all over the place."

Last, but probably the most exciting, was watching this gem of a Pat Collins news report on News Channel 4. For those of you who didn't understand our previous reference or ensuing drinking game, here he is in all his glory. Sorry the volume is so low, I need to get better at my lame bootleg recording.

How's everyone else faring so far?

Transformer Explosion 8:40 PM Update

Just a really quick one. Our power flickered just a little bit a few minutes ago and I saw a flash in the sky north, north west of Old Town. Most likely this was a tree or something falling on the power lines and causing a transformer explosion in North Old Town or Del Ray. Anyone see this?

Hopefully we'll be back later tonight.

Power Flickers and Webcam Failures 10:30 PM Update

We're starting to experience a fair number of power flickers here in our house. This tells me that we'll be pretty lucky to make it through the night without losing power, which might also mean that OldTownHome.com could go offline at some point. :-( Boooo Hurricane Sandy. Don't you know we're having fun blogging about this stuff?

We've had a few other complications with our downspout, but, luckily, not much else beyond that. I've had to go outside twice to fix the downspout and seat it back in it's proper place and BOY, IS IT COLD OUTSIDE! 

This hurricane is one weird storm, that's for sure. What happened to tropical weather accompanying this wind and rain? Oh no, we get cold and nasty, thank you very much.

We're at the point now were we are thinking about sleeping downstairs tonight. The wind and rain are so hard on the front of our house that it might be pretty hard to sleep in our bedroom. Man, I really wish I had built those storm windows. Have I mentioned that yet? I'm such a jerk.

I guess it's good news that the local news is beginning to focus on New York instead of DC, but I'll be one happy camper once the wind dies down a little bit. I think we're looking at another six hours or so.

Unfortunately, our webcam suddenly had its internet connection fail at the front window. Not sure what's up, but I had to move it to our back window, which has far less light. It'll look much better in the morning. Technology sure can be annoying during hurricanes...I guess.

Through The Worst? 12:25 AM Update

Well, it looks like we may have made it through the worst of the weather, at least that's what we're hoping. The wind and rain should die down throughout the night and hopefully we'll wake up to no debris or mess to deal with in the morning. Yeah, wishful thinking. It will be a little weird to wake up to wind chills in the 30 degree range after a Hurricane.

We've decided to go ahead and have a slumber party in our family room tonight. Rather than deal with the wind and rain noise against the front windows, we'll ride out the remainder of the storm in the quiet and warm middle room of our house. Besides, being on the 1st floor and in the middle of the house will let us stay near both Mel and Lulu, just in case we have an emergency of some sort.

This photo will also serve as a future reminder of the time we got hit with a massive hurricane and had to sleep on the first floor because I hadn't completed the storm window project. Did I mention I didn't get the storm windows done when I was supposed to? I'm not sure I did. 

Looking back on our day, I consider our live blogging adventure a complete success given that we were able to turn just a few people onto the magic that is Pat Collins and the NBC4 news team. I think I need to go trick-or-treating as Pat Collins as the Gorton's Fisherman. Would make for an awesome costume. I just need to work on my impersonation.

Now this isn't storm related, but if anyone wants to see my all time favorite Pat Collins news clip, check out his reporting on first amendment rights...IN A FRUIT OF THE LOOM GRAPE COSTUME. No, I'm not joking.

As we hit the hay we will thank our lucky stars that we are not one of the millions of people without power, that our family is safe, and as far as we know, all of our friends are thus far unscathed (baring some minor water seepage and a power outage or two). We hope you've all enjoyed our coverage of Hurricane Sandy, and hope you'll join us again tomorrow as we update you with some photos from tomorrow's aftermath. If we lose power tonight, we'll see you all on the flip side when our power is restored. Take care and have a good night!

Good Morning Internets - Sandy Winding Down - 11:15 AM Update

We made it through the night, both without major damage and without loss of power. Yay, Old Town and Dominion Virginia Power, for your still intact record for excellent electrical reliability in our block. Knock on wood, but we've kept power through the majority of the weather disasters we've had over the years. I think we've probably lost power for about three to four hours total in the nearly 10 years we've lived in our house. I guess this is why Wendy tells me we're not allowed to get a backup natural gas generator...BUT I STILL WANT ONE. It's a guy/toy thing I guess.

The water never got very bad in the basement (which is encouraging from a finished basement standpoint). The windows upstairs need storm windows, but we've covered this topic already, now I need to get moving on it. The downspout is, well, not a real downspout. I need to get to replacing the makeshift with a copper one. But all in all, we're doing well.

We're going to head out to take Lulu for a walk and will see what sort of impact the city had. We've already seen a few photos from friends, and it looks like we got pretty lucky. We'll post back in a little while with a final wrap-up post that will include photos from our walk.

How did everyone else do? I hope our friends in Philly, NYC, and north are doing okay. We know you all got the worst of this storm.

Don't Let the Door Hit You On The Way Out, Sandy - 4:30 PM Update

We're back from our walk around Old Town where we surveyed the damage in the most heavily travelled portions of the city. Our opinion? Old Town escaped pretty well unscathed, especially given the disasters that occurred in New York and New Jersey. 

Sure there were a handful of downed braches...

...and a random road sign that was laying on the ground (though I think it may have been there before the storm).

Our somewhat wildly growing grasses were obviously wind blown, but I think it may be time to trim those guys anyway.

Closer to the water I saw the house of one of our readers that looked to be in pretty good shape. I hope her basement didn't get much water, but one thing for sure, she has storm windows. Just sayin', storm windows, that probably made the storm NOT come into the house.

A house a little bit further down the block had really prepared. This is the area known for flooding, so it's no surprise to really see the doors and windows in this area really well fortified.

If you've been watching any coverage of Old Town on the news, the area at the very base of King Street is likely what you've seen. This area floods at the drop of a hat and people love to walk around in the ankle deep water. We witnessed this as soon as we got down in that area.

Though the flooding wasn't nearly as severe as it was during Isabel in 2003, the Potomac was still really rough. We saw this boat docked and it was really getting thrown around quite a bit.

The waters had already receded substantially since they reached their peak in the morning, and Mai-Thai, the restaurant on the corner, was beginning their clean up efforts. Looks like they had quite a bit of water get into the kitchen area.

Around the corner from the "flooded" street the restaurant, Virtue Feed and Grain, reminded me that Halloween is what's really right around the corner. Either that, or they strung up a few people a while back and we just didn't notice until they turned to skeletons, one of which has been wrapped up in a web by a giant spider. Either way, I love the effect.

I guess the fact the workers were removing Papyrus's fortification was the true indication that the storm was officially over. And in case you're wondering, no, the buildings on either side of Papyrus did not have their windows smashed out, nor were they the victims of wild post hurricane looters.

For some reason, I always use post storm analysis as an excuse to take photos of area houses that I love. Like this one (that's currently for sale) on Prince Street.

I also love these houses along North Pitt Street. Every time I walk through that block I always sort of wish we lived in one of them.

Or these places just across the street.

We did see that the USPS was back out and delivering mail, once again living up to their creed.

We also ran across this building on Queen Street that apparently had its copper downspout stolen. Oh sad building, we feel your pain.

I know there were several other trees down and other minor damage around the area, but it looks like the people with damage were more than likely the unlucky ones, rather than widespread damage with a few lucky people.

When we got home we realized everything was getting back to normal. Well, almost normal, except the kids were sitting awfully close together without any fighting for it to really be "normal." 

  

A little warm butternut squash soup for lunch...

...and a little bit of trashy day time TV...

...and we're doing just fine. Yes, in case you're wondering, that image is correct, it's Days of Our Lives. I'll save you the effort to scroll up to the top of this post and check, this is Alex writing this. Wendy got me watching Days in college and we spent many an afternoon in our dorms watching the adventures of Victor, Stefano, John Black, Marlena, Sammy, and Bo. I have to say one thing, after not watching the show for 15 years, the fact the same actors, sets, and story lines are in use is borderline shocking. I can say one thing, most of the actors that have had a whole lot of plastic surgery look almost the same, their eyes are all just a bit smaller looking. You know, in a creepy way.

And with that, this update will conclude what I believe is our lengthiest blog post, both in actual length, and the amount of time we actually worked on it. We hope you had fun following along and that you were also largely unaffected by the storm. Given that the end results were not disastrous I'd say we had a fair amount of fun too.

Comments 54

Comments

Teri Lynn
10/29/2012 at 10:40 AM
I'll stay turned as long as we still have power in Baltimore hon!
Wendy
10/29/2012
Good luck up there!
10/29/2012 at 10:40 AM
Sounds like you hit all the key points! We cleaned up our basement too - moving things out of the flood-prone corners and off the ground. Here's hoping it was unnecessary!

(Also, here's hoping neither of us see any large trees go down!)
Wendy
10/29/2012
I'm trying to look at it as a good excuse to clean up the basement! :-)

Good luck!
Jeff
10/29/2012 at 10:50 AM
Stay safe and dry; and if your supplies of wine or whiskey dwindle, you're always welcome at 120 Wolfe.
Wendy
10/29/2012
Thanks for the invite, Jeff! If you have two soggy adults and a water logged dog show up on your porch, it just might be us. :-) Stay safe down there!
Bonnie
10/29/2012 at 10:56 AM
Thanks for the update and stay safe! My office is only about 2 blocks from you so I appreciate knowing what's going on in the area. I'm working from my apartment in NW DC, where there is snow on the trees. I'm from NC so I can handle a hurricane, but not snow and a hurricane!
Wendy
10/29/2012
Wait, snow on the trees today?? Oh my goodness. Good luck to you, Bonnie!

Hopefully we'll keep power so you can continue to get a live look at the conditions in Old Town.
Justin
10/29/2012 at 11:02 AM
Interesting updates....good to know that Papyrus is on the ball....I guess water damage in a paper store would probably be pretty extensive....
Wendy
10/29/2012
:-) I didn't think of it that way, but I'd say your assessment is spot on, Justin! Nothing says I love you like a soggy greeting card!
Kelly Anne
10/29/2012 at 12:15 PM
I've been checking your live cam periodically. We're in Philly, landfall is expected tonight for us. Stay safe!
Wendy
10/29/2012
You too! Thanks, Kelly Anne.
Beth Wilt
10/29/2012 at 12:20 PM
I've never really noticed until today how much of an asshole Jim Catchatori is on TWC.
10/29/2012 at 12:51 PM
Good luck. Winds are just starting to bear down on Baltimore now. We're nervously watching the 100 ft trees around us!

Hope you all keep power!
Alex
10/29/2012
We have one tree I'm really keeping my eyes on. I always watch it every storm. It's on a neighbor's property, but it always bothers me.
Karin K
10/29/2012 at 1:49 PM
I'm manning a mostly empty office building in downtown Norfolk...so far so good! Good luck up there!
Alex
10/29/2012
Well, on the plus side, it could be a very productive day for you since nobody else is in the office.
10/29/2012 at 3:10 PM
We were part of the Safeway beer shopping crowd!! I mean, gotta have the important stuff! And our dog won't go potty in the rain until his situation is dire. So silly. Hoping this storm misses us in Old Town!
Alex
10/29/2012
So much for missing us in Old Town. Hope you guys are doing okay and your beer situation is even better.
jan
10/29/2012 at 4:32 PM
Love that dog!!!

It's very very windy here in MI. We are right on the edge of the rain bands coming from the storm.

Stay safe and I hope you do not lose power because I love the real time video.
Alex
10/29/2012
We love that dog too :-)

We're getting to the bad wind periods, so the next few hours will be critical to keeping our webcam online.
Margie
10/29/2012 at 4:56 PM
Glad you're back safe Alex. Poor Lulu. She looks simply miserable. In looking at the shot out your front window - I'm wondering how long until your neighbor's yellow recycle bin gets blown away (I guess that's what it is - are they really going to come for pickup today?)
Wendy
10/29/2012
All day I've been wondering the same thing about the neighbor's recycling bin! Surely it won't be long now before it sails through a car window.

Lulu is much happier now. She's curled up sleeping, nice and cozy in her ThunderShirt. :-)
Katie Boyle
10/29/2012 at 5:44 PM
Glad to see Pete brought in his recycling bin. We miss y'all out here on the earthquakey CA coast. We were saying last night, we'd rather be weathering the storm with y'all in Alexandria than being out here with the dang ground moving every other day. Stay safe an don't let Wendy drink all the wine! Or better yet, drink it all and then come see us to restock!!!!
Alex
10/29/2012
I think I'd prefer this to earthquakes. At least with this we knew it was coming several days in advance. That way we could actively know what we hadn't properly prepared for. We miss you guys too and wish you still lived across the street.
Michael Snyder
10/29/2012 at 6:07 PM
It is 5pm. I am starting to play the above referenced drinking game. I will let you know how long it takes to get hammered.

Sincerely,
The One Man Hurricane Party
Alex
10/29/2012
The One Man Hurricane Party is an excellent wrestling name, or it could even be an awesome campaign slogan. I could see you running for city council with that as your tagline.
Michael snyder
10/29/2012 at 10:02 PM
New life goal. Have campaign signs throughout old town that read "vote one man hurricane party for city council. Improving alexandria one drink at a time"
10/29/2012 at 7:26 PM
I CANNOT tell you how hard I laughed at the updates on this post. I chuckled at Lulu's rain face (chuckling in a benign, "that face is too cute" way) and seriously belly laughed at the Gap Outlet posting the hurricane (Sandy) sign AND at your local news anchor anticipation. I even called my husband in to show him the horse video and your commentary, to prove that home blogs CAN be funny! Thanks for continuing to be one of my favorite new blog finds!

In a Sandy update, the laughs you're providing are distracting me from the winds plaguing us in the hills of CT, (about an hour Northeast of NYC). We're getting what you guys get a couple of hours behind, so keep the updates coming!
Alex
10/29/2012
Well, life's more difficult moments are sometimes the best things worth laughing about. And when that fails, you can always laugh at local news personalities. We're glad you're enjoying. I think some of the bigger wind is up your way, so we'll keep our fingers crossed for you.

Thanks for the kind words, it always makes us feel wonderful. Ok, sounds like our downspout may have just flown away again and I need to go rescue it.
10/29/2012 at 7:52 PM
THIS: "Why did they put "Sandy" in parentheses? . . . they're not just reusing old signs?"

= Hysterical l-o-l funny. Thanks. :) So often I think people just don't quite understand how to use the English language.

It's a bit annoying that it's now dark. I like to see the wind I'm hearing. I've never heard of this Pat Collins guy, and I've suddenly seen his name popping up everywhere. How is this possible?
Alex
10/29/2012
I love creative signage with grammatical mistakes, they make my heart smile.

I totally agree with you on the darkness, seeing something like this really tends to bring it home and allows you to feel it even more.

Pat Collins is a DC institution, wonderful in his horribleness. This is good, but you have got to see him during a snow storm when he keeps using a yard stick to measure the depth of snow, and he does it like he's announcing someone has discovered a cure for cancer. It's classic.
10/29/2012 at 9:43 PM
I'm loving your updates, guys. I'm even sharing them with my BFF in Reston since I know she can appreciate your references to the local weather team. Stay safe, and give Mel and Lulu lots of hugs from your imaginary internet friends.
Alex
10/29/2012
We love all of our imaginary internet friends, they make lift so much more fun. All of our following, liking, commenting, and living vicariously, it's just a whole lot of fun. We'll keep the updates coming as long as our power stays on, but it's not looking like that will be the whole night. We're keeping our fingers crossed.
Sarah
10/29/2012 at 10:13 PM
Oh it does my heart good to hear Pat Collins is still truckin'. But my question is does Jim Vance still say "turrible news out of Murralund"? I swear, all the turrible news he reported always happend in Murralund.
Alex
10/29/2012
Oh absolutely, Jim is still reporting many turrible things out of Murraland on almost a night basis.

Tonight it's been far more talk about "Turrible news up in New Yurk."

I personally love when he gets sidetracked and starts talking about random places that he likes to ride his motorcycle. Tonight he was giving tips on where people should take a walk or ride their bikes tomorrow to see lots of rushing water. The other anchors know just to look at him patiently and let him finish his story.
Alex
10/29/2012
BTW, Jim's been saying Hurricane as "Harricane" all night. So apparently he's mixed up the letters A and U in certain words. Too funny.
jan
10/29/2012 at 11:10 PM
Ok...what's a thunder shirt????

We had a dog who could hear thunder before the sky even looked stormy. She was a big dog and could not get under the bed. She tried her best... but only her head would fit. That's where she stayed the entire time it stormed. Head under the dust ruffle...just shaking like a leaf.
Alex
10/29/2012
That's too funny. Big dogs seem to be like that from time to time, they look so tough but are often just big babies.

Thundershirts are actually pretty new to us too. It's more of a wrap than a shirt, and it has strips of velcro all over it. The purpose is to make your dog feel more secure, almost like it's being somewhat tightly held and comforted. The goal is to place the shirt on your dog before the storm comes in, and it will hopefully make it feel more secure when the storm actually arrives.

We bought the shirt for Lulu on the advice of some friends and also a blog commenter back when Lulu had surgery. We used it to protect her incision so she wouldn't bother it as it healed. She liked it so much, and it worked so well, that we use it when she needs to feel a little bit better about whatever situation she's in.
10/29/2012 at 11:27 PM
It's now 2330 here in Baltimore and we're still getting our tails kicked. The basement started leaking like it never has before. We've been pumping water out with a Shop Vac for the last four hours. Fortunately, we've kept power so far. Winds are gusting about 60-65 mph. The tv reporters said we're at about the halfway point now. Let's hope the second half goes a little easier!
Alex
10/29/2012
Good luck guys, we've been there and done that with the basement pumping, and it sucks (no pun intended). I ended up doing a bit of a rigged up solution to get the water out of our basement. I had a small pond pump that I could put in the center of the basement at the low spot. I then pumped that water into a small AC condensate pump that I had on hand but never installed or needed. As that pump would fill up, it would then pump it's reservoir into the laundry tub. I had to use that 2nd pump since the small pond pump didn't offer the lift I needed. Then the laundry tub would empty into that pump to remove the water from the basement. I was able to get the basement dry and keep it that way. We don't have a sump pump, so that was my makeshift when we had bad water during a major storm years ago.

The news says the center of the storm is passing just north of Baltimore right now, so hopefully things calm down shortly. Good luck!
jan
10/29/2012 at 11:49 PM
We just received an advisory to have 3 days worth of water and batteries because they expect the wind to pick up with gusts over 60mph.

The Great Lakes are rolling, too. Lake Huron has waves up to 35 ft and Lake Michigan up to 24 ft. I don't know what the waves are on Lake Superior but no doubt they are big because that is one scary lake.

My sister was just getting ready to go to their place in the UP (upper peninsula for you non Michiganders) but they can't cross the Mackinaw Bridge in windy weather. About a decade or so ago, a Yugo was blown off the bridge.

Michigan currently has a lot of dead ash trees due to the emerald ash borer from China. I see dead trees leaning on power lines all the time. Unfortunately, two days ago our utility company sent extra personnel to the east coast.
Wendy
10/30/2012
Goodness! I saw a few pictures of Lake Erie yesterday and couldn't believe the size of the waves. I would imagine you're seeing similar weather out your way.

Good luck and stay safe!
Kathy S
10/29/2012 at 11:53 PM
Awesome updates! You had me really LOLing at several points. I'm sitting pretty in the West but you all are definitely in our thoughts! Hope to hear from you in the morning.
Wendy
10/30/2012
Thanks so much, Kathy! Glad you enjoyed our humor. We were very lucky, and only had a little water come in through windows, the mail slot, and into the basement. We have a fair amount of leaves to clean up, but no damage to us our our home.
JC
10/30/2012 at 11:45 AM
We had some really strong winds over here (southern Ontario near the New York border). Several times in a few hours I had flickering lights. I actually went down to my basement and dug-out one of my nice antique oil lamps in case we had a power failure.
Wendy
10/30/2012
Good thinking! I had candles lit just in case, but aside from some flickering, we didn't lose power for aa sustained amount of time.
10/30/2012 at 1:31 PM
I LOVE the Pat Collins drinking game idea!!!!! PERFect as a break to hurricane coverage!
Wendy
10/30/2012
It's brought us a lot of entertainment during past storms, so we had to pass it on. There's nothing better than Pat Collins coverage during a bad storm.
Karen
10/30/2012 at 11:30 PM
The Pat Collins drinking game is brilliant! I think one should add an extra swig every time he starts off a piece by walking into the camera. But this shouldn't be saved for just for storm reports. But be sure to have a fully stocked bar.
Alex
11/1/2012
Fully stocked bar is a must. I really hope we get a good blizzard or two this winter so we can partake.
Laura
10/30/2012 at 11:36 PM
Love the coverage!
Your children are so stinkin' cute!
I am so happy Old Town was spared!
Alex
11/1/2012
Thanks! We're pretty keen on the kids too.
ChrisC
10/31/2012 at 1:49 PM
I stumbled upon your blog while looking up Old Town Sandy updates on Twitter Monday night and your awesome blog cured a bit of my boredom for a while. I've been in Old Town for a year and love to read stories about the history of the area. I also scratch my head over the existence of some places like the wig shops on King and other remnants of ghettoness in this now quaint area. I've added your blog to my RSS reader and look forward to more posts from you guys. Maybe Kirby and I will bump into you guys and Lulu.

Here's a little vid a made of Kirby strolling through Old Town.
vimeo.com/46377751
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