We hope you enjoyed our Live! Reporting of yesterday's encounter with Hurricane Irene. Now that the storm has pretty much wrapped, I'll give you a quick summary of how heavily our area was impacted.

Wendy is still snoozing in bed, but I got up bright and early to head out and survey what was left in the wake of Hurricane Irene here in Historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. 

Given how badly Old Town and the entire Washington, D.C. area fared in 2003 with Isabel, we were all concerned going into this storm. But as the storm progressed through the night, we started to realize that Hurricane Irene, though still a Category 1 storm, didn't have the track or the punch to bring the winds or the level of flooding we saw with Isabel. 

By 7:45am this morning, the eye of Irene was significantly northeast of the D.C. metro area and on its way up the coast towards New York City. The southwest tail of the storm was still bringing a fair amount of rain and some moderate gusts of wind as a bit of parting gift to our area. 

As I left the house, the consistently strong winds from the last 18 hours were evident from all of the fallen leaves and branches in our backyard.

The sustained winds were also to blame for minor branches down and various debris around the sidewalk, but also for larger items like one of our neighbor's shutters.

Unfortunately, this house has recently undergone a significant amount of work over the last several months, re-pointing the brick and painting the entire large house. With the earthquake last week their chimney has a fairly significant crack in it. And now, with the hurricane, the shutter that was just painted and rehung has seen better days. Rough luck for this house.

There sure weren't many people out this morning. Usually a fairly busy day, I was able to walk across the major intersections with barely a car in sight.

The storm prep that restaurant and shop owners hoped to protect against anticipated flooding was still in place and largely unused. 

Though the wind did take some of it down.

Walking out on the pier I ran into the CNN reporters on the scene who were starting to wrap up work for the day. They looked a little tired but gladly mugged for my camera since they were between their own shots. 

I talked to them for a few minutes about the storm and how it wasn't that bad, about my running shoes (they noticed them and wanted to know how I liked them), and about the fact that they wanted to go to bed.

While watching NBC4 yesterday, their reporter on the scene kept showing the "prone to flooding" area of Old Town. Well, here's the extent of the flooding that you can see from the debris that was left.

Honestly, this is less of a flood than what typically occurs on any given high tide. Old Town got very lucky and the journalists were, shockingly, slightly sensationalist.

It seemed like power was out in a few isolated sections of the city, through it didn't seem to be widespread. Our power flickered a couple dozen times yesterday, but it never actually went off completely. Though it seems a few stoplights took some issue with the power flickering and started acting a little bit strange.

I did see quite a few branches down, but no major trees had fallen or uprooted.

And a local restaurant, Trattoria do Franco, typically has a wood cutout of the owner and chef, Franco, in front of the restaurant. Not sure why they left it sitting out there, I figured they would have put it inside, but Franco is down but undamaged.

It looks like the majority of the rain and wind are owner, and the sky is beginning to brighten as the sun is breaking through. New York, Boston, and the rest of New England are now getting the remainder of the now Tropical Storm Irene. Though CNN and the other news stations continue to focus on the isolated flooding and stuck cars, it seems as if the majority of the areas affected by the storm were not hit nearly as hard as they could have been.

Sure the people in the southeast will say "That wasn't a hurricane," and the people on the west coast will say "You didn't get a real earthquake," and the people in the northeast and midwest will way "That wasn't a true snow storm, and the people in the plains will say "It's not a thunderstorm until you get an F-5 tornado touching down." But when is the last time any one of these areas were hit by all of these things over the course of a year or two?

I hope everyone affected by this storm was able to escape unscathed, or at least with only minor damage, issues, and power outages. Now we need to shift gears back onto house projects. And like I said yesterday, this storm has convinced me that our next project needs to be the storm windows. As Wendy and I fell asleep last night we heard the sweet siren songs of our loose windows whistling in the wind.

How did you fare? Anything too terrible?

Comments 3


Marcy Covarrubias
8/28/2011 at 10:28 AM
This is awesome, thanks for posting! Going to 'share' it.
Old Town Home
8/28/2011 at 11:23 AM
Thanks Marcy!
8/28/2011 at 3:40 PM
I tweeted this to the Alex Chamber followers- thank you for the recap!
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