Here we are, waiting for cranky Little Miss Irene, our uninvited guest, to arrive. We have been watching her roll along for quite some time now.
We were most worried and concerned when she rolled over our settlement in the Bahamas and held her eye to the Abacos for most of Wednesday. We heard stories of surges, whipping winds, pouring rain. We were so relieved to find out yesterday that our neighbors are all safe and sound, and that no homes are seriously injured in our area of Bahama Palm Shores and Casurina on the Great Abaco Island. We are grateful for that. Its satellite cays also appear to have made it through without too much trouble. We now hear mainly about brush and downed trees on the road, no electricity and water, no phones. Hardships, but manageable. I should point out in case some are wondering, the most recent news from down there says that there is now electricity and internet in Marsh Harbour.
The entire time that the hurricane whirled over the Bahamas, spitting rain and shoving sand and water around, the only news we could get from here in New York was an enormous amount of scary hype indicating that the hurricane Irene was headed toward us, on the East Coast. Now, I do not feel that it is unimportant that the hurricane is coming our way, mind you. But it saddened me that so little time could be found by our national reporters to tell the story of these very brave island families, hunkered down, and reporting out to the rest of us mainly through Facebook (when the electricity was on) and through satellite phone (when it was not) as to how they were faring. We are so grateful for their safety through this terrible storm.
The Abaco Islands is an area where people from Canada and the United States and from countries of Central America have second homes, in addition to the many first homes of Bahamians Without these brave local Bahamian reporters, mostly reporting on Facebook, we would have no idea how our settlements fared and would still be wondering what happened.
Irene actually is headed here today ( I am saying this just in case someone managed to never turn on the TV or the radio or speak to anybody for the last 5 days), and I thought that just for the record, I will put up some photos as we go along, of what is happening in our backyard.
I doubt that it will have any of the extreme shaking and blowing that we saw in the photos of our neighbors in the Bahamas putting up with a Category 3, but one never knows. But since I am here in New York, I thought that it might be "pay back" time and that I should photograph for others what we are getting here in the NY area, actually, reporting from Hastings on Hudson, New York, a rivertown, just 7 miles north of New York City.
For all you Bahamians who have second homes, children, brothers and sisters, parents and friends in this area, and to all our friends who do not live in the New York City area, here is how it looks, thus far.
It is not actually a sunny day. The grey fog covers us so heavily that we cannot see the Hudson River in the distance. It has not yet started to rain. The light is such that it is good for photographing flowers. Our side yard looks very peaceful, like this:
As of 12 noon, it has started to drizzle. Outside it is quiet. Few cars go by. Perhaps one or two per hour, at most. I think everybody is at the grocery store and at the hardware store getting supplies. We stayed home today and just filled up our canteens, buckets and extra pails with water in case we lose electricity later. We have cleared off our decks, checked all the windows to make sure they are properly closed.