When the lights went out on the backside of Irene, it helped to have a Mawrter in the house, as they come with lanterns. My writer in residence has two red glass panes and two blue ones in her Bryn Mawr lantern, because she finished in 3 1/2 years and so overlaps two difference classes.(1993 and 1994).
We came through the storm far better than the rest of our region. The trees that came down were scattered - the wind culled mostly the old and the sick - and our power came back after 18 hours. There are parts of CT, within 45 miles of us that still have no juice. My basement filled completely with water for the first time since I have owned the place, but drained just as quickly once the power came back and I put in a new sump pump. My garden was not ruined. We were spared what others were not, and that about sums it up.
There was plenty of rain, and the Housatonic and its tributaries rose in flood, but Vermont, NY and NJ had it far worse. It was impressive standing by the Great Falls of the Housatonic on Monday, the first day of school having been cancelled, and watching those chocolate waters plunge. I've seen the river this way in the winter, thick with snow melt and the trees rimed with ice from the spray, but the foliage and the sunlight were an interesting variation. The Hous is over Ramapo Rd. in Ashley Falls to a depth of 4-6 feet, flooding the oxbows and making a lake out of the floodplain by Bartholomew's Cobble. Otherwise, the tribs are where the damage was greatest, gnawing away the sides of the little state roads that connect the villages of the Litchfield Hills.
I have not been down to Windrock since the storm, but reports from family who have are that the property came through in fairly good shape. There are a couple of big trees down, most notably the grand old oak where the Orioles like to nest at the side of the house. It was rotten to the core and mercifully fell without so much as grazing the house and porch. My cousin Rob Canham stands next to the fallen giant in the image below. and also took the picture of the "Hell Cat" beach fort which did not get swept out to sea, even though the tide should have been high with a new moon and storm surge.