Around here, people started talking about Hurricane Earl about a week before he (sort of) hit.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining that it wasn't worse than it was.
I just think that since Hurricane Juan, in 2003, people in Nova Scotia have a heightened sense of awareness, of just how much damage one of those 2+ category suckers can do.
So, in comparison to Juan, Earl who was either a tropical storm, or cat 1 depending on who you talk to or what you read, was thankfully on the weak side.
Somewhat like our experience with Bill, last year.
Throughout the week, people followed Earl on Stormpulse, and prepared.
I was one of them, to a certain degree :-)
I wasn't like the couple in front of me at the grocery store, who left with $400 worth of 'just in case' groceries and supplies.
But by Thursday night, I was ready for the expected landfall on Sat...
I had canned food, snacks, water & juice.
Check out the tiny little 'stove' I picked up at the Dollar Store.
I figured, 'What the heck?'.
For $2, if we need it, and it works, WOOHOO!
If not, I'm out the price of a coffee, learn my lesson and we have PB&J.
Turns out we didn't need it.
However, when Johnny's* mom later picked him up, I showed it to her, and she happens to have one too!
She said she had used it to make breakfast for four, last time they went camping.
Alrighty then! Looking forward to trying this little baby out during the NEXT hurricane!
LOTS of batteries (which I forgot to take a pic of) ...
I was either ready for Earl ... or a really good night with myself!
Bring it ON, Baby! ;-p
The next morning, around 9:30am, Adam was invited down the street to a friend's house.
It was raining, and windy, but certainly not too bad to go out in.
I dropped him off, and about 45 minutes later had just finished taking the hash browns out of the oven for brunch, for Alec and his friend Johnny*, when the power went out.
It was raining ... hard, and the wind was now roaring through the trees like they were nothing more than blades of grass.
I've got to say, for about an hour, it was pretty wild to watch!
Alec, Johnny* and I were sitting at the table, only about 10 minutes into the meal, when a sound drew me to the living room window.
Something out of the corner of my eye made my brain go ...'What the ?!?!?'
There was a piece of a tree sitting on the back end of my car!
From the angle I had at the window, it looked like a HUGE portion of the tree between the neighbours house and mine had fallen on the back ass of my car.
I couldn't tell if there was any damage.
I ran outside for a closer look.
The rain was not only falling hard and fast, but ... sideways and diagonally.
Five second inspection, resulting in a 'OK, doesn't really seem too bad', and I was soaked.
Suddenly a HUGE gust of wind shook everything around me, and I heard a loud snap.
I looked up at the tree the car and I were under.
It was swaying, and cracking, and leaning and ...
I was ducking and running back to the house lol.
After a few minutes, seeing as I was already soaked, and I knew I'd have to get pics of this, simply to memorialize the fact that CRAP like this happens to me, I ran back out with the camera.
AND moved the car.
After I was back in the house, another branch fell.
That snap I heard perhaps?
After the rain stopped, I was was able to get a good look at it.
I couldn't believe it! The bulk of it had barely touched more than the bumper!
The back windshield, intact.
The trunk, intact.
The bike rack, on the other hand? May it rest in peace.
Seriously. The bike rack took the WHOLE impact of the piece of tree that fell on it.
And I say piece, because that sucker was alot bigger than just a branch!
Thankfully the piece that landed on the rack was only a portion of THAT.
Looking at it from the window, my only concern was that the bike rack might have been pushed down into the trunk a bit, possibly denting it.
Once the boys got the tree off, and we later removed the rack, I could see that it had only slightly dented the trunk in two places.
The bike rack was completely warped on one side. Unusable.
UGH! Bite me, Tree! You too, Earl! You owe me a bike rack!
However ... That I could definitely live with.
Could have been MUCH worse, had it gone through the front or back window.
And here's the funny thing.
When I got back from dropping Adam off at the friends house earlier, I parked the car a few feet ahead of where I normally do.
Not realizing at the time that I was doing it.
Later, standing there, looking at the position of the branch and the position of the car, I realized that had I stopped where I usually do when I back in, that thing would have most likely come down on the back window.
Hopefully not through it, but that's definitely where it would have landed.
Thank you, Sixth Sense.
Four houses in a row lost parts of their trees, that I know of.
A big branch landed on the roof of the house next door.
There were branches in everyones yards.
One neighbour had a chainsaw going as soon as the rain stopped, and by 3:30, the mess in my yard was cut and gone :-)
And the neighbour who owns the tree, took the bike rack to try and fix it.
I told him not to worry about it, as the season is almost over anyway and I'd just get a new one next year.
He insisted I give him a shot ... I said sure.
Today, Earl was let off the hook.
I arrived home this afternoon, and as I was getting out of the car, Mr Neighbour pops out from behind the hedge with a 'Helloooooo', hoping not to scare me;
... and scaring the shit out of me!
Once I got my breath back, checked to make sure I wasn't wearing my coffee and he stopped chuckling, he gave me this ...
At first, I thought he'd fixed it.
It was a new one he picked up at a yard sale this morning.
Gotta love yard sales!
Gotta love nice neighbours who wouldn't accept the $5 I wanted to give him ;-)
And yes, all the pieces are there, fully functional and safe.
In better shape than the old one.
Thank you, Mr Neighbour!
Earl? You can still bite me!
Hope everyone has a safe hurricane season!
*Johnny is Alec's friend who slept over the night before the storm, but of course that's not his real name.