What We Did Before the Hurricane Came
Post-Irene Clean-Up

Hurricane Irene and Charlie

Post Hurricane Irene  -- center of our town

Hurricane Irene came and went, leaving a submerged car in the center of our town, a few blocks from our house.

We go under that bridge EVERY day

A flooded-out car under the overpass that's even closer to our house.

A river runs through the middle of our town. There's some lovely houses built right on it on the 'fancier' north side. We live literally 'across the tracks' -- the north side houses are on the side of town with the better schools, 'tis said. But as Charlie was in special ed when we moved here in February 2003, it didn't matter which 'side' we lived on.

I would say, we chose to live on the right side, as this is what the north side looked like post-Irene passing through. (Yeh, 'dead end,' no kidding.)

River in the middle of our town flooded 

Charlie slept through the furious wind and rain that came when the hurricane hit. On waking Sunday morning, he called to go out to New Jersey horse country and it took several minutes to absorb that we couldn't. He and Jim proceeded to go on a bike ride after I waded through several inches of water to the shed in the back yard where we keep the bikes.

They couldn't do their usual route due to several fallen trees, piles of debris and branches and flooding. Charlie was troubled by the change in the landscape and in his routine -- he always does look out the windows to check where we are as we drive, so seeing the post-hurricane wreckage must have shaken him. He wanted to get in the white car once back so off we went, only to find that just getting out of our town was a maze. We were very lucky not to have -- like thousands of other people -- lost our electricity. but other parts of our town had and the signals were out, so traffic moved slowly and roads everywhere were blocked by downed trees and flooding, as indicated by yellow police tape.

Charlie endured the stops and starts after some very tense moments. It was disorienting enough for Jim and me to find roads blocked and to have to make numerous turnarounds and back-ups. Charlie is often irked just when we have to make a u-turn or go back home to get something forgotten so the many abrupt halts and turns we had to made must have rattled him to the core.

Once back home, Charlie went straight to bed and slept for almost three hours. I'd say his system was so undone by seeing the post-Irene mess, not to mention so many familiar spots (McDonalds! the supermarket, gas stations, pharmacies) all closed and dark, that he just conked out.

Jim and are also thinking, the big behavior storm he had on Friday was directly related to Charlie feeling Irene a-coming. A hurricane that leads to New York's subway system being shut down and 370,000 people evacuated has got to have an earth-shattering effect on a sensitive-to-everything boy.

Despite that nap, and after a second bike ride (on which Jim scouted out more of which streets were cleared and which closed), Charlie still was sound asleep by 11pm, to the sound of ocean waves on his iPad.

Post hurricane bike ride



Oh good- I was worrying about all of you. Glad Charlie slept through the storm- Henry has been waking with storms lately.

Melanie Harper

My kid is very barometrically sensitive, as am I. Seems lots of our unique kids are, according to my special-ed teacher friends. Glad y'all are doing OK. My parents live in eastern NC at the landfall location, and they would just love some electricity!

Liz Ditz

I was thinking of you yesterday...glad nothing bad happened.

Kristina Chew

@Melanie, oh no, do they have any power yet?

People just a block over lost their power. We feel _really_ lucky.

But am still charging Charlie's iPad every chance I get.


Just chiming in with the "barometrically sensitive" -- I have a student who is not fond of weather in general (he dislikes sun, wind, rain, etc.), but he is especially miserable before and during a big change in weather...we see a big change not only in his anxiety level but his concentration and desire for sensory strategies (especially deep pressure on his head and ears).

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