Tag Archives: salt

I hate hurricanes that start with ‘I’

When most sane people will be heading ‘inland’ or westbound today, I am driving east.  In fact, I noticed on the news that VDOT may institute their emergency lane reversal tomorrow for Interstate 64, which means not only is I-64 West heading west, but so will I-64 East.  So I may have to find some alternate route to ‘swim upstream’.

I have been praying constantly that this hurricane will just magically disappear!  I’ve been checking the weather constantly.  Pretty much every 5 minutes and I don’t know the last time I’ve watched the news so much!  My mom lives on the water near Hampton, VA so she’ll probably get hit pretty hard.  :(  Irene is supposed to be 1-2 categories higher than Isabel.


When Hurricane Isabel came through in 2003,  6 inches of dirty, nasty salt water came inside our house.  And our house is fairly high.  I remember watching the water rise outside our house {and we’ve endured many nor’easters, this was nothing new to us.  Actually, we usually had fun when it flooded.  We’d get boats out and row around our yard because the water was usually at least 2-3′ high.}.  My dad was adamant that it wasn’t going to come inside our house.  But my mom became more nervous so she had us quietly pick up anything and everything off of the floor, on the first floor.  Which was A LOT of stuff!  We had games/blankets/file cabinets in our game closet, shoes/outside gear in our coat closet, photos in boxes/books/vinyl records on our wall unit, etc…  There was stuff everywhere!  Not to mention we had to raise all of our furniture to try to save it.  The only thing we could find was canned food in our pantry and a few cans of paint.    When the water started coming in the house, we were shocked.  And it didn’t start coming in the doors.  The place we saw water first enter our house was through the floor vents {the ducting runs in the crawl space under the house – this was also ruined and had to be ripped out as soon as the water went down}.  It was horrifying.  I know that almost every house in our town was experiencing the same thing we were and many had it worse.

Finally the water went down.  Nobody talked much.  We were all so overwhelmed.  There was so much to do.  So much was damaged.  We immediately started ripping everything out of our house – our kitchen cabinetry, wall units from our family room {basically built-in cabinetry that goes from floor to ceiling}, carpet, drywall {had to rip about 3′ from the floor up because the water traveled up so far}…  In our garage, we rinsed everything off but for most of it, it was too late.    Most to all of the tools/equipment in our garage/pole shed was ruined by the salt water.  Luckily, we had a motor home {which we had moved to higher ground before the water started rising} where we stayed for weeks until our house was liveable again.  Fortunately, my dad was around and he seemed to magically fix everything.  This could also be my childish naivety.  I know my parents went through a lot and were stressed out but they sure didn’t convey it to us.  Now, with Irene looming, my dad isn’t around {he passed away in 2004 – I’ll write about that later}.  But my brothers are so much like my dad, especially my youngest brother, Tyler.  He and my brother, Shawn stepped in and grew up overnight.  They missed a lot of their childhood as a result of my dad passing.

The thing that I remember the most about Isabel is the horrible salt water smell that would not. go. away.  I grew up on the water and I’m used to the smell of salt water.  Usually it’s a very refreshing and comforting smell.  But this smell did not belong and it lingered for weeks.

So tomorrow, I am going back home.  This time, my husband, Brandon will be with me.  He might be experiencing what I hoped we would never have to go through again.  I usually get this flutter in my stomach when I go home {I know that sounds weird/lame.  Most people couldn’t wait to get out of town, but not me.} because I love going home so much.  But I have been dreading this trip because I know what could happen.  I wish I could blink and all this hurricane business would be a dream.  I’m just going home to visit my mom and do the things we always do.  But there is also no where else I’d rather be than with my mom and my childhood home.

My brother, Tyler is also coming home from Virginia Tech {After only being there 5 days – he had just started his fall semester at school.}.  Maybe the water won’t come inside the house!  I’m still praying that is the case!  I believe in miracles!  But if that is what God has planned, then that’s ok.  We’ll get through it again like we did last time.  In the meantime, we could use as many prayers as possible!

I’ve attached a few pictures that I found online that reflect my memory of Isabel {my hard drive crashed with all of my Isabel pictures}.

Almost every house had signs like this in front of their house.  Most had their insurance companies names spray painted on plywood in front of their damaged possessions. {Source}




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