Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Good Night Irene.

Irene has come and gone.  I've got some mixed feelings on the visit.  On one hand, I'm glad that we got some rain - we've been needing some for a while and, frankly, we needed some to paddle on.  There has been a watering restriction in place for about two months.  On the other hand, we've seen some spectacular scenes of destruction in nearby areas and more significantly in Southern Vermont.  While wind was a minor component, the amount of rain beggars the imagination.

We probably received about 6" of rain here in about 12-14 hours while areas in Vermont received as much as 15" of rain this past weekend.  One nearby reservoir added 87 feet - yes feet - of water.  According to a local news report, they were filling the reservoir at a rate of 29,000 cubic feet per second!

A local stream had an all-time high for both gage height and flow, beating the previous height  by about a foot and flow by several hundred cubic feet per second.  That is only truly impressive when you realize that the previous flow rate for the stream in the days before the storm were about 28-50 cubic feet per second and the peak flow was almost 7,000 cubic feet per second.   In some places, larger rivers will probably continue to rise for days.

There are roads and bridges out in the vicinity and will probably be for some time making travel difficult.  Wilmington, Vermont was cut off from support due to flooding and washed out roads and bridges.

Power remains out in some places as is phone and internet service.

We were fairly fortunate here.  Not to make light of the situation, but this is the damage we had:

A wayward grill cover - returned to the neighbor three doors down.

One dislodged birdhouse. Returned to the upright position.

One damaged tree and a few sticks.  Sadly, the tree was a total loss.

We consider ourselves very lucky.  We were inconvenienced and our plans for the next few days have some minor changes.  However, we're all in one piece and we truly suffered no significant damages.  After last week's earthquake, I guess I shouldn't have tempted fate by asking, "What's next?"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wait a minute...

Sitting at work today at my computer, my peaceful afternoon was disrupted when the room started to shake.  At first I chalked it up to heavy equipment moving around at the business next door.  Then it continued...  and continued...  and continued...  The USB cable attached to the side of one of my monitors was swinging back and forth quite a bit.  After about 20 seconds or so, the motion subsided.  Was that an earthquake?  Hmmm...  Then my cell phone rang.  DW was on the phone - "Did you feel that?" 

I later found out that it was an earthquake in Virginia that registered 5.8 on the Richter Scale.  As an engineer, that is truly an impressive amount of energy that must have been released for us to feel it here and people as far north as Toronto to also feel it!

MINERAL, Va. (AP) — For a few minutes from Georgia to Maine, the question rang out: What was that? The answer — a rare East Coast earthquake, magnitude 5.8 — was far down on the list for most not used to the earth shaking beneath them.
In Washington and New York, their nerves still raw, thoughts instantly turned to terrorism. In small towns and rural areas near the epicenter and elsewhere, guesses ran the gamut: A truck crash or train derailment. A plane breaking the sound barrier. Worse, a nuclear reactor exploding.
There ended up being no known deaths or serious injuries from Tuesday's quake, but cracks appeared in the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral, which had three capstones break off its tower. Windows shattered and grocery stores were wrecked in Virginia, where the quake was centered. The White House and Capitol were evacuated.
A day later, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the quake serves as a reminder for residents to be prepared.
"We talk about hurricanes this time of year, but we forget that A: earthquakes don't have a season and B: they are not just a western hazard," FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said in an interview on ABC's Good Morning America.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

After the passive-agressive post yesterday...

I did some looking around and found a website where I think the office manager needs to get some new office supplies.  It's Knock Knock.  Some of what they have is spectacularly inappropriate.  Still, I think we need some of these:

Perhaps a few pads of these would be helpful, too: