I’m sorry there wasn’t an Essex column last week, but with no phone, no power and roads closed everywhere, it was nearly impossible. Irene seemed a lot like a snowstorm, with handfuls of rain flung from the sky and winds shaking the house. We lost power on Sunday afternoon, and Monday Amy went to work early, thinking there had to be power in Plattsburgh. She was wrong. Ginny and I walked over to check on a neighbors’ house — they went to Mongolia for three weeks and left me in charge of their house plants. All was fine there, and after we got home I got on my tractor and went out to mow our old hay fields, unaware of the mayhem Irene delivered to the Champlain Valley. It was clear and cool, with a fine breeze from the northwest, and I worked until noon and then went to town to find an Internet connection to send off a column. The transfer station was open, a good sign, but Essex was out of power so I headed for Willsboro to use the library’s connection and grab a little lunch. The Boquet vetoed that plan, having flooded across Route 22 by the hardware store. There was no power, no lunch, and doubts that any roads to Elizabethtown were passable. It was very strange to see the violence of nature on one of the nicer days of the summer. All week long convoys of bucket and tree working trucks passed our house, much like the ice storm of 1998, and eventually the power came back on. I am thinking about getting a generator because it seems clear that our climate, for whatever reason, is growing more unstable and unpredictable. And the hurricane season is just beginning.
This Saturday there’s going to be a square dance at the Whallonsburg Grange to benefit those affected by the storm. The dancing starts at 7 p.m.
The transfer station has a dumpster available for storm damaged items, free of charge, and the grange parking lot is a collection point for debris from trees.