The television and Internet are showing me scenes of serious flooding and downed trees and power lines, and report that record numbers of people are without power in Virginia and that some residents of Alexandria and Fairfax County are being asked to boil their water before drinking or even brushing their teeth. My mom confirms that she is without power still at the temporary apartment in Richmond, and that the hospital is without power or water (though it does have generators keeping the essential equipment running, it has no air conditioning and no working bathrooms at present). Even other parts of Arlington have been reported to have been hit with power outages and property damage.
Yet here at elf central, you’d be hard pressed to know that there’d even been a hurricane through here last night and early this morning. Even at the peak of the winds, my condo building was nearly completely and almost oddly unscathed. We never lost power for more than two or three minutes at a time, and certainly less than a dozen times altogether. While I could see swaying trees down the hill in the townhouse subdivision next to my condo building, those in our courtyard seemed barely to move, and the dirt on my balcony–which during normal rain storms usually swirls madly around in the strong wind gusts that sweep along the back side of the building–wasn’t even disturbed, even though it was the only thing there given that I’d removed all the furniture and plants so they wouldn’t be blown off. The angle of the winds also meant that my vertical blinds only occasionally fluttered gently despite keeping the windows and patio door open; in fact, the blinds are moving much more actively now, with just normal winds outside.
I’m not complaining, exactly. I’m glad that Jeff and I were safe and comfortable–hell, even the satellite signal on the television only went out from rain fade a couple of times, significantly less than I expected, given that it normally goes out during more typical and ostensibly more gentle Washington thunderstorms. And I’m very happy that I have power, drinkable water, and that my phone, television and Internet connectivity are working now and continued to operate almost without fail throughout the hurricane. But I was perhaps expecting and hoping for something a little more thrilling.