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bags's avatar

I am in SW NH, what kind of damage can I expect from Irene (she is due to pass west of us)

Asked by bags (464points) August 27th, 2011

The eye of the storm is reckoned to pass over Keene, I live about an hour’s drive from there. I’ve been told we will get more wind than rain. I live in a very rural area, more forested than field. Could fellow jellies, experienced in this, give me advice??

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13 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

I think the worst damage we’re going to see in New England is going to be from flooding. NOAA predictions are for 6” or more of rain in the next 24 – 36 hours, and that’s all going to be coming back downstream next week.

marinelife's avatar

“A classic heavy rain event, called a predecessor rain event (PRE), will occur on Saturday night across all of southern New England. The main impact from Irene will occur from Sunday into Sunday evening with slowly improving weather conditions after midnight Sunday night.

Heavy rain with moderate to major flooding is likely across all of New England. 6 to 12 inches of rainfall is expected across southern New England from Saturday night to Sunday night.

Widespread power outages and tree damage seems likely and extended power outages lasting for days may be possible across much of southern New England. Everyone across southern New England should be prepared for these possible extended power outages.

Widespread power outages are likely. Trees and utility lines will be down in many areas from eastern North Carolina to southern New England. Numerous roads will also be blocked by debris. Make sure you have enough food and water to last several days. In addition, make sure that you have an adequate supply of essential medicine and other medical supplies. When the power is out in your local area, you will not be able to use many things like gas pumps, ATM machines and cash registers. Fill up your vehicle and withdraw enough cash to last you several days in case you need it.”


Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I am very near you.

We will likely lose power and experience heavy flooding. I have been here through a couple of Hurricanes, we will lose some heavy trees crashing into homes.

Almost all of the homes in NH seem to have basement flooding in these events.

What always surprises me is the road losses. Many of the roads in NH cities flood out due to them passing between the granite cliffs. I remember the entire town of Hooksett was cut off for several days a couple of years back.

jerv's avatar

I expect it won’t be nearly as bad as when Alstead got washed away in 2005. I think Cheshire County learned a few lessons from that one.

Still, we got by mostly because we had enough food in our house to last the few days it took to repair the roads well enough to get to Keene (though we had to detour through Sullivan to do so for a few weeks) or even repair our road well enough to get to our mailbox a mile away. Many towns in my area were cut off for a few days due to damage to 123, 9, and 10; damage that took a long time to repair. Plan for some road issues.

As for the power, I would wager that the ice storm of 2008 did more damage than Irene will do. Our place was out for 11 days after that storm (thankfully, we moved to Seattle on the sixth day so we only had to endure a 33F house for half of that.) and our road was only intermittently passable, mostly since my neighbors were chainsaw-wielding maniacs with tractors to move the larger trees; the state was more concerned will more populated areas.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@jerv reminded me to ask you, do you have a sump pump? If you are on a lower level, just assume that the basement will be damp and take a walk around to get anything off the floors that would experience water damage, or get damp and grow mold later.

jerv's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought Where I lived was halfway up a hill in a place with no cellar, just a crawlspace about four feet high, so I was lucky since I never needed one.

My in-laws though, they had a place about fifty feet from the Ashuelot River. They needed a new water heater after their washer and dryer floated off and bumped into it. I think you can guess what state their half-finished basement was in afterwards! Needless to say, the wall paneling was nasty, the walls behind it were worse, and the carpet…

Whether a sump pump is something you need or that would help depends on your location and how your house is built. I saw both extremes in 2005 and would wager that you are somewhere in between.

YARNLADY's avatar

The National Hurricane Center has a blow by blow description of what to expect.

ETpro's avatar

You should fare reasonably well. The strongest winds are on the eastern side of the eye wall, so you will get some tropical-storm force winds. But you probably won’t see winds greater than a good nor/easter brings us. You;ll get some soaking rain, but less than those on the western side of the storm, so the flooding potential (probably the greatest threat to life and property) is reasonably low for you.

Fare the well. I’m in Boston, so if I still have electricity after it passes us, I can let you know what to expect.

jerv's avatar

From everything I’ve seen thus far, the worst NH can expect is horror storied from other parts of the coast where the storm hasn’t had the time to weaken and hasn’t been forced over inhospitable terrain. Unless the thing hits the Connecticut River Valley straight on (highly unlikely; I never saw that in the three decades I lived in that area), VT and NH don’t see nearly the fury seen by the Carolinas. Hell, the Flood of 2005 took the collision of two storms, and even that one wasn’t too bad compared to what Katrina did a couple of months earlier.

jerv's avatar

So, how did y’all fare? My folks said they didn’t get much, but it seems that parts of Brattleboro, VT (practically next door to them) got hit hard, especially those by the Whetstone Brook.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv Never lost power here. Max gust in Boston was 63 MPH. We get much worse in winter nor’easters. But the websten part of the state is dealing with some serious flooding. About half a million in the state are without power. Lots of trees down on houses and wires. So it spared me, but it wasn’t a minor event.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Absolutely no problems in central NH. Hardly rained.

Vermont looks hard hit. Talking about 100 year floods on the news.

bags's avatar

We got some wind here in the Monadnocks. Rained hard for a while. Most winter storms we get are more of an issue than this was. However, listening to the scanner gave us plenty to think about….like how very, very fortunate we were.

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