Thursday, August 7, 2014


It's been awhile, but I thought it might be noteworthy to mention the two hurricanes on their way before the power goes out.  You might think we'd be used to hurricanes here in Hawaii, but, in reality, we don't have them very frequently.  The last three that had impact were in 1959 (Dot), 1982 (ʻIwa), and 1992 (ʻIniki).  I was alive and around for the the 1982 and 1992 versions. 

ʻIniki was very destructive at the north end of the state, and that's the one that comes up in the media.  I saw one Reuters article, written by a woman who grew up here, that referenced that one and said the only hurricane of note before 1992 was in 1959.  I can't figure out how she conveniently forgot the 6 days without power (and in some cases, county water) in 1982.  Barbecuing the turkey for Thanksgiving is certainly engraved in my memory.  We had a close shave in 2007, but it turned out to be nothing.  I think people (like me) are simultaneously thinking that this will be the same thing and that it's going to be bad.  Maybe if you are as old as I am you have the second thought, and if you are young like my kids, you think only the first thought. 

School was supposed to start today, but has been canceled for both today and tomorrow.  Most of the students came to campus yesterday to pick up their school computers and some were helping to prepare the garden area for the storm (taking down tarps, putting away implements).  When the call went out (the school has a system that pushes recorded messages to our phones), I heard a boy whoop with joy over the news that school was canceled.  I actually feel a bit sad, even though I am relieved we're all off the roads and safe - some of our kids commute from hours and hours away. 

Anyway, this is what we have to think about:

The barn roof is perfectly situated for our regular winds, but it is like a big wing for the direction of the hurricane winds.  If we do get the 60 mph winds with gusts to 90, we could lose the barn roof.  The chicken coup is not wind proof, so the chickens need to go in the tack room, which is fine if the roof stays put, but it means I need to take all the feed out and the tack out and clean out a LOT of chicken poop tomorrow.  The overabundance of classic, semi-working cars and kids' cars need to be accounted for.  I think, if we move things around, we can fit 2 spitfires, the Chevy, and the small hatchback in the main garage.  One more Spitfire could probably squeeze in with the tractor.  I don't know what is going to happen to my greenhouse, but I will have to hope that since it is close to the house and in a low area that it will be okay.  All the tarps we have up (over the trampoline, etc) need to be taken down.  The barn carports and the old sheep stall next to the horse stalls have old roofing.  I'm worried about those.  We'll put the sheep in the new stall, which my husband built like Fort Knox. 

I really wish we'd figured out a pond liner. With all the rain we'll be having, the pond will be pretty full for a few days - it would be nice if it stayed that way. We have 10,000 gallons of catchment.  That's awesome - unless a tree branch crashes into the fiberglass tanks.  We've had really strong winds before, so I am relatively confident that will be fine, but if it's not, it would be nice to have the pond, too.  

There are lots of things that need to be stowed away - like the cement mixer and wheelbarrow we had out to work on the new chicken coop, some fencing materials, a few odds and ends.  I am kind of wondering about the building materials for the cottage, but probably we can just move those in closer to the barn. 

So today is Iselle - and she appears to be heading, basically, right for my house.  However, we do have these two massive mountains, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, that have always steered hurricanes around the Big Island.  They keep talking about 10-12 inches of rain - and that's just a bad day, not a disaster, in a rainforest.  We had this one storm where we had 24 inches of rain in 24 hours, and it didn't even register at my house - although when I went out a few days later there were bridges and whole chunks of our highway washed away.  We've even had 80 mile an hour winds when we lived in the shack and not even the waiawi and cheap fiberglass barn blew over - it did fall over later when we had a big muddy long period and the horse rubbed up against it (an embarrassing, early moment in homesteading)  My husband was out on the roof, putting in all the screws he never got around to in the middle of it, but nothing happened.  In town, people lost roofs, but nothing up here. 

So, again, I have this "Well, we'll see." attitude.  On the other hand, here I am in a Hurricane Warning and I am thinking about making cookies, and my daughter on Oahu is only on Tropical Storm warning, and I am flipping out about her.  She's one of those who is saying, "They always say it's going to be bad, and it never is, ho hum," and she may be right in this case, but if not, she's there, and I am here, and even those she's 22, she is still my baby.  

In a couple of days, Julio will be close to the islands.  That one, so far looks like it will go a bit north of us, so I am not even thinking about it. 

1 comment:

Barry said...

I see that the hurricanes are just blowhards, after all. Pele shrugged a bit, too, "no big", so I hope you got through Iselle fine, maybe Julio will turn northward and dwindle back to the parched mainland.