Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Aftermath of Hurricane Irene: Part 1

I had such a rough night with the Hurricane. I did not sleep a wink since our basement is prone to flooding when we get constant rainfalls.  Without fail, after hours of constant rain, water started coming into the basement through the floors, windows and bulkhead door.   Water was even starting to come in through the drain of the slopsink in the basement.  It's because the slopsink is connected to the sewer line and with the rainwater overloading the sewer system in the neighborhood, the water was coming back into the house.  I spend about 4 hours scooping out the water out of the slopsink with buckets.  The more I scooped, the more the water filled the sink. I kept at it even though I was exhausted because if I didn't remove the water, my basement would have flooded.  What an ordeal!  The next project on my list is to install a shut off valve to prevent water from coming back to the house. When the Hurricane finally passed us, I went outside to check out the garden.  I couldn't wait to see what was in store for me.  I was really surprised, the garden didn't look as bad as I thought it would.  I thought the wind was going to tear down the bean pole trellises, but they were still standing.  Yeah!
However, the same can't be said the same of the tomato plants.  You can't really tell from this photo, but many of the tomato plants  have all fallen over.
Here is a closeup, this tomato plant was tied to a wooden dowel and tomato cage, but that didn't help it  much.   It toppled over.   LOL.  I need to come up with a better trellis system.  I was pretty amazed that some of the tomato cages barely budged in the howling wind.  They did pretty good with protecting the tomato plants.  You'll see on the left a cage still standing.
Before the storm hit, I hesitated with picking the green tomatoes.  I ended up not picking them and hoped for the best.  To my surprise, these large Brandywines stayed on the vine!  I thought because they were so heavy that they would for sure be knocked off the vine.  I am so glad I didn't pick them because I prefer to have them ripen on the vine. Hooray!  I can't wait for the Brandywines to start changing color!!  I can't wait to try these tomatoes.
Outside the picket fence the plants didn't fare as well.  I guess because they had less protection from the wind.  I think the picket fence helped protect the other plants from the whipping wind.  Here is the bed with the tobacco and tomato plants.  It is a toppled mess.
A view from the other side of the raised bed.  The plants are still alive, they just need to be supported somehow.  To be honest, I'm not that sad that these plants were crushed.  It was the hubs hobby, not mine. :)
Here is the bed with some of the tomato plants.  Totally blown over.
Most surprisingly, I only found one green tomato on the ground.  A Yellow Pear!  Isn't it just amazing that all the tomatoes stayed on the vine?  I am sooo impressed!  Even after many of the tomato plants fell, the tomatoes stayed in tact.  I learned a lot from this big storm, that plants are pretty resilient even after Hurricane gust winds and torrential rainfall.  I hope everyone who was in the path of Irene came out of it safe and sound.


  1. Now we can all breathe a sigh of relief! It wasn't as destructive as we feared, and all of our blogging friends are safe. I'm happy your garden survived. The kick in the pants that storm gave your tomatoes will probably just make them ripen faster. When they're stressed, they rush to put forth their fruits.

  2. I'm glad you're okay! I was worried about you and wondering if you had a basement, sorry to hear of that ordeal, I'm sure you are exhausted and pretty traumatized from it all! Good luck with the cleanup, pace yourself... we are back outside again today too!

  3. Glad to hear your garden fared well but what a bummer about your basement. I know what a nightmare that can be!

  4. We have similar damage in our garden. I guess we should be grateful that it wasn't a total loss. Hopefully most of the plants will right themselves.

  5. What a mess. So sorry you had to go thru that.

  6. Sorry to hear about the exhausting mess but glad you are OK. You would be surprised at how resiliant your garden will be... and tomatoes don't mind falling over- it's just our sense of orderliness that makes us prop them up. I've got several that have fallen over in the wind (not even a hurricane) and they still do fine.

  7. Great Job garden!

  8. Glad you are ok. What a pain with the water in the basement. I hope your tomatoes recover. We had a tomato plant totally blown over like that one year. Bent the cage and everything. We just left it lay there and it took off and made so many tomatoes and got really big. It may look like a jungle but it still produced. Good luck!

  9. I'm just glad YOU came out safe and sound! Your garden will require some tending but I'm sure you agree, it could have been much worse. Glad your tomatoes will be okay.

  10. Tis true! It could be worse!
    Those are sad looking tobacco plants, for sure. Hubby grows a bit too.

    It will grow back.


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