Post Hurricane Irene Nature Walks

About an hour ago, we finally got our power back!

We lost it Saturday night around 10:32pm during “Dr. Who”… I mean Hurricane Irene.

I was monitoring my various networks, watching for things related to the storm that was all around us.

The TV was nothing but an Emergency Broadcast transmissions for tornado warnings all over the area.

The first alert was described as strong storm, with possible circular rotation for areas to the south, starting in New Castle and heading towards Kennett Square.

About 5 minutes later, there was another warning that included the King of Prussia area.

We are right in the middle, and needless to say, I was a little nervous.

At 10:31pm, I posted to Facebook that our lights were browning…

Then the Power was gone…

I turned on the radio and listened as I paced the house, moving from the front to the back, and occasionally into the garage to look out into the night from one of the opened doors.

Sometime around 3:30am, I finally laid down and continued to listen to the radio before I falling asleep.

I was woken up by my wife, as she prepared snacks for the kids, who were upstairs watching a movie on the iPad.

They were happy.

Walking around the house, I surveyed out all the windows to see what the outside looked like, and how many branches would I be picking up later.

I also watched for cars to gauge how the roads were, and as I saw more, I wanted to go out to see for myself, and so did Madison.

We got down to Kerr Park around 11:30, and saw several other people already exploring what Irene had left.

Kerr Park 003 - Small Bridge
Kerr Park 003 – Small Bridge

After parking, both Madison and I walked across the water-logged grass, and headed toward the Brandywine creek, which was well over it’s banks.

Kerr Park 013 - Flooding
Kerr Park 013 – Flooding

The small little stream and bridge in the middle of the park were covered with several inches of water.

Kerr Park - Fallen Tree - Hurricane Irene
Kerr Park – Fallen Tree

One could also see that one of the older trees and fallen over during the heavy winds from the night before.

Madison on top of fallen tree root ball
Madison on top of fallen tree root ball

After walking around some more, we headed back to the car, and off to the Dam along Struble Trail.

Kerr Park 096 - Trees and Flooding
Kerr Park 096 – Trees and Flooding

When we got to the small little parking area, there was another family already investigating the dam and all the water that was flowing over it.

Struble Trail Dam 01 - Downingtown
Struble Trail Dam 01 – Downingtown

We finished taking our pictures, walked back to the car, and on to home.

Once there, Logan was now ready to see the outside world also, so we jumped into the car, and headed to the Dowlin Forge Road entrance to the Struble Trail.

I was actually a little surprised to see as many folks walking the trail, but considering that the power was still out, what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

As Logan and headed West, we found our little trail that leads down to the edge of the Brandywine, but were confronted with a large puddle from earlier flooding. Logan jumped on my back for a piggy-back ride across and we continued on.

It was loud and many of the ‘normal’ creek-bed features, were covered in several inches of deep water.

I wanted to find the “Creek Claw“, but with all the water, I knew that it was not going to be, but I was able to find the “Hobbit House” tree.

110828 Struble Trail - Hobbit House Tree
Struble Trail – Hobbit House Tree

As I took several different angles, I reminded Logan that when the water was lower, he was able to stand inside.

He looked at me with disbelief, and then went back to lightsabering the tree branches.

We continued down the dirt trail, and back up to the main paved trail.

On the way back to the car, we only saw one tree laying across the trail, which was a surprise.

Fallen tree across Struble Trail
Fallen tree across Struble Trail

From the parking lot, we drove along Creek Road (Rt. 282) back into Downingtown, and on to Kerr Park for a quick stop, and no camera.

As we walked around, I pointed out where the water had been earlier and told him I would show him the pictures later, once we had power again.

– Andrew
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