Thomas and Zilpah Ludlam House (ca. 1790)

Thomas and Zilpah Ludlam House (ca. 1790)
Thomas + Zilpah Ludlam House, ca. 1790

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hurricane and Earthquake

I haven't written since the earthquake and hurricane arrived the same week in August.  That week I was in Atlanta, helping my daughter move into her first apartment as she prepared to start her first job after college graduation in May.  Scott called me the day we arrived in Atlanta to say there'd been an earthquake.  No damage to the addition or the house, thankfully, and we didn't feel it in Atlanta.

Then, when we were shopping in IKEA for furniture (that's another story in itself) Thursday afternoon, he called to tell me they were ordering a mandatory evacuation of Cape May County by 9 a.m. Friday morning.  My heart sank.  I was 14 hours away (by car) and could do absolutely nothing from Atlanta.  We have 2 cats and a dog; our dog was at the kennel while I was away, but the kennel was just 1/2 hour north of us.  I thought of all the things I would take if I'd been home, like my computer (I work at home and my work life is on that darn thing), my family photos that date back to the late 1800s, etc.  I felt better once my daughter and I got back to the hotel and I could watch the Weather channel--they predicted that the hurricane would be a category 2 heading into a category 1 by the time it reached us.  This house, which is more than 200 years old, has seen lots of hurricanes of that category and has (obviously) survived them all.  Its heavy timber frame made of oak is so much more strong than construction today, and the addition is timber framed as well.

Scott, and many of our friends, decided to ride out the storm.  I'm sure if it was predicted to be category 4 or 5 he would have left.  He covered the addition window and door openings with plywood, also the windows on the northeast side of the main house.  He took the screens out and put the storm windows in.  It took him two full days to get everything just so, and whatever he did worked because the worst we had were some downed branches to clean up.

No comments: