This is us, Justin and Brandon writing home again. We've had quite an eventful two days. See, we thought that being way up north in the mountains, we were far away from feeling any real effects from Hurricane Ivan, although we watched the news carefully to be sure our families in Georgia and Texas, respectively, were OK.
But the storms got here Friday evening. We didn't really think a lot of it, because we were expecting thunderstorms and we pretty much slept through it. The Soapbox Collector had to teach a class early Saturday morning, so she had to drive to Scranton to the university. The first we heard that the storms were very big, was when she called from her car to say that she was on her third detour trying to get from the B&B to work, and that if we needed anything from the store we should come up with a list before she was done teaching. She said she would stop at the store on the way home if we wanted, but that nobody should plan on going back out once she got home. She also told us that one street near the B&B, which we take all the time, was now under rushing whitewater! We didn't need anything from the store, but we did go look outside. Wow!
As the day went on, we heard more. There were a lot of mandatory evacuations, and the governor declared the region a disaster area. Some manufactured homes and RVs floated away, leaving some people homeless. A whole lot of roads were closed, as were most of the bridges. There was an incident of major mine subsidence in the middle of a street, that scared drivers and swallowed a parked car, but nobody was hurt in the subsidence--it just left a giant 50 to 60-foot-deep hole in the road!
We didn't really go outside yesterday, because it just wasn't very pleasant out. The Soapbox Collector made it home safe and sound, but she was ranting a lot about how the high school kids taking her SAT prep class had shown up for class, all but one. They had all driven themselves, some from pretty far away. The Soapbox Collector kept asking Grrlinthemoon things like what kind of families would send inexperienced teenage drivers out in the flood for something like her class. We didn't really understand all of that, because we're only used to homeschooling and neither of us drives anywhere, but we do know that the Soapbox Collector thinks unschooling is really good.
Today, it was bright and sunshine-y, but there was still a lot of water if you went down below where the B&B is. Fortunately, we're up almost to the top of a big hill, and with a pretty steep yard, so we didn't have any flood damage at all. But at the bottom of this hill, just two blocks away, is the Lackawanna River. The river flooded all along the valley.
The newspaper this morning had lots of pictures of the flood, and stories about it. Some areas got almost 9 inches of rain in 24 hours! You can read the newspaper articles and see a few pictures at this link: http://www.scrantontimes.com . The articles there don't have the pictures that were in the newspaper, though. We wanted to show you the pictures to go with the stories at http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=12955242&BRD=2185&PAG=461&dept_id=415898&rfi=6 and http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=12955251&BRD=2185&PAG=461&dept_id=415898&rfi=6 . But, the Soapbox Collector said to get our moms to read the stories first, and then see if they want to share them with the kids, because they're a little bit scary. If you want to see the pictures, we can try photographing the newspaper and sending them to you. The Soapbox Collector said we shouldn't post them on the Internet because there are lots of little kids who look at the B&B blog, and because of something about copyrights.
OK, we're going to bed now. We love you!
Justin and Brandon