Re: Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Cohousing
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 07:53:22 -0700 (PDT)
Irene was a tropical storm when it came to Berlin, MA, more wind than water, 
and a great deal of wind. About three quarters of our two communities (Mosaic 
and Camelot) were out of electricity and some of those with electricity ran out 
of internet (that is, the cable went out).

There was a hurricane party Saturday night in Camelot and one on Sunday night 
in Mosaic. Both common houses have generators.

My favorite thing, however, is the extension cords running from homes (and the 
common house) with electricity and plugging into the non-electrified home's 

I was away during the storm prep, and enjoyed coming home to find that the 
neighbors had checked out my house and put away what needed to be put away.

Because of my work I had to go out Sunday afternoon at the height of the storm. 
Many trees were down, but because the central mass community was so prepared, 
those road blockages were cleared up right away. 

This isn't a cohousing story, but I have heard that the covered bridge I spent 
a weekend painting at Quechee Gorge in Vermont is completely gone, washed away 
in the flooding. Very sad.

Elizabeth Magill

On Aug 29, 2011, at 10:05 AM, Ann Zabaldo wrote:

> Hello all --
> First ... a shout out to those cohousers -- and everyone -- living on the 
> East coast:  how are you doing viz a vis Irene?   I hear VT is heavily 
> impacted with flooding.  How about the rest of you?  Please let us know how 
> you are fairing.
> Here at Takoma Village in northwest Washington, DC we managed to survive The 
> Great Quake followed by Irene just a few days later.  I was in the kitchen 
> cutting up an apple when the earth's crusts moved.  Having never experienced 
> an earthquake I didn't have the slightest idea what was happening.  I did 
> rule out workmen stomping on the roof when I saw the kitchen window move back 
> and forth.  Once I found out it was really an earthquake I started sending 
> emails to folks saying " ... we had an earthquake!" meaning that "we" right 
> here at Takoma Village had its own earthquake.  Well ... when you consider we 
> have been struck by lightening frying major electrical and digital 
> communication systems from which we still have not 100% recovered, flooded 
> routinely, and trapped by 6 ft of snow ... having our own earthquake didn't 
> seem so far fetched.  Besides ... I don't know anything about earthquakes.  
> Well, "" said my business partner, Jack.  "It was a little bigger than 
> that ..."
> I do know something about hurricanes having grown up in Tampa, FL.  I've 
> lived through enough of them to know they are great pains in the butt along 
> w/ being very destructive and life threatening even after passing through.   
> The threat is not over once the rain stops.  Ground soaked by rain can still 
> cause problems days later as trees w/ weakened root systems crash on to power 
> lines, parked cars, etc.  Plus you may also be w/out potable water or 
> electricity for days.  When Isabel hit here in 2003 we were w/out power for 
> FIVE days.
> So ... how are you guys doing out there?
> Best --
> Ann Zabaldo
> Takoma Village Cohousing
> Washington, DC
> Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
> Falls Church VA
> 703 663 3911
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