We live in a Northeastern state that was hit directly by Irene. Our house is just a block in from the ocean. We were in an area that was covered by a mandatory evacuation. Like all good Americans and 80% of my neighbors, we chose to ignore the evacuation order. I should note that the evacuation order was due to nervousness about a little bridge which is the only way into our neighborhood which meant that no emergency services would be available for 48 hours and not due to some risk of death. Given we are all healthy, our house is on a little hill, and we have hurricane proof windows, we chose to stay, instead of stay in the high school gym which was 1 mile down the road. The storm started fairly small on Saturday night, but by Sunday morning, it was blowing really hard. We had pulled out flashlights, some food, our 72 hour kit, and blankets and put them in our basement in case we needed them. I was feeding the kids breakfast at 7AM or so and the really hard winds hit. The house was shaking and I got a little scared. We were ready to vacate to the basement, but the wind shifted direction and the rest of the day the house never shook again. The trees would bend at some amazing angles and not break. It was amazing to watch. Here, here, and here are some youtube videos from the beach near our house that some idiot shot – it shows the power of the wind. We were amazed at the number of people who were walking or riding bikes and headed to the beach in the middle of the Hurricane. It sure did not seem smart to me. We lost a few limbs from the trees and a lot of leaves, but no other damage – oh, and our power was out for 36 hours. Anyone else meet Irene last weekend?