Self-Inflicted Hurricane Wounds

We were lucky and didn’t get any damage directly caused by Hurricane Irene.  There was a brief loss of cable/Internet, but no power outage.  Despite the trees making us nervous by swinging wildly, no limbs came crashing down.  There was some wetness in our basement, but not big flooding.  The latter was caused more by a lack of waterproofing in some areas.  Add that to the giant Things That Need To Be Fixed Around The House.

The major “damage” was the loss of our planned 10th anniversary trip to Disney.  Thankfully, we got a full refund from Southwest and Disney and are trying to figure out how and when to reschedule it.  More about the trip in another post.  For now, I want to talk about the one piece of damage that occurred.  The self-inflicted hurricane damage.

We heard about people putting bags of water in their freezer pre-hurricane.  The theory is that the water will freeze and 1) keep your freezer cold should the power go out and 2) give you water to use should you lose water.  So I did this.  I took four gallon sized Ziploc bags, filled then with water and carefully put in the freezer.

As the hurricane passed, I began to think about what to make for dinner.  Since we still had power (but weren’t sure if this would last given the blowing trees), I decided to quickly heat some frozen meals.  I went to the freezer and tugged.  It wouldn’t budge.

Our refrigerator is one of those models with the fridge on top and a freezer drawer on the bottom.  At times, items will get wedged in there making it tricky to open.  I immediately though of the water bags and figured that they expanded and got stuck.  So I tugged more.  B came over and we both tried.  She got nervous that the entire fridge would fall on me.  No matter how much I pulled, though, it wouldn’t budge.

Finally, I gave it one last big pull and heard a cracking sound as it opened.  I looked and immediately saw what went wrong.  One of the bags had sprung a leak.  The dripping water ran all over the freezer drawer’s track and formed a solid ice block.  I took out the ice bags and tried to figure out how to remove the ice without thawing the entire freezer.

My solution was to get our hair dryer out.  I set it on the highest and it worked wonderfully to melt the ice off of the tracks (and anywhere else I found it).  Finally, the freezer was fixed and I closed it.

Except that it wouldn’t close right.  The formally-iced-up side closed fine, but the other side was still open a bit.  After another 10 minutes of trying various things, I realized that the tracks weren’t aligned right.  I pushed the freezer shut until it clicked back into place and now it seems to be working fine.

Lesson learned: Next time I put a bag of water into the freezer, put it in a bowl to catch any leaking liquid!

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