Rodgers Forge: Area takes Mother Nature's double punch

We have certainly been "all shook up" recently. An earthquake and an hurricane swooped down in our community over the span of two weeks.

For the most part, our neighborhood experienced nothing more than violent shaking and a few displaced objects after the earthquake.

However, Hurricane Irene left much greater damage. Uprooted trees and downed electrical lines not only caused closed schools and physical damage, but power outages for days.

You saw much of the damage in the "hurricane edition" of the Towson Times and we conducted some follow-up interviews.

Edie Swoboda was one of the lucky Rodgers Forge residents. She lost power for about one and a half days.

"I was fine," she smiled, "and very fortunate. My son in Hampton lost electricity for one week — with four little children."

"We flew home from Seattle, after visiting our daughter, the day before the storm," said Jean Duvall, a board member for Rodgers Forge Community Inc.

Although Jean and her husband, Tom, saw downed trees in the vicinity, they did not have any on their property.

"Our TV was out for three days and we didn't have any Internet," she said.

RFC President Jennifer Helfrich said that the "The Hill" section of Rodgers Forge received a big whack from Irene.

"Our section was without power until about 4 p.m. on Thursday," Jennifer said, noting that the cause was trees fell on power lines, knocking out transformers.

"There was a lot of yellow tape around here," she said, noting the work of repair crews.

The Haynes household also suffered a loss of power.

"Our electricity didn't return until Thursday" after the weekend storm, Rosemary Haynes said.

She said the family made the best of it, but was thrilled when the lights finally came on.

Charlotte and Paul DuBeau fell into the fortunate category of those who had little affect from Irene.

"We were very lucky" Paul said, though they felt sorry for those, who suffered from the hurricane.

Our neighbors in Gaywood didn't experience the same loss of trees — but many did lose power. Wally Lippincott and family were without electricity until Wednesday.

"However, we had gas, so were able to take hot showers and cook — a great help," Wally said.

He added that because the TV and computer were not working, Gaywood Green was filled with children.

"It's always a popular spot, but after Irene, it was packed — a wonderful sight," he said.

Peggy and Gene Jones "only" lost power for 48 hours, and were thrilled it wasn't longer.

As noted earlier, the first week of school was greatly disturbed by the lack of power. However, now that our schools are back in business, we can look forward to many upcoming events:

• A golden anniversary is in store for St. Pius X School on Sept. 19, when the school celebrates 50 years.

• It may only be September, but Towson High School's students will look ahead to college at the Sept. 22 College Planning Night at 7 p.m.

• It will be a festive day on Sept. 23, when Rodgers Forge Elementary School families gather for the annual Family Picnic. This event, 5 to 7 p.m., includes an ice cream social and the always delicious cake and cupcake walk.

• Towson High, Dumbarton Middle and Rodgers Forge Elementary schools will all close on Sept. 29 in observance of Rosh Hashanah.

• And finally, congratulations to the 2011-12 Dumbarton PTSA officers and committee chairs. These dedicated parents are: Wendy Stringfellow, president; Yolanda Baker, first vice president; Cheri Pegues, second vice president; Lesley Simmons, secretary; and Maureen Iler, treasurer.

The chairs of various committee for the PTSA are Ann Miller, Holly Taylor, Linda Lehmann, Joy Lewandowski, Laura Cole, Tien Triggs, Peggy Thorne and Cheri Pegues. We know you all will make it a terrific year.

May our Jewish friends enjoy peace, joy and sweetness in the New Year.

Till we meet again ...

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