It was a dark and stormy night...
Hurricane Irene peaked over Virginia around 2AM. By morning around 890,000 Virginia/DC/Maryland residences had lost power. I lost power around 3:30AM and stayed up until dawn to make sure my basement didn't flood. I have a newly finished basement with all my electronics plus a new AC sump pump and a DC backup pump. The pumps were installed about a month after I moved into the house. My neighborhood has a ton of trees and I expected frequent power outages due to falling branches.
After the outage, the main pump stopped running and the backup pump took over, working straight through the early morning hours. It ran continuously for about 4 hours until the rain had stopped and the ground water had leveled off.
Dominion power did a great job getting power restored. Mine was back on by 10AM. That's a quick turnaround, in my book, considering the hundreds of thousands that were effected. Try living overseas and being without it for days and then you'll see how nice it is to be here in the States.
The only other damage around my house was all the dead branches in my front and back yards. One cluster of branches fell about 20 feet from me after I had just cleared the yard. Even though it's now a sunny Sunday morning, there's still a strong wind blowing, so I'll leave the rest of the cleaning till this evening.