Well, as near as I can tell, the storm passed right over my island so I think I made the correct decision by leaving. Of course I have no way of knowing how much destruction the storm wrought there. Here, inland, there's been little to report. We lost power for about 90 minutes earlier this morning but otherwise there has been absolutely no impact from this thing.
Both dogs have gone outside twice since I woke this morning (they kind of had to) but they really, really didn't like it. The wind has knocked down a couple of tree limbs and the rain has been steady and they don't seem to know what to do about inclement weather other than to squat quickly and then run inside twice as fast.
Irene is passing north of us now, and past experience leads me to think that once she's gone we'll see an immediate improving in the weather, which means that sometime tomorrow I'll be able to get back on the island and find out how badly I've been hit.
But until then I am more than content to camp out with the dogs at my grandmother's house (she is spending the storm with her "gentleman caller," so I have the place to myself), watching the wind lash the trees and thinking how nice it is to be sheltered.