We’re back! (Sort of.)

Oh look, there's a tree in the garage. And the residents rent this house, I heard from some neighbors.

So how did you fare through this storm?!

All of the photos in this post were taken near/around my parents’ neighborhood in Ocean Township (Monmouth County, NJ), where I’m staying. Their development is more or less near the top of a hill, so flooding isn’t a huge problem in this immediate area. Trees, on the other hand…

Oh so that's why Bowne Road is closed.

We just got our electricity back. Thank goodness for underground wires! My family was lucky: we only went ~42 hours without power, and we have no major structural damage to the house.

I haven’t been to my own apartment in New Providence since Hurricane Sandy started. But because it has overhead wires, and because it was out of power for ~6 days after Snowtober, I can’t imagine it’ll regain power before next week. (There go all my frozen veggie burgers.)

Second floor is pretty damaged, there.

When the electricity went, our phone line— Verizon Fios, fiber optic— ran out of battery after a few hours, and we were without phone, too.

“No problem,” we shrugged, “we still have cell phones.”

NOPE. Twenty-five percent of AT&T cell towers were down, and calls weren’t going through… but we eventually discovered that we could send texts. (So I showed my parents how to text.)

Stop sign is down. Oh and also a giant tree. Thank goodness it missed the house!

If you can read this, you have internet access, so you can see photos of what’s left of the shore towns. I’m just looking at these photos for the first time, and crying, “I just jogged down the Belmar boardwalk last week!” (The Belmar boardwalk is gone.)

Here’s what the Belmar boardwalk USED to look like:
meter & shadow

All these names that keep popping up in the news are my hometown stomping grounds: Asbury Park, Long Branch, Belmar… it’s really weird to hear these town names on national channels. And they’re… destroyed?

I want to go look at the beach for myself, but (a) apparently several towns aren’t allowing people east of the NJTransit train tracks (which are about 1-2 miles inland in this area), and (b) a lot of traffic lights are still unpowered, which makes driving at all a little sketchy.

 

My family went to our local Wegman’s supermarket yesterday… where apparently EVERYONE in town was, too.

The parking lot is NEVER this crowded!

Wegman’s had generators and solar power, so they had electricity, supplies, and ice!

Fun times at Wegmans, after the storm crippled us all!

I was wondering about the scraps of metal strewn about the parking lot, but didn’t give much thought to them; my dad noted that there no longer seemed to be any cart corrals. OH. Apparently the cart corrals were shredded to bits.

 

You can probably find this all for yourself, but here are some links I’ve been looking at:

Photos

  • All over the internet, really, but here’s something to get you started: Fox9 and Yahoo

 

Transportation

 

Electricity

 

Let us know— how’d you make out?

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11 Comments to “We’re back! (Sort of.)”

  1. I’m glad you and your family are safe despite all the storm’s damage. These photos are compelling and disturbing all at the same time. You should consider submitting one or two to cnnireport (go to cnnireport website). They are always looking for different viewpoints. And itd be cool to be featured. I wish y’all the best of luck and keep dry! 🙂

    • Thanks for the CNNi tip— I registered, but got distracted by everyone else’s amazing photos and stories. My photos are old news by n— ooh shiny!!!

      In earnest, we’d been powerless and newspaperless for nearly two days, so when we first got power, that was the first time I’d seen any images of the devastation elsewhere. It’s a NIGHTMARE. I’ve spent the past two days with power doing virtually nothing but looking at hurricane images and trying to figure out what I can do to help.

  2. SO glad you are safe… I’m keeping all those who have been harmed in my prayers and my husband and I made a donation to the Red Cross who is helping the the disaster response…

  3. A lot of downed trees in New Providence, too. I only lost power for 7 hours, but much of the town is still out. Four huge Norway Spruce trees came down in my back yard, but none of them hit anything. I’m a lucky guy, and it’s good to see that you and your family are lucky as well.

    • I’m glad you’re okay, George! Thank you for your well wishes, too! Are you more-or-less housebound, still, or are the roads relatively travel-able up there?

  4. My house in Matawan is without power still. I think the town is pretty much blacked out. (I’m writing from my parents’ house in Tinton Falls.) I am among the lucky ones avoiding water and tree damage. If I had a fireplace, I wouldn’t even mind the lack of power.

    • I’m glad you’re okay! (and have a warm place? and electricity?)

      For us, our hot water heater was gas-powered, so we had hot water the whole time, and there was a grill to cook/ heat water for coffee, and my mom’s stockpile of emergency flashlights were fine… but we kept trying to bail out the sump, and it wasn’t working so well. As soon as the electricity turned back on, the sump pump took about 30 seconds to do what had taken us 50 minutes of furious bucket-brigade bailing, and five minutes to empty it. Maaaaaaaaan.

      I’m not complaining. All things considered, I’d rather have no electricity + an intact house than electricity + a house with a tree-hole in the bedroom ceiling and flood damage throughout.

      • My parents lost power for about 34 hours, similar to yours. They also have a sump pump, and luckily no flooding (this time*). I’m about to go back to my cold, dark house, though. My cat is there, and he’s both cold and hungry by now. (Some cats can graze as they need from a mound of food; mine immediately eats any and all food available as fast as felinely possible… and then promptly throws up if that was too much food. So I use an automatic feeder with an electric timer, but that’s not working so well right now.)

        *A few years ago, it rained quite a lot during rainy season. I don’t think there was any particular huge storm. But we were out of the country for three weeks, and the house was unattended during that time, and the basement took on over a foot of water. My mother and I bailed for seemingly hours upon returning, and we did actually decrease the water level by several inches. But of course everything that was flooded was already ruined, and the water was extremely cold, and finally we just waited until someone could come (a day or more later) and get the sump pump working (probably not a loss of power that time, but rather a malfunction). With this most recent power loss, my mom is raring to shop for a generator, if only to power the sump pump.

        • Poor cat! Hope he’s all right! 😦

          My parents’ sump pump malfunctioned during Hurricane Irene last year— similar situation as your parents. The memory of THAT mess was what compelled my folks to bail out the sump this year, even though our bailing had no discernible effect. (The hole filled right back up again, no matter how much we bailed. As my dad put it, it was like sopping up the ocean with a paper towel.)

          We also had a bit of an escapade where five gallons of dirty sump water was spilled across our family room carpet. FUN.

          I’m really grateful for electricity.

          My dad is talking about a generator “for their next house,” which could happen 20 years from now.

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