Posts tagged ‘Athena’

November 10, 2012

Snow makes everything look pretty

West Allenhurst, NJ across Deal Lake

You’d never guess that this whole area was flooded just a week and a half ago! (Actually, I don’t know whether or not Deal Lake flooded. Still, it probably looked a lot worse than it does now.)

The temperature’s been reasonably warm (above freezing, anyway) since Wednesday night’s blizzard, so a lot of the snow has melted already. Which is good.

A lot of places in New Jersey barely got a dusting of snow anyway.


On the subject of snow being a pain in the arse, here’s what JCP&L has to say about the power situation:

Late yesterday heavy, wet snow and high winds from the Athena nor’easter resulted in approximately 120,000 additional power outages in the Jersey Central Power & Light service territory. This is in addition to the approximately 149,000 customers who remain without power from Hurricane Sandy.

So Winter Storm Athena almost doubled the number of customers without electricity. Awesome.

But on the bright side, current promises are that most people (except those in devastated shore areas) will have power back by Sunday (November 11). That’s cool. Maybe I can go back to New Providence soon.

November 9, 2012

A brief review of the New Jersey transit situation

Train tracks in Allenhurst, totally unused for nearly two weeks

Train tracks in Allenhurst, NJ, unused for nearly two weeks


Commuting from New Jersey into New York, which isn’t fun under NORMAL conditions, has become downright awful since the hurricane.

The buses are more-or-less working again, but out of NJ Transit’s 10 rail lines, 4 are running, and only 1 goes into New York. (Ironically, one of the lines that’s running is Atlantic City, which took the most direct hit from Hurricane Sandy.)

And they can only run 13 out of the 63 morning-rush-hour NJ Transit trains that usually come into New York.

NJ Transit rail system map, normal, November 2011 NJ Transit rail system, hurricane recovery map, November 9 2012
NJ Transit rail map, normally (November 2011) NJ Transit rail map, hurricane recovery (November 2012)

This means a LOT of rail commuters suddenly need to find alternative ways to get into New York.
Which basically means we all need to find the nearest bus stop and hop on a bus.

Here are some facts:

Obviously, if you suddenly try to put tens of thousands of displaced rail commuters on buses, and you don’t increase the number of buses, that’s not going to work.

NJ Transit has been good enough to arrange “emergency shuttle bus service” from a few NJ origins into New York. (It’s free, which annoys the hell out of commuters who already paid for their monthly passes.)

This is great, but it hasn’t been working too well. Since buses are the only logical way for suburban New Jerseyans to get into New York, the Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) has been mobbed. (I nearly had a panic attack trying to navigate the crowds, and it took me an hour just to find my damn bus gate on Tuesday.)

As of Thursday afternoon, NJ Transit announced that it would be adding six new emergency shuttle buses to its lineup. These new bus solutions all go to a ferry terminal, where commuters transfer to a ferry to take them into New York. This will bypass the PABT and hopefully reduce the ridiculous overcrowding.

NJ Transit Emergency shuttle service, November 6-8, 2012 NJ Transit emergency shuttle service, as of November 9, 2012
NJ Transit Emergency shuttle service, November 6-8, 2012 NJ Transit emergency shuttle service, as of November 9, 2012

We’ll see.

Hopefully this will all be over soon, but I have my doubts.

In the meantime, here are some links I’ve been refreshing obsessively to stay as on-top-of-this as possible:

November 8, 2012

Bleeping blizzards!

NJ nor'easter snow accumulation as of 9PM, Ocean Twp (Monmouth County)

Soooooo there’s a blizzard in New Jersey.

It’s a lot more snow than anyone thought we’d get.

This was snowfall prediction for Athena-the-nor’easter as of yesterday morning (around 9am):
National Weather Service snow totals prediction, around 9AM EST


And this was the snowfall prediction for Athena-the-nor’easter as of yesterday evening (around 9pm):
National Weather Service snow totals prediction, around 9PM EST

(Images composited from data available at NOAA Philly/Mt. Holly and NOAA New York.)


All I know is: I’m writing this on Wednesday night (November 7), and there’s a lot of snow on the ground, and it hasn’t stopped snowing yet.

What is that, three inches? At least?

And it’s really heavy, wet, slushy snow! It sticks to EVERYTHING!

You know what’s really fun? Just like last year’s Snowtober blizzard, this is way too early in the season for a blizzard of this magnitude; there are still too many leaves on the trees, and the weight of snow + leaves is too much for the trees, so tree limbs are falling off and knocking down power lines that were JUST FIXED from Hurricane Sandy. Half of these people who JUST got power back after ten days without? Gone again, just like THAT.

Snowy branches already on the sidewalk in New Jersey, Nov 07 2012, 9:09PM

Stupid weather.

…Y’know, I’m emotionally drained from all this, and I got out of this mess relatively unscathed (so far). This is nuts.

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