This past week has been eventful to say the least.  I am located in NJ, the state hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy.  Monday showed us a storm like we haven’t seen before.  I have been very lucky though.  No one I know was injured and property damage for friend and family has been minimal, at least when compared with so many others.  

Many people in the state have lost everything.  The news has been broadcasting the immense damage done to the Jersey Shore, but the damage inland was just as bad.  Rivers have over flown, flooding homes and taking others off foundations.  

This was a storm of wind more than anything.  The rain had mostly ceased when the storm really kicked in.  The wind was the scariest part of the event.  Before dark I could look out my window and see the trees dancing an ominous dance.  These were tree that didn’t move in the wind.  Their branches would sway, but the trucks stand still.  Not this time, the trucks of trees nearly a foot in diameter were swaying in the wind. 

I live in a carriage house on a property with a park of trees.  There are over a hundred tall trees on the property.  These trees are old and I would estimate 50+ feet tall.    Seeing them all as the storm raged was worrisome and only became worse once it became dark and the wind continued to pick up speed.   

Around 7 pm on Monday we finally lost power after a day of it flickering.  There was a flash in the sky then the lights went out not to come back.  Once this happened, I threw up the white flag and went to the main house to wait out the remainder of the storm with the family in their basement.   Around 8:30/9 there was a thunderous sound and the house shook. ..a tree had fallen on the house.

Aside from the tree that fell on the house and another that was lost in the afternoon, it wasn’t until the next morning that the damage could really be seen.  I was able to take a walk around in the morning to see everything and take some pictures.  Here are just a few.  

 

I had never seen the underside of a tree before.  The root balls are just massive.  One of the trees that came up had a root ball with a diameter of nearly ten feet.  The tree that fell on the house did not do much damage.  Given its size this was very lucky. 

By Wednesday my office was back open and I made the drive in.  There we so many trees and power lines down that my commute which is usually 40 minutes, took 2 and a half hours as I tried to navigate my way through dead ends and detours.  This journey gave me a chance to look around and see just how much damage had been done.  I will not lie there were many times those hours where I was rendered speechless, only able to mutter an “oh my goodness” at a sight.

In a situation like this it is now when we realize how much the little things make a difference in our communities.  Traffic lights have been out as power is slowly being restored to areas, turning major intersections into four way stops.  On Wednesday I had to wait in line for 3 hours just to buy gas to be able to continue to work.  I had filled up before the storm, but with my commute a tank doesn’t last very long.

I was very fortunate and was only without power for 2.5 days.   It feels a little strange to say that.  If this was a normal storm I would have been more than a little put out to have been without power for 2.5 hours let alone days.  After Sandy I count as one of the lucky one.  Many people are still without power now a full week later. 

The cleanup is coming along though, I have faith that NJ will be fully back to normal soon in most places.  The exceptions of course being the shore and those other areas so greatly impacted. 

As we pull ourselves together I cannot help but turn my thoughts to other factors, like the environmental impact of this storm.  All of the toxins and debris that is now in our water ways, the effect of so many generators on air quality in urban areas, the shear amount of spoiled food and debris that will fill our landfills.    

The impact from Sandy will most likely be felt for some time. 

Advertisements