Monday, November 5, 2012

one week later

It's hard to know where to begin. My silence was due to the storm, of course. We came through OK but all of our connections to the outside world—electricity, cable, phone, internet—were gone on Monday. Even the landlines to my husband's office gave up the ghost on Thursday morning. The generator did work when needed, and we were infinitely thankful. We were even more thankful when the power came on yesterday, none more so than my husband, as it was just in time to watch the Giants game.

If Irene was all about the water, Sandy was all about the wind. The sound was unbelievable. We had to stage a bunny rescue late Monday afternoon, as he could not escape the driving wind and rain in his hutch. He weathered the rest of the storm in the basement. The sheep, of course, were perfectly fine.

The worst damage we suffered was downed trees. Monday night, when I was trying to capture the driving rain on camera (I failed), the scene just outside our front door to the right looked like this.

The next morning, it looked like this. Our beautiful blue spruce had been blown over. I feel a little tug every time I come up the driveway and see it down. Luckily it chose that direction to fall, avoiding the cars.

Same thing with my willow tree in the back, and missing the chicken coop. (The chickens were also just fine, though slightly perturbed.)

At least one willow down, and unsure if the one behind it will make it, there is so much damage. I say "my" because they were gifts from my husband and children, about six years ago. I know the sheep will miss them as well, they were a favorite summer shade spot and snack.

Both trees lie where they are because the tree crews are way too busy with more pressing matters, like trees on houses and cars and roads and wires, to deal with trees lying in a yard. Roads are still closed. Gas stations are still short on fuel and long on lines, though the situation is getting better. Many in our township are still without power, and thus water and heat, but that is also slowly improving.

We cannot complain though. We can't even really grumble. So many have it so much worse. Primo is out of school this entire week. Many of his school's student body lives in the eastern half of our county, which is on the ocean and thus profoundly affected by the storm. With power back on and the younger two back in school as of today, he and I decided to trek east, to Belmar, to see if we could help. 

I had my little camera with me, and snapped these shots as we did our job (canvassing residents within two blocks of the beach to see what assistance they needed). We were only allowed in the area, which is heavily guarded, by virtue of our volunteer identification. These are only a few snapshots. Unfortunately I missed the waterlogged car deposited in someone's front yard, and cannot convey the sound (or the smell) of all those generators running pumps to empty all those flooded houses.

Makeshift electrical outlet panel outside the Borough Hall, to charge phones and run laptops.
A few hours later, every outlet was full, and this is one of two panels.
The Hall is running on generator power.

Ocean Avenue at 13th Avenue (our assigned street) looking south.

Same vantage point, looking north.
Front loaders have cleaned up the mountains of sand that must have been in the streets,
but the front yards of the houses are essentially dunes at the moment.

What is left of the boardwalk.

Another boardwalk remnant.

Power crews everywhere (only 5% of the town currently has power)...

from everywhere. We also saw trucks from Indiana, Virginia, Michigan, Florida and Ohio.
All those lineman from all over the country, coming to help, really made me tear up.

An unbelievable amount of donations rolling in, but this was our favorite.
Waggin', get it?
FULL of pet food, litter, crates, you name it.

No one could say it better.


  1. Moving report from the devastation zone. And kudos to you both for volunteering.

  2. I agree. How wonderful that you were able to get out and help. So glad that you at least have power.

  3. Glad you finally got power. I'm still hoping for mine this week. Let me know if you want me to teach the boys how to use a chainsaw properly.