Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The immensity of it all still lingers...

Just some updates on what is going on on the Sourlands 8 days after hurricane Sandy.

It is SNOWING.  Many, many centimeters. We are having a freaking snowstorm, another nor'easter storm. I just heard the snowplow go by on the road outside, which is a very good sign.  (Both that it is a plow and that it is on a truck, i.e., trucks can get into the neighborhood now).

Our neighbors have their power back, it was fixed tonight.  We got internet back around the same time, which is pretty amazing.  The power and internet companies must actually have collaborated. Most likely the neighborhood is now accessible by fire trucks and the like.  They weren't this morning, but if they fixed the lines, then now, after 8 days, we can feel safer.  One road is probably still closed, but they are working on that too. Many of our neighbors do not have power yet though, because their powerlines were ripped out of their houses when trees feel on them.  It will take longer for them and I feel really sorry about all their troubles. The township has gotten lots of letters and calls from us about the situation, and it actually made a difference.  Good.
Bad news - Election results show that the two open seats on the township committee were won by the two republicans.  They won with only 50 votes more than the Democratic candidates, out of over 9000 votes cast.  Incredible. So, two more years of republicans running the town.  (Voting results for the Somerset county is here, and yes, Obama won in the county too.)  There is always The Swedish Party as an alternative for disillusioned Americans  :)
Very good news - Obama won the presidency again.  As someone said 'The republicans made sure that Obama would become a 2-term president'.  Presidents here can only be elected for 2 terms, so now he can focus on doing the right thing and not get reelected.  Like, put some bank fraud CEO's in jail, etc. :)  Mitt Romney seems to have disappeared instantaneously.  

The NJ railroad system suffered horrible losses.  Just look at the railroad bridge after the storm in the photo above (more info here).  Apparently they lost 1/3 of their locomotives and 1/4 of their passenger cars in the storm.  Imagine that.  That must be many hundreds of locomotives that are gone, so the commute to New York City will be hell for many months for many people.

I believe that the mental effects of Sandy will live on for decades in New Jersey.  People will try to be more self-sufficient.  Have more gasoline and generators ready. Get water bottles. Take weather reports seriously.  Value friends and family more.  Not trust township administrators and politicians as much.  Friends and relatives of friends of mine have lost everything.  Whole houses that washed away, and all that is left is a foundation.  Some people got their cars flooded.  Trees on roofs that cracked houses.  Horrific storm night memories, with fear of breaking windows in high-rises in NYC.  Children that lost everything.  It is just so incredibly sad, and maybe a fact of life because weather does exist and always have, but it seems so incredibly wasteful and sad.  I am sorry I am harping on on this, the hurricane I mean, but the rest of the world goes on, and we see it and are reminded about Sandy all the time.  Even if electric and internet and gasoline is soon back to normal, the New Jersey world has changed, permanently.  And so have we.

And finally, just some images to really show how big this storm was. 

Hurricane/Cyclone Sandy, 30 October 2012

(Image by NASA - more photos of Sandy from NASA here)

(Image by, a weather website)

(Image by NOAA)

1 comment:

EH said...

I don´t mind that you are "harping on" LS, I actually think it is an important part of the process of understanding and coping with the horrific effects of the storm. Please do go on and tell us more, as time goes.
It is true that the life outside NJ is continuing with it´s stressful pace of today. I don´t think you are wrong, but I do believe that the world will be watching how NJ copes with the effects of the storm, just as we did with the Tsunami in Japan. I find that it is mostly individuals blogging that gives a true, continuous picture of the progress, media are in such hurry to find the next big news, they don´t tell stories anymore. Maybe the monthly magazines do, I don´t know, because I don´t read them.
So, keep reporting from your county and state, we are listening keenly.