Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

November 5, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath


I know I promised some pictures of our fallout from the hurricane, and this is it. Prior to Sandy arriving (before power went out) we were getting pretty regular email updates about what to expect. Here are some excerpts of pre-storm warnings from both our township and from the National Weather Service. :

This one was dated 10/26:
As we continue to track two (2) storms approaching from both the south and west; the National Weather Service has issued a 90% PROBABILITY that our area will sustain a somewhat major impact.  The storm track/severity is still subject to change.

MAJOR IMPACT??  90% PROBABILITY? WTF.

Then on Monday, October 29, a warning from our township:
All previously issued watches & warnings remain in effect & force as Sandy has intensified and continues on her path through our region as forecasted.  All pre-storm preparations should be completed by 12 Noon today as conditions will worsen as the afternoon progresses.

High Wind Warning:  Tropical storm force winds (20-55 MPH with higher gusts) can be expected through Tuesday night.  Extended power outages can be expected.  This is an extremely dangerous situation, please take it seriously.  Report all power outages and downed trees to the Township.

Heavy Rain & Flood Watch:  Sandy will produce excessive amounts of rainfall (4 – 10+ inches) across portions of our region today and tonight.  The runoff will swell our creeks and river Tuesday and beyond.  If you haven’t already…please make immediate plans to elevate any valuables and/or evacuate to higher ground if you are located in flood prone areas.

We spent Saturday getting ready for Hurricane Sandy – we were warned to expect 10″ of rain. That would have been worse than Ivan and Irene. There was actually talk on the Delaware River that it could be worse than the “Flood of ’55“, a legendary flood on the Delaware River that is still remembered and talked about today. What you see here is a line of plywood panels reinforcing our existing wall that separates the property from the creek, which is just on the other side of the plywood.
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Here is a close-up of the plywood work. The creek can be seen above the top edge of the plywood. We “hoped” that this might help in the event of high water, but fortunately, it was not to be tested. The numbers “6” and “12” on the plywood are because we used to surround the house with it, when there was a threat of water rising, and each plywood panel was numbered, 1-13.

Due to the expectation of heavy rains, we moved all our vehicles out of our own driveway, and up a steep field access road to keep them out of potential harms way. (Flooding). The next morning, October 30, we went to retrieve the vehicles.This is the one that I call “Truckie”, a 99 Ford Ranger in an arguably spectacular shade of green. Truckie was almost demolished by 2 enormous falling trees, as can be seen in this picture. This is literally about 3 feet off the front end of Truckie, who trumps ALL vehicles, inarguably.

Here is a close-up of the trees that nearly took out Truckie. That is a cattle fence that they crushed instead, and 4 weeks later, now 11/29/12, trees and fence still lay there.

Blocking the road that goes by our house, a very large, double-trunked tree fell during “Sandy” on Monday, 10/29. It was still there a week later, when we had time to drive around and shoot this cell-phone picture.

Here is a close up of the tree discussed in the above picture. This tree sat here blocking a road for the entire week. We marveled at our adjacent township not doing a thing about it, not even marking the streets as you approached this tree. We were just waiting for a disaster, if someone were to come upon it at night. Not a reflector, not a single caution cone, not a road-closure sign appeared to keep people from driving up or down this pretty major local artery and encountering this tree.

In fact, relative to the above picture of the fallen tree, a resident on that street put up their own homemade sign, to try to avert the inevitable disaster. What was up with this township that left such a potentially hazardous situation?? In case it’s hard to read in this cell-phone photo, the little home-made sign says, “ROAD CLOSED – TREE DOWN”. Where was the township in this scenario?? Someone could so easily have been killed. I don’t like to jump to criticizing when there is a problem this large, but really, if you could not get to cutting up the tree, at the very least, put up a blinking caution horse, cones that block the road, or something to indicate a hazard ahead. People literally drive 50 MPH on this road, and do you really think you’d see that tree on a dark street at night, doing 50?

Wondering what that sign said that was on the fallen tree? Well, here it is: “STOP mutilating tree – it will be cut down properly.” BY WHO??? It’s a week later! Let someone cut it down, mutilated or not! Who cares at this point, the tree is already down, do we really care about mutilation?? Whatever it was, they didn’t care if someone crashed into it in the dark of the night. This is almost just surreally bizarre.
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Here is one of the many reasons that power did not come on for over a week. This is a split phone pole, it brings wires down (laying across the road), and it was days before they could get to this issue with everything else going on.
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Emergency signs appeared on local phone poles: “DO NOT ENERGIZE” — meaning someone could be electrocuted that is working elsewhere on the line.
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Finally, after ordering it the day the power went out, our generator arrives on the back of a giant Fed Ex Tractor trailer. I had to take the day off from work to await the arrival. We ordered one on the internet, because you could not buy one in about a 100 mile radius or better. This was shipped from Tennessee and arrived on Day 5 of the power failure. I spread the pieces outside to see if I can assemble before Bob gets home from work. Good luck.
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Friday Night Lights: We were so excited about getting our new generator hooked up by late Friday afternoon. I put a desk light on top of the ‘frig and shot a cell-phone pic. Then that was all we energized until Monday because we realized cranking it up just to cool the ‘frig was pointless as all the stuff was already either bad, or outside in coolers. We really wanted the generator for running water, and that would require a professional electrician hookup, which couldn’t happen until Monday. So basically, it would have been about $40 worth of gas to have a little light on, so off it went.
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We call this “Grill Coffee”. Water boiled in a covered pot on the grill, and coffee made in a French Press mug. Mmmmmm, delicious. Drink outside, even better.
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I borrowed this picture from the local paper. We had cavalcades of trucks helping out in our area a few days after the storm. This was ComEd from Indiana, I believe, and we had Duke Energy trucks all over here, from North Carolina. We were grateful to all of them for helping out.