I'm in Central NJ, and it was not as bad as expected here. Instead of the widespread power outages, only ~5% of the homes in town are affected. We did have a couple of tornadoes, and there is some flooding (as well as trees down, etc). But it wasn't as horrific as predicted.
I'm north of New Haven in CT, and though it was "only" a tropicaldepression, 750,000 people are without power as of last night, many houses, especially near the shoreline were heavily damaged, and at least two in one town which had survived the hurricane of 1938, were swept out to sea. I saw photos of what is usually a placid little cove in the town I used to work in, and there were two houses nearly totally submerged. There is a wall of very tall trees behind me and we had some branches down. There are still a lot of broken limbs just hanging in the trees. The area where my daughter lives, in the Hudson Valley got smacked with about 10 inches of rain, as did western CT.
Well, ordinarily I live in northern NJ about half an hour outside Manhattan, but at the moment I'm in Sunnyvale, CA, visiting family.
Had planned to return home yesterday, but ours was among the 10,000 flights cancelled because of Irene. We had to count on the neighbors feeding our cat to tie everything down at our house, and just pray that the power didn't go out: everyone in our neck of the woods depends on french drains and sump pumps to keep our basements from flooding in heavy rain. No electricity = a basement swimming pool.
As soon as we knew all the regional airports had in fact shut down (we were getting cancellation and flight confirmation notices simultaneously before the airports announced they were closing) we booked flights back for today (Mon), from San Francisco via Charlotte to Pittsburgh, with the intention of renting a car and driving about 7 hours until we got home. But it turned out our flight had been overbooked and only one of our 4 tickets was good. So my husband went, and is now driving back on his own.
Meanwhile the kids and I couldn't get anything (for under $1,000 per ticket) until Thursday at the earliest, and that's to Hartford, CN, not Newark. But from what I'm reading, it's just as well, because at this point Newark is a nightmare, with another 2,000 flights canceled today and zillions of international passengers stranded.
Back at home, our block seems to have been spared any hideous damage--electricity and water were still on at our house last we heard. But friends in Maplewood are not so lucky. Although we're practically the same community, their water supplier is different, and that supplier's treatment plant flooded. So what water there is for Mwd and three other towns has to be boiled until further notice, and this could be two weeks. Water company can't make repairs until electricity restored, electricity can't be restored until downed trees are cut away from power lines, county is overwhelmed with downed trees.
One town over from Maplewood is Millburn. The main business district was a river yesterday. Online somewhere is video of a guy jet skiing down a street in Newark, too.
Not sure whether we'll have internet access at home. Cable is down all over the place. But at least public transportation is working in NYC; Amtrak is shut down until further notice, and NJ Transit is reportedly spotty.
All in all, a major fucking mess.
Things have worsened for people in northern NJ. Rivers flooding, towns way under water, major roads closed. We're told part of I 287 collapsed; in any case, you can't get to it, or to 46, or to 202... Passaic River crested last night in Fairfield almost a foot higher than the 1903 record.
NJ DOT website useless. No alerts or warnings. Traffic is a nightmare.
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