One View of Hurricane Irene

The debate on whether to stay or go started when Hurricane Irene was north of Florida, and heading towards North Carolina. She was a Category 2 storm then, and up and down the eastern seaboard, beach towns were being evacuated and the alarm was being sounded in NYC.

I called several hotels in Pennsylvania, and many of them were sold out.  The Poconos resorts got a gift with this storm, because many families that live along the coast did decide to high tail it out of here.

Still, part of me wondered if it was in my best interests to evacuate and go hundreds of miles away. There was still the possibility of flooding whereever I was going, and one concern I had was the drive back home on the highways after the storm.  As it turns out, there are a lot of trees down and certain roads that are flooded, which could have made driving home a nightmare.

Ultimately, I decided not to go anywhere and to just prepare for the situation. I bought a gallon of water, a 2 liter bottle of soda, fresh fruit and vegetables, and a few boxes of pasta. Now that the storm is over, I have to laugh at what I thought was sufficient planning, but I know I could have made due for three days if I had to with what I’ve got in the house.

Much of Jersey City gets flooded during a bad rain storm, but because I am not in a basement or on the first floor, I felt confident that even if the electric went out and the street was impassable that I would be okay. Also, Jersey City did not have mandatory evacuations like Battery Park, NYC (which is right across the Hudson River from us).

As we know now, because the storm has passed as I write this, Hurricane Irene wasn’t as bad as originally predicted, thank goodness.  My street didn’t flood, my building was fine, no windows were broken in the making of this storm.

That said, I think I may have overdosed on CNN.  Those people can tell you the same thing every five minutes for 24 hours straight. I was most amused when a reporter would hover over a little puddle in the street and talk about how it was evidence of flooding. Good times.

This was probably the strangest week I’ve ever experienced: an earthquake in my NYC office building earlier in the week, and a Category 2 Hurricane chugging up the coast to finish off the week. Wierd.

And as I finish writing this post, the first rays of sunshine are appearing in the sky.


6 Responses

  1. Good one “I was most amused when a reporter would hover over a little puddle in the street and talk about how it was evidence of flooding. Good times.” 🙂 These folks are awesome, they can picture it the way they want it

    • It is a dangerous game the news plays with the audience when it shows images we can clearly see aren’t life threatening and announcing that things are “severe.” That can lead people to say that the news is over-blowing the event, and just go outside anyway…

  2. I was thinking the same thing – 1st an earthquake, then an impending hurricane. What was up in New York this week? Your point about the roads is very real though; we had a freak hurricane here on the Northern Oregon coast in 2007, and were cut off from civilization for 5 days – due to massive trees down on the roads. If you had left, who knows when you could’ve gotten back? As long as you were in no immediate danger, you did the smartest thing.

    • Good question, I don’t know what was up in NYC this week… it was Mother Nature letting us know that even the biggest city is puny in the face of her force.

      Thanks for the comment about me doing the smartest thing, but you know, it was really a calculated risk. I wouldn’t have been nearly as smart if Irene was still a Cat 2 when it got up here. That would have been ugly.

      Still, in all, everything here is okay. It is still very windy and the trees outside are blowing around, but no rain and in general things seem to be calming down.

      Thanks for your well wishes!

  3. I was driven nuts by all the pre-storm panic, and then had to laugh when people were lining up at stores on Saturday morning. No, I did not go in to any of them :-). I walked around, observed, and sweated from all the humidity. Glad to hear your spot in J.C. didn’t suffer.

    • I just heard from a friend of mine out in the suburbs… a tree fell on their car and wrecked it, and their basement took on a lot of water. So there was definitely damage from Irene around here, I think we were just lucky that the winds weren’t too bad and that the amount of rain wasn’t at the upper end of what was predicted.

      I suspect we’ll see more flooding on television beginning today when the river’s start cresting in parts of NJ….

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