Main Motorcycle: 2009 Victory Vision
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: New Jersey USA
Other Motorcycle: 2008 Victory Vision
This is my first internet access in over a week...
November 6, 2012
Since Hurricane Sandy, we have been without power up here in God’s country for over a week. There is no electricity, internet, cable or phone service within about a four mile radius. Gasoline was in very short supply for the first few days after the storm creating long lines at the few gas stations that had gas and electricity to pump it. Other than driving to get places, cell phones have been our primary link to the rest of planet earth.
We are among the lucky people that have a generator for electrical power to run lights, small appliances, the well pump and the boiler for heat and hot water. We also have a wood-burning stove which keeps the whole house warm and has been our primary source of heat here for seven years. In a pinch, we could cook on it.
We were lucky that we sustained no damage to our home, cars or property. Our house is surrounded by large trees and thousands of acres of state forest. A small tree was all that came down on us, and was found leaning gently against the side of the house at the roof line. It was cut away with a minimum of drama. Although the storm brought down all the autumn leaves, plus countless limbs, branches and twigs, that clean-up is a minor inconvenience.
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. On the land around us, an oak and a hickory came down during the storm and their sacrifice is being harvested as future fire wood. Those trees should keep us warm for over a month after a year of seasoning.
A lot of folks around here weren’t so fortunate. There were a number of homes that sustained serious damage from the storm. A massive tree falling through a roof or onto a car is a big problem, and we wish those people well.
Since gasoline is now more readily available, the long lines have abated. This is a relief since we burn three or four gallons of fuel daily in the generator even though we use it judiciously.
For all of us here, our offices were closed for most of the week but things are slowly returning to normal on that front.
Within a few days after the storm, crews cut down any trees that were leaning on power lines or creating a hazard. So far, Jersey Central Power & Light and Verizon have both failed to get crews out to bring back electrical and phone service. There have been reports that power won’t be restored for an additional two weeks or more. No matter whom you are or where you’re from, you have to wonder how that can happen in America in 2012.
Some supermarkets opened after a few days. It was almost surreal to be able to walk into a fully functioning and well-stocked ShopRite to fill up a cart with food and supplies.
In contrast to places like New Orleans that descended into chaos and lawlessness after major storms, most everyone here has been quite civil. You find yourself talking to strangers when out shopping or getting fuel. Since many traffic lights are still out, drivers are giving courteous waves to allow others to merge into traffic. Except for a very few instances of “me first” conduct, everyone has been on their best behavior. That being said, there are those here who are prepared to deal with anyone who crosses that line from civility to criminal behavior.
Towns, churches, fire stations and other community centers have been active in providing water, food, charging stations for portable devices and other support for those in need.
Another happy byproduct of the storm is that we have learned to live without staring at the TV for three hours a night, and have taken to family conversation and playing cards and games at the kitchen table. It has been a welcome diversion from watching reruns of Dragnet and American Pickers. We get most of our news and entertainment on the car radio these days.
If you have never lived through a powerful storm like this, it’s something you’ll be glad to avoid. Before we lost power when the storm arrived, the winds picked up to a furious intensity, and continued well into the night. For about seven hours, it sounded like a series of freight trains roaring by. I’m not embarrassed to say that the fury of the wind and fear of a tree crashing into the house was all the encouragement we needed to spend the night in our finished basement.
We realize that a lot of people in New Jersey and New York have fared far worse than we have. For many that have already been affected by economic issues in their daily lives, the impact of this storm is creating a tremendous burden. Please keep all those in need in your thoughts and prayers.
Luceo Non Uro