I live in New Jersey. We are accustomed to frigid winters, warm summers, sometimes snowy springs and gorgeous falls. Storms come and go, some more powerful than others, but none have left a path of devastation this immense.
NYC is basically transportation incapacitated. The Jersey Shore, like the actual place where Jersey Shore was filmed, yeah, it looks like a nuclear bomb erupted over top. An oil rigger was beached on inland Staten Island.
Those above mentions are just the tip of the proverbial and catastrophic iceberg of devastation.
As a weather obsessor and enthusiast, I had been tracking Sandy since her origin in the Caribbean. About 5 days earlier, I saw the dreaded forecast begin to develop. NYC/NJ was the bullseye.
I know most of you who live in the area experienced Irene and once again doubted the meteorological expertise with that storm. Personally, up here in North Jersey, we were cut off from the world for up to 2 weeks with all the flooding in some places. The shore remained unscathed.
Sandy was different. Forecasters began to all agree that this would be a storm of the century, no cinematic effects added.
The biggest threats were storm surge and wind. Storm surge rose to over 13.5 feet (literally one for the record books) in lower Manhattan, which lead to a domino effect everywhere else. I don’t think anyone anticipated the water to reach as far as it did. Generators and Con-Ed’s power substation failed, the subways flooded. Across the river, Hoboken and Jersey City, NJ received a deluge of water, which still has most residents completely stranded in upper levels of their buildings.
I have to say I was shocked when officials did mandatorily evacuate areas and people laughed and ignored them. I was screaming at the TV watching the coverage and seeing the blasé attitudes of many of these shore dwelling residents.
I KNEW IT WOULD BE BAD.
Despite the horrific scenes and rescue efforts still going on, the miraculous aspect of this disaster has to do with people and their morales.
This area is highly stereotyped into being egotistical, fast-paced, coffee drinking machines. We are often judged in other areas of the country for the way we act in the city that never sleeps.
The past few days have been different. Heroes in the form of emergency responders and even your local friends and neighbors have all outreached a hand to help.
The self-absorbed sheath of many people has appeared to melt into a deep puddle of innate generosity.
The news stories are impressive. I am sure there are thousands more stories even more impressive than what they are showing.
I wanted to say I hope all of you in these areas are safe and made it through with minimal property damage.
If there is any way I can be of assistance, please do let me know. I have power and most of my streets are cleared here in North Jersey, so it’d be selfish of me to keep all of these resources to myself!