Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene

We survived. Our power went out for three days (it's still intermittent as of tonight), our water has cut out every now and again, I've thrown out God only knows how much food from my refrigerator (that almost made me cry. I hate wasting food,) our pool took a beating and is probably done for the summer, but we didn't have it nearly as bad as some people in my neighborhood.

Central Jersey took a beating. Entire towns have ended up under water. The lower half of my neighborhood has about ten houses that were condemned this afternoon. The river overflowed its banks and spilled about a quarter mile into my neighborhood. People have literally lost everything they own. Total strangers are helping each other cart out furniture and ruined toys, clothes, carpets - all to be thrown in the dumpsters the township dropped off today. Police are stationed at the entrances to my development because lowlife pieces of garbage are actually coming in to loot from these people. On Sunday, after the rains stopped and the sun came out, the only noise that could be heard was the growl of generators (we don't have one. We WILL very soon. I will NEVER throw food out because of a power outage ever again.) That first night, there was a festive air about my neighborhood. People were outside, talking and drinking beer, cooking out on grills, sharing with each other - anything to make it a little less terrible.

By yesterday, that festive air faded, replaced by people getting to work cleaning up. I was going to take pictures of some of the damage, but I couldn't bring myself to photograph my neighbors' misery. Instead, I took impersonal photos - and this wasn't even the worst of the flooding. That came late Sunday night, when the river crested and the water rose even higher. It isn't any better yet, as the water overflow from north of us spills in to our waterways.

Irene sucked.


Theresa said...

I am so sorry to hear this, Kim. I did not realize how bad it was in your neighborhood. I hope things are getting better now.

Marian Perera said...

I'm glad you and your family are safe... although those pictures made me see just how bad it was. I have a friend in NJ and her power went out as well, so she was off the radar for a few worrying days.

Kim said...

Thanks, Theresa. According to my husband, it's getting better. I haven't been home since 8/30, but I'm heading back tomorrow, so we'll see.

Marian, my pictures were taken before the river crested. It actually got worse. One house had water to about 2 feet shy of the roof's peak. It's so sad, to see how many have been condemned. It was such a pretty neighborhood. I only hope they either rebuild (on stilts, maybe) or do something nice with the land to keep it from just being a wasteland of boarded up houses.