Hurricane Sandy: Tree Before, No Tree After
Before Hurricane Sandy storm hit hard
Here is my street last Monday, as Hurricane Sandy had begun to blow its winds but still hadn’t damaged Highland Park, NJ. Note the tall maple tree on the left. Little did I know that this series would be the last time I would record that tree in an upright position. You can see photos of the maple tree on past blog posts.
You can see the skies are gray, and all is wet, but unless you listened to the news you would have no inkling this was the beginning of a devastating storm. And behind the car on the left you can see the full grace of the tree that would soon be no more.
I like taking photos of the foliage each fall. This one of the block before the storm will have to do. See, at this point we were hoping that the storm wouldn’t be a big deal after all. Well, you can’t be right all the time.
I wasn’t the only one outside at this point. You can see one of my neighbors crossing the street in the far left of this shot.
At the other end of my block, all looks peaceful, right? Currently, four days later, there are still down live wires in front of the house with the white fence. It is difficult to enter our block by car, because we have live wires at both ends. Hope they fix it soon. The PSE&G truck just sat there in front of the live wires today.
During the Storm
The night of the storm, Monday night from about 4 pm to 11 pm, was really, really scary. If you weren’t scared, then you were a master of denial, which can be quite helpful at times like these. I was watching this tree in my neighbor’s backyard (see the tree above in photo day after storm that is now broken off and leaning) sway back and forth, back and forth. I decided it was less scary to watch the swaying tree than to look at pictures of the devastated Jersey Shore on my computer. We still had power at that point, but we lost it a bit before 9 pm.
After Hurricane Sandy storm hit hard – the morning after – Hurricane Sandy Trees
I woke up the morning after the storm and went to explore. Uh, oh, the big tree a few doors down was no longer up. Luckily, it had hit only a lamppost and had injured no person nor any house.
Many were taking photos, including this young reporter who has just started her journalism career with her school newspaper. She is unsure whether she wants to focus on photography, drawing or writing for the newspaper. This photographing of the down tree is a good start.
Crews have finally begun to remove parts of the down tree – it is now cut into pieces, and one can pass through on one side of the road with a car.
We were lucky on our block about where the big tree fell. These homeowners were not so fortunate. This giant old tree hit wires and their house. I saw another house in Edison that had a corner of the house chopped off by a fallen tree.
Not to feel left out, North 8th had its own adventure with this giant tree. Looks like the tree barely missed the house (but I could be wrong about that).
Finally, here is why North Fifth still does not have power. The library, where many in our community would go when power goes down, is still closed. And my friends on North Fifth are cold, as are North Tenth, Dennison and a good part of the South side by South Adelaide. We had our power restored on Wednesday evening at about 6 pm – wow, was that a happy time for us.
Lessons Learned: Count Your Blessings
Thankful for my family. Thankful for no damage to our property. Thankful for fabulous, helpful, friendly neighbors. Thankful for smart phones existing and for car radios. And for heat in cars. And the fact that our stove burners worked even if our crockpots, rice cooker, warming tray, toaster, oven, dishwasher, washing machine, computers, lamps, coffee grinder and pencil sharpener did not (daughter asked, after we lost power: how will we sharpen pencils? I replied: we have some artsy pencil sharpeners upstairs that will work. We never did do any art work during the lack of power period).
The Jersey Shore communities are not so fortunate. More on this topic in a later post.
I plan to include this post in next week’s Nature Notes.
UPDATE: Part Two: Many Problems Post Hurricane Sandy (please read and share)