Update on the ground, Sandy edition

Note, I wrote the following on 11/2 but was unable to get internet to post until 11/4, there is an update at the bottom

I flew back to NJ on the red-eye from San Francisco last night. Things here are about as I expected, wide spread power outages, but people getting by alright. Many people have generators after last years storm.

Personally, my parents have been without power since the storm hit on Monday. They had my grandmother over then since they have a generator and brought her back home once she had power again. Still no power here, but the generator runs everything, including the water pump. We just don’t have TV/Internet. My dad was pretty excited I was bringing the internet home with me via my smartphone. Rest of the family either is back on power or also running a generator as far as I’ve heard.

LBI is almost definitely flooded, they say the ocean met the bay, but the island is still closed off, so haven’t been down to check on the house yet. By a miracle my Aunt Linda, who always floods, hasn’t so far so hopefully won’t.

My mom is back at work, as Flemington is back on power. My dad is hanging out at home with me (and picked me up this morning) as the port is still closed. Note, port Newark has been closed without power for days. Be cautious buying refrigerated goods in your supermarkets for the next week or so– everybody, not just NJ (your food/everything comes from here). The stuff should all be thrown out, but who knows.

The only thing that caught me off guard was that NJ seems to be going through a gas crisis. I had seen photos of people lining up with their gas cans at stations, but didn’t really internalize the extent of it until this morning.

This morning my dad drove me to several bagel places before we found one open with power, a Dunken Donuts with a line out the door. Some people were getting breakfast for their whole families. Everyone was talking about gas. The guy in front of me had driven from two counties over, without finding an open gas station until the one across the street, where he waited two-hours for gas. Another waited an hour and a half yesterday, only to have them go dry before he got any. My dad drove far out west into PA until there were no lines, but he only has two gas cans so could only buy 10 gallons after that drive. He drove eight hours looking for more cans, can’t find them.

Many gas stations are just closed with the power out. You need electric to pump gas. Some are using generators to pump, but running dry with the demand.

The guy at Dunks was apologizing for not having ice for iced coffee, or cup holders, or various other things. He hasn’t had any deliveries. I would guess no deliveries would have to do with a lot of issues.

Update from 11/4
This morning my mom and I went out to do some errands, rather than sit at home and stare at each other all day. We found Clinton had partial power back but most places did not and were still closed. So not only is there no TV/Internet at home, there is nothing open outside. With nothing else to do we were forced to do yard work. We made about an SUV-sized pile of branches that had fallen in the yard, not counting larger ones that went into our firewood pile. There are still many more out there, we were just tired and it was getting dark. Plus a few trees that my dad will need to cut up before we can clear.

About an hour ago the electricity came back on here. So we are back to normal. We were able to do most things with the generator, but you hate to waste gas running non-necessary things and my dad has to turn it on in the morning. So tomorrow morning I’ll be able to wash my face and brush my teeth without boiling water on the wood stove.

The gas shortage is a real thing and the governor, Chris Christie, has mandated an odd/even gas purchasing rule that started today/Saturday. Basically the last digit in your license plate number determines if can get gas on odd or even days; even plates can go on even days, and vice versa. Personally we are about 10 minutes from the PA boarder so it will not effect us, even if we need gas on an off day, which now that we have power should not be an issue.

I checked on LBI and they are still evacuating and not letting anyone on the island. They hope sometime this week to let homeowners in for a few hours to get some essentials. No word yet on when it will be open for people to do cleaning and repairs.