Reflections on Sandy's Impact
Rewinding back to the day Sandy struck NJ, Monday, October 29th, I still could not believe my own forecasts of 70 - 85 mph wind gusts across Long Island and the Connecticut coastline. Even more striking were my collegues' forecasts of 70+ mph gusts for inland NJ & eastern PA. After leaving my shift and heading to a local hotel early Monday afternoon (for safety purposes), I remember feeling a bit of doubt as to whether Sandy would live up to the forecast. All doubt was removed that evening, however, as after 6 pm Sandy ramped up. Roaring wind gusts increased from once and a while - to frequent and at times almost constant. Each roar was accompanied by the eerie sounds of snapping branches and falling trees. What looked like lightning in the distance was actually transformers exploding as utility poles were snapped like toothpicks. The incessant roar of the winds continued into the night and then after one particularly intense gust, all power was lost. That was about 9 pm Monday evening and much of New Jersey is still without power as of November 1st.
Tree leaning on house on Rockport Road near Hackettstown, NJ.
During the pre-dawn hours the next day, driving to work was more like driving through a ghost town. With no street lights, I remember downed trees popping into sight in just enough time for me to swerve around them. The only light persisting that morning was that of my office, running on generator power. As my shift began, I realized no matter how bad I thought northwest NJ was hit, the shore points of NJ, Long Island, and CT surely had it worse. Once the pictures started rolling in, I was amazed by the destruction Sandy created. I couldn't even comment on some of the pictures from the NJ shore showing houses engulfed by sand and destroyed by the surge. Seeing pictures of water rushing into the subway system of NYC left me speechless. Picture after picture left me saddened for all the East Coast shore residents and for that matter the 8.2 million people without power.
Casino Pier at Seaside Heights, NJ. Photo by David Gard/The Star-Ledger.
One thing is for certain, Sandy was a historic storm. Likely one that will not be rivaled in my lifetime. I'm sure many of you will agree.
Here are links for more photos from Sandy: