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Here we go again

The wind is picking up and making a whooshing noise in the eaves.  The Nor’easter is expected to blow in tonight.  I’m very concerned about the people who lost their houses in Sandy and now have nowhere else to go.  Some of the evacuation centers have closed so that schools could reopen.  Andrew Cuomo just tweeted everyone to stay safe.  Not so easy to do when there’s no real shelter.  You’d think that the Red Cross and FEMA would be trying to quickly find people places to stay.  Instead, they are increasing the amount of their housing vouchers so the displaced can get new digs.  That might not be easy in a state with unemployment running over 10%.

Meanwhile, Jeff Jarvis, who lives a couple of towns over from me, wrote a very stern letter to his township committee about the state of the cleanup.  There are still a lot of broken and uprooted trees leaning over the road just waiting for the excuse of a stiff breeze to topple onto an unsuspecting motorist.  It’s bound to happen.  There are so many of them.  We’re going to be hearing about accidental deaths by branch bludgeoning for months after Sandy.  It was only two days ago that the utility trucks got around to removing the utility pole hanging over the power lines above Route 206 in my township.  It was marked with orange traffic cones but that was just window dressing.  If that sucker had fallen, two lanes of traffic would have come to a screeching halt.  But since Route 206 is one lane in each direction for most of its snaky length through central NJ, I’m betting that the authorities thought it would be worse to trigger carmageddon all the way to Pennsylvania than hope for the best that no one would be killed.

Our schools reopened today, a week and a half after Sandy.  The reason it took so long is because, like Jeff’s township, our township, one of the largest in Somerset County, NJ, has many semi-rural to rural roads where the school buses have not been able to get around the downed trees, overhanging trees and utility poles, and debris.  And because there is a state law forbidding them from even trying it, for good reason, parents now have the responsibility to get their kids around the obstructions so that they can meet the buses at a cluster site.  Parents tend to get all in a snit over the least inconvenience in the best of times (ask me about the lice outbreak when I was on the board of ed) but in this case, they probably have good reason to be concerned.  I feel for the township authorities.  This is a monumental task.  They’ve done a lot so far and, unlike Bernards Township and Basking Ridge, most of Hillsborough now has power.  But it must be overwhelming the abilities of townships to cope.  The difference is that people who live in Bernards Township where Jeff lives tend to expect better service.   At the very least, there should be a clear pathway for them to get to the airport so they can wait out the power outage in their condos on the Gulf of Mexico. But a week is a long time to be without power even for the well off.  In this particular catastrophe, Sandy was class neutral.  Even the rich can die of hypothermia.

I might note that it is Jeff’s neighbors who re-elected that do-nothing DC golfer, Leonard Lance, as our congressman last night.  Maybe they can appeal to his office for assistance.  Good luck with that.  That’s not to say I am not sympathetic.  I am, especially when it comes to people are elderly or suffering from chronic illnesses.  But sometimes, I have to wonder what they were thinking when they vote for guys like Lance.  Is it worth saving on taxes when you might have had more cleanup crews on the roads?  Perhaps Jeff might bring up the subject at the next neighborhood holiday party and see if the light goes on in his neighbors’ eyes.  I might also note that they all got together and worked on removing the obstructions themselves.  That kind of cooperatively smacks of socialism, if you ask me.  {{tongue firmly in cheek}}

In any case, this is my day to get gas so get it I shall.  I’m running on fumes today.  And while I’m out, I might as well stock up on some D batteries.

And fill my 2 gallon Coleman water dispenser.  And find my damn headlamp…

21 Responses

  1. Great. It’s snowing.
    Note to self, pick up IceMelt…

  2. I just hope that you don’t lose power; that’s the most nervewracking thing.

  3. The view from my study window:

    It appears to be sticking.

    • Who plays the cello, or is that base?
      I love a window seat, your house looks really nice.
      Stay safe and warm.

      • Guitar. It’s mine. I am trying to learn how to play it. It would probably help if I had the money for lessons.
        Yes, the study is one of my favorite rooms. During the day, it’s so bright and cheery. I like to let as much light in as I can since it is a north facing room. No one uses the window seat but if I ever threw the big parties, I’m sure they would.

  4. This is going to be a year to remember. I am happy that you and Brooke are safe and secure but, I’m so sorry for all the poor people whose lives are so completely disrupted. Thinking about my mother and mother in law…. I don’t know what they would do if they lived in those devastated areas. It’s amazing more people weren’t killed.

  5. Yep, the wind is really starting to kick up out there. Still not anywhere near as bad as Sandy but unsettling nonetheless.

  6. I love the way this storm is stubbornly clinging to the NY-NJ area. There’s probably a Murphy’s Law for that.

  7. Here’s a video so you can see what life is like where life is REALLY hard:

  8. Anyone who owns a car and is living within the snow zone might want to park their car away from any neighboring or overhanging trees if they can. Heavy sticky snow could bring down branches or whole trees onto any car waiting below.

    • ESPECIALLY if there are still leaves on the trees. An October snowstorm of 12 inches completely crippled Kansas City for a week in 1995. And when it was over every street was lined with walls of limbs taller than any person. It was scary as hell.

  9. Just got power back this morning. Only had to wait 5 minutes for gas today instead of 9 hours like Saturday. Four inches of snow so far in our section of Morris County. Feeling tired, but fortunate.

  10. Best wishes to all — stay safe!


  11. It’s gone now. Time to take out the shitload of ice cubes from the freezer, put away the boatload of candles I bought yesterday and finally breathe…Can’t even think of people still without power from Sandy

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