I spent a better part of the last day or so in a state of waiting. The news coverage on television was the only real compelling thing to focus on. The regional coverage was interesting enough, tossing to the various correspondents in areas where the storm was likely to do newsworthy damage.
Various shore counties were evacuated. The governor of New Jersey giving the most interesting of all press conferences, calling out the mayor of Atlantic City for contradicting his order to evacuate by providing shelters of last resort to people refusing to leave.
The evening wears on, and the damage there is significant. Huge sections of the boardwalk are washed away, city streets are flooded. The footage is impressive, and as predicted, the storm is quite powerful.
People who had hoped to wait the storm out in the heavily affected areas are finding that they should have heeded the warning. The news replays the footage ad nauseum of a man, his three small kids and his mother evacuating very late in the game. We who are sheltering in place or have already left cluck our distaste at their poor judgment, since somehow we’re so much smarter by virtue of our location, as we watch a good Samaritan in a pickup truck take them to higher ground.
We expected the winds to knock out the power, so we had stored hot water in our brewing equipment for a hot bath the next day. We had been making ice in case the freezer went out and needed to preserve the frozen food we couldn’t eat up in the days leading up to the storm. Tired of the same footage over and over on the news, we decided to go to our DVD collection to have something else to focus on.
At around 8:00, the winds have died down almost entirely. The rain seems to have all but stopped. I stand in the open doorway looking out in shock that the storm may be finished. I consider that perhaps the eye of the storm is overhead, and the second wave of wind and rain must be on the way.
Checking the radar maps, I’m not really seeing anything that worrying on the horizon. The winds are supposed to pick up a bit overnight, but nothing that we couldn’t expect from a regular storm. Rain is also supposed to continue, but again, nothing we couldn’t handle. It seems the worst is over.
I begin to consider whether or not I’ll have work in the morning. Before I left work that day, we had been told that we were going to close until Wednesday, so I decided to stick with that plan. I check my company email before bed, and nothing had been changed in terms of emergency announcements or plans to reopen earlier.
We stay up until 10:30 or so, then head off to bed. We have definitely dodged a bullet, considering how much damage there was in other parts of the region. Not a drop came in the house, not a flicker of lights, as the second hurricane in as many years passes us by. We’re extremely lucky, and do not take this for granted. Our decision to prepare as needed and not panic left for a rather boring, cabin fever inducing experience. However, it is quite possibly the best possible outcome, considering the alternatives.