Thanks to everyone for their kind wishes and support during this terrible storm. The Best Beloved, the Resucepoo and I are all fine. The power came back on Thursday, and internet connection and phone came back yesterday.
We lost about a dozen trees and the fence was knocked down, but that’s all. It was a terrifying storm. Just before the sun set a tree in our back garden, with a trunk about a foot and a half around, snapped in the middle like a dry chicken bone. Then the transformers began blowing. Green and blue sheets of light in the distance. Trees flapping like demented crows. We knew the power wouldn’t last and sure enough it didn’t. We slept huddled together in the dining room, which seemed the safest room in the house. It was a long, loud night, with trees coming down all around.
But we are relatively untouched, and our problems were truly just inconveniences. So many have lost their lives, and so many have lost their homes. Even as I write this, the authorities are finding more bodies trapped in houses and many people are still without lights and heat and water.
The pictures, as I’m sure you’ve all seen by now, just rip your heart out. I have no idea yet what happened to the house we rented for a couple of years by the shore, nor if the Sisters of Saint Joseph Retreat House, St. Mary-by-the-Sea in Cape May survived. I suspect not.
I do know friends who’ve been told the infrastructure in their shore towns is so unstable — the gas lines in particular — that it will probably be nine months or more before they’re allowed to go back. Tragic.
And I hear we have another nor’easter headed our way, set to arrive this Wednesday, Nov. 7.
So, let’s give a shout out to all the people who are working so hard to help people, from the first responders, to the electrical and gas workers, to the folks handing out food and water and blankets, to the insurance adjusters working round the clock, and those trying to keep us updated, like the wonderful Planet Princeton (who did such a fine job on Twitter and Facebook), to neighbors helping neighbors. And if anyone in the area wants to do something great, the animal shelters are still without heat and light and could sure use some gas for their generators . . . The Animal Alliance of New Jersey and S.A.V.E.