It may be old news for the rest of the country, but we here in Northern New Jersey (and in many other parts of the Northeast) are still reeling from Hurricane Irene, which hit us last Saturday night. Torrential rains and high winds wreaked havoc on our town and neighborhood. Many homes flooded when our local rivers spilled their banks, creating lakes where there once were streets and intersections. Less than half a block away, two 100-foot trees broke free of the sodden earth and toppled over toward homes.
As the blue skies opened up around noon on Sunday, we considered ourselves very lucky to only have lost power overnight — it was restored by 8 a.m. We borrowed Wet-Vacs from my father-in-law and my brother, and dried out the few inches of water that had pooled in the basement and garage, thanking our lucky stars that the damage was fairly limited.
As we were sucking the water out of the last corner in the garage, we heard a loud “CRACK” followed by “BZZZZT! BZZZZT!” And we came out to this sight:
And as we panned to the left, toward the intersection, we saw the downed tree had caused this:
Yes, that is a telephone pole… snapped in half. The wires to the left and right of where the tree landed were brought down, as well as in three other directions from this pole. Somehow, the tree only destroyed some fencing and a kids’ (empty) play house in the yard and didn’t cause major damage to the house.
But from Sunday through Wednesday, we were without power. My in-laws were also without power, but we spent most of our time with them (did I mention that Mr. Not-So-Frugal and I were home on ‘vacation’ this week?) and Baby Frugalista adjusted pretty well to the lack of routine. We tried to salvage our refrigerator items, but the frozen foods were a lost cause, even when placed in a cooler packed with ice. But it could have been much, much worse. We survived and had minimal damage to our home. And a big thanks to the utility crews from Ohio who worked their asses off for two days to restore our power!
Here are some other views of the Hurricane Irene aftermath:
Sadly, the best part about getting our power back? Being able to blow-dry my hair again — with my flippy hair, I was looking like a poor man’s Farrah Fawcett for a few days there.