Hurricane Irene Log
by Jim Gerrish
08/27/11 - Saturday - 10:00 AM. I begin a tricycle ride
around East Orange, photographing "before" photos of
the taller buildings and most hurricane prone structures (in my
opinion) that I can find to photograph. I will use these photos
if needed to compare damage after the hurricane has passed. With
any luck, it will be minor damage.
08/27/11 - Saturday - 11:15 AM. Light rain begins to fall in
East Orange. Nothing serious yet.
08/27/11 - Saturday - 01:20 PM. The rain is now the typical
heavy rain of a serious storm. People are running to get in out
of the rain. It is strange to watch the clouds circling from east
to west instead of their usual path from west to east.
08/27/11 - Saturday - 08:45 PM Heavy rain alternates with
periods of light rain, but never quite stopping all afternoon and
into the evening. The sump hole in the cellar has about a half
inch of water in it, showing the ground is saturated, but not
enough yet to activate the automatic sump pump. The rain seems to
be falling straight down, not on a slant, and the trees are not
waving about, so there is not much wind... yet.
08/27/11 Saturday - 11:45 PM. Power went out so I had no way
to update this log. There was a lot of heavy rain and my cellar
finally flooded when the sump pump solar generator batteries ran
out of power. I need a larger array of batteries for long term
problems of this nature, but fortunately it doesn't happen often.
I was very impressed with the way the police patrolled the
city. They reported some heavy flooding on Sanford Street and had
a sanitation truck out in no time to fix the problem. I assume it
was the same in the rest of the city.
08/28/11 Sunday - 2:30 PM. After previously being told by
PSE&G that it would probably take a week to restore electric
power, the power resumed around 2:30 PM. I guess they figure no
one will complain if the power comes on a lot earlier than
expected. Sump pump cleaned out the cellar promptly. I took a
trip around East Orange on my tricycle and only saw some fallen
branches, nothing very large.
Neighbors stopped by, checking on one another and passing
news about the power. Everyone seemed well prepared. I can
remember when hurricanes were shrouded in mystery- there was no
real weather service reporting and it was anyone's guess where it
was going or how long it was going to stay. Even if Hurricane
Irene had been stronger than it turned out to be, I feel we were
better informed, better able to communicate, better able to take
care of ourselves than during the hurricanes that happened in the
past. For example, in the "Huricane of
1756" there is no tracking of the storm except as it
struck, seeming to come out of nowhere.