Day 12 Without Power

 

Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore hard last Monday (October 29th) night. The neighboring towns of Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach were devastated as high tides and wind-driven sea water washed away houses and stores, and left between 3 and 8 feet of sand on the roads. Natural gas leaked up from broken underground pipes, making it unsafe for rescue crews to enter. Most of us in Rumson and Fair Haven lost trees and electric power, but that’s small stuff compared to what happened elsewhere.

Personally we’ve never lost power before for more than 3 days, so we had no problem heating our home and our food with the fireplace (we have an electric stove). A few years ago we updated to a more fuel-efficient boiler and we gave up a free-standing gas-fired hot water heater. That meant that after the boiler cooled down this time there wasn’t any hot water.

I bought our first gasoline-powered chain saw on Day 2, but my wonderful neighbor, Robert P, had already cut up the big pine tree on our property that had fallen and blocked his driveway. He also cut up several other fallen trees on our property for us, so all we had to do was to cart the logs and branches out to the street. On the evening of Day 4, Jersey Central Power & Light cut up 3 of our other pine trees that had fallen on the power lines at the street.

A big Nor’easter was heading our way so on Day 8 we bought a 2-burner Coleman propane camp stove, and on Day 9 we finally broke down and bought a portable 6,500 watt generator. It’s powering two electric heaters during the day, and even though the Nor’easter brought cold weather and 2 inches of snow on Day 10, by closing off most of the house we were able to keep 4 rooms warm. The weather forecast for the upcoming weekend is good and JCP&L is predicting that we’ll have power back by Sunday, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get through a few more days.

Power, phone and internet service have been restored at the office, so I’ll be able to get a few more posts published in the next few days. Hope you and your family got through the hurricane and the Nor’easter safely.

Len

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