As I headed out to the barber early Saturday morning, I already knew what sort of day lay ahead; despite the fact that weather forecasters were calling for snow to begin falling sometime after noon, the white stuff started coming down as early as 9 AM and showed no sign of letting up anytime soon. This was going to make the evening all the trickier, since Nicole and I had been invited by the Bayshore Tea Party to attend a Halloween Party at their Middletown HQ. We decided to go dressed up as Gomez and Morticia Addams.
By 1 PM the snow was coming down steadily. The temperature was above freezing and the air was very humid, causing the flakes to stick together and then accumulate on the leaves that still remained on most of the trees. With each passing minute and hour, the weight of the snow on the trees continued to increase and the branches – even the larger ones – began to bend from the strain.
At 3:30 PM, the electrical power went out – no surprise there, as I could hear the unmistakable cracking sound of branches tearing loose from trunks and crashing to the ground throughout the neighborhood. Several large branches from several towering oak trees on my property and my neighbor’s likewise took the plunge, only these crashed into power lines – one branch so violently that the pressure snapped off the top third of a utility pole – before falling to the road and blocking eastbound traffic. I left the house at 5 o’clock; my daughter and her friend stayed a while longer and then departed – leaving the house empty and bereft of power or light.
As Nicole and I traveled south on the Garden State Parkway we noticed that the accumulation of snow gradually decreased; in Middletown it barely covered the ground. The good folks there dodged a bullet. The party was most enjoyable in spite of the decrease in attendance due to the inclement weather. Nicole and I won a prize for scariest costume:
We left the party at 10 and got back to her place by 11. It was snowing pretty hard and I was determined to see if my house was still standing. Secondary and tertiary roads were in terrible condition and it took me the batter part of half an hour to reach my house. As I drove through Warren I observed that every single residence (except those with generators) was dark, as were the streetlamps and traffic lights. It was surreal – like a scene from a post-apocalyptic nuclear winter – and the only things missing were zombies.
The house was still standing. Satisfied that everything was alright, I returned to Nicole’s and resolved to secure a generator the following morning. Good thing I did, because the following morning I returned to the house and saw that the basement was starting to take on water, thanks to the powerless sump pump. Fortunately, Nicole’s dad had an extra generator handy. By 5 PM the house had a limited amount of power for the essentials.
The road in front of my house, facing east.
Fallen branches in a neighbor’s yard.
It’s amazing that none of the powerlines was torn loose.
Unfortunately, cable service is completely out. Given the extent of the damage, I’m figuring it will be at least a week until all utility services are fully restored. Until that time, it will be touch and go here at Bulldog Pundit as far as regularly scheduled posts are concerned.
Thanks for your patience.