OK, I missed the deadline to “claim” the Hurricane Irene assignment. I missed the claim because Irene didn’t hit Central New Jersey (Rahway, NJ, to be precise) until the afternoon of August 28, 2011, and increased in intensity until Sunday night, August 28, into August 29, 2011. I’m writing this at about 10 p.m., some hours after the storm went its way.
I live next to a tributary of a river in Central New Jersey. The tributary is now in my backyard, my garage, and most of my basement. Irene is a very unwanted visitor.
The long and the short of Hurricane Irene: It was a catastrophe.
I awoke at 7 a.m., surprised to find mail (on a Sunday!?), along with a “City of Rahway Emergency Proclamation.” Following a bunch of “Whereas” statements, the City spelled out the “dos and don’ts” during the hurricane.
I called my insurance agent. The automated voice said the number was no longer in service! I was transferred to Allstate’s general number, or whatever, and was told to try his number again tomorrow, because he is still listed as an agent. So, I’ll call tomorrow.
The electricity went down about 9:45 a.m. and returned around 6:30 p.m.
A fireman (with a fire truck on hand) came to our street, and I asked if the fire truck could pump out the basement water. Again, long story short, he said no, not now. The fire truck left, but came back in a little while and pumped out the cellar of a family that is “connected (i.e., he is politically active in the City, campaigns for candidates, etc.) That’s the modus operandi around here, as it is in much of New Jersey. Personally, he’s a nice guy, but my nickname for him is “bulletproof.” He can get away with just about anything.
A portion of my street flooded (not in front of my house, only my entire back yard and garage flooded. And, oh yeah, part of my fence came down, too.) Somebody tried to get through the street flood (which Governor Christie and every other civil servant tells one not to do), and got stuck. He wasn’t driving a 1999 Mercury Tracer. A Mercedes Benz. The water was half way up the doors. Good-bye $60,000 car. After the rain finally stopped, the car attracted a kind of mini-circus, with people from the neighborhood and surrounding areas gawking at the car and saying what an idiot the person was for trying to get through. They are right.
I talked to some of the people at the “Mercedes party,” and pointed to my house. They responded with expressions such as “Oh, my God,” “I’m sorry,” etc. Lucky me.
Fortunately, I put my cars on the street the night before the storm. Otherwise, the cars would be almost in the same condition as the Mercedes. Something has to go right.
The water receded fairly quickly after the rain stopped.
Well, at least the water didn’t come into the house proper. I didn’t have river water to mop in the kitchen. I checked the attic last night and, no leaks. I haven’t checked today. Enough is enough. I’ll look tomorrow.
I think “Irene” is married to a guy named Murphy. As in “Murphy’s Law.”