We began preparing on Thursday. We found a generator, water, flashlights and tons of batteries. I had watched the approaching storm, and I had that gut feeling that this one was truly going to be a horrifying storm.
The storm began to strengthen as it approached us. We were lucky in northern New Jersey that we didn't get a direct hit when Sandy made landfall about 8-9 PM last night. We took all of our spare blankets and pillows and made camp in our basement. The large trees began to bend around 9 PM as the wind began to make an eerie howl and the gusts brought the noise of things hitting the roof.
Our lights began to blink, and we knew that we were in the height of the storm around 11 PM. The winds were whipping things onto the cars, into the house, and down the street. We moved to the basement and tried our best to rest with the children. We had told them we were having a "camp out" the night before, so they were surprisingly fine. The kids thought it was fun to have a sleep-over party in our basement. I was very grateful that I had kept my cool even though inside I was terrified hearing the winds. I'm nearly 40 years old, and I've never heard wind that powerful before.
Today has brought us many tales of friends who have lost power. More friends have trees down. Our friends to the south are evacuated. I am hearing stories from friends near Lavalette that homes are literally floating down Route 35. This effects me deeply as my childhood memories all stem from that shore town.
We are lucky. We are in the minority of people who still have power. We have opened our home to our friends and family that do not. The current reports are telling us that it may be up to two weeks before power can be restored to all of these areas. I suspect that my husband who works in New York City will be unable to get to work for a few days, as mass transit appears to be down in many forms due to flooding and wind damage. It is likely that the children won't have school for days and Halloween is yet again canceled (for the 2nd year in a row).