'Superstorm' Sandy is being called a once-in-a-lifetime storm. While it's the big cities that are grabbing most of the headlines, Sandy affected every family on the eastern seaboard. After weathering Sandy with kids in tow, our network of contributors are sharing their experiences. From basements and suburban yards in the most populated corridor of the United States, below are excerpts of stories about mother's intuition, which should never be doubted, and collecting buckets of rainwater to, in dire need, flush the toilet.
'Camping out' with family during 'Superstorm' Sandy
DENVILLE, N.J.-- 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.
- Gioia Degenaars
Weathering 'Superstorm' Sandy
DELRAN, N.J. -- The winds were strong during the day, but nothing like they were when it got dark and whipped the trees around. I think that was the hardest part, and the scariest for the kids, when it was dark outside and the wind was howling and blowing but we couldn't see anything. My family slept downstairs together, which is a much safer place than upstairs during a storm like that, and we got through the night safely.
- Julie Wimmer
The "not so" perfect storm
PASSAIC COUNTY, N.J. -- Both my children left to stay with their father in a nearby town so I began to fear for their safety when I started to see the real-life devastation unfold. The NYSE and Times Square were empty. The beaches slowly deteriorating. I frequently checked up on them through phone calls and messaging. My daughter seemed very calm and more focused on the fact that her school was closed. I was frightened every time I heard of an injury to a child or person. The wind got stronger and a colorful light show of exploding transformers was appreciated. I, then, decided it was time to retreat to the safest part of my house to sleep. The clattering and howling winds did not help my sleep.
Fortunately, my direct area currently seems to be safe. I do not see any down wires or trees. My neighbor, however, lost some siding and my other neighbor lost half of her fence. I must say that I am extremely satisfied with the sense of community that was shown before, during, and currently with 'superstorm' Sandy. Even in the social media world, everyone has been checking on one another and sharing pictures and resources. The governors efforts along with President Obama and other state leaders is amazing. Thanks to them and emergency management and preparedness efforts, most people took heed and followed directions. I feel that my children learned how a community should stick together and help one another out in times of need- Dana R. Arevalo
Mom's intuition got her home to the kids in time before 'Frankestorm' Sandy
SILVER SPRING, Md. -- When the threat became imminent, my husband and I were in Boston at our son's college parent weekend. One daughter was staying with friends and expected to return to our house [in Maryland, on the outskirts of D.C.] before we did, and the other was experiencing her first time alone for the weekend at home. My "mom's intuition" told me not to gamble on our Sunday evening flight. It hadn't been canceled as of early Sunday. We tried to switch to an earlier flight and came upon the expected news that every flight out of Logan was overbooked. I insisted we grab two of the few Amtrak seats left. It was a wise decision. A few hours into our train ride, our would-be flight canceled. As we rumbled through Connecticut approaching the New York border, Amtrak announced its upcoming cancellation of all trains north of New York City. We had enough time to pass through with an hour to spare. Relying on intuition and planning for communications outages gave me the peace of mind I needed as my husband and I - ironically- headed into the storm.
- Carol Bengle Gilbert
Sandy brings whipping winds, pelting rain
ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. -- This morning, the first thing I did was run to the front window, then to the back window to see what damages we had. All in all, we fared very well. We didn't lose power and only a few branches fell in the front yard. Although the temperature has dropped and is a whopping 43 degrees this afternoon. Our main concern is the Susquehanna river. It has yet to crest and with all the flooding in upstate New York that will flow our way, I have a feeling the worst is yet to come.
- Rebecca Johnson