Monday, September 5, 2011

That weekend Irene came to visit.

A couple of weeks ago, the east coast experienced two unusual natural disasters in a week. Unusual for New Jersey, at least. First, there was the tiny earthquake, which shook the lab buildings just long enough for us to check the internet for confirmation. Indeed, my Facebook feed was quick to inform, an earthquake was felt from NC to Toronto! While it didn't match the great quake of highschool, it was kind of exciting.

Second, of course, was Hurricane Irene. Weathermen predicted mass destruction. We received several warning emails from lab, Princeton, and even my massage therapist. At first I didn't believe it would hit badly, but the closer it got, the more urgent the preparedness messages became. So, I bought water bottles, batteries, candles, canned foods, cat litter, and cat food. The grocery store shelves were quite empty by Friday morning.

On Saturday, I woke up early to vacuum (while there was power). After watching my neighbors make five trips to the storage room with their patio furniture and BBQ grill, I battened down my veranda, too. The air was very heavy and warm. An on-edge feeling of anticipation encompassed the apartment complex. We watched it shut itself in and waited for the rains to come:
Babe watches the water.

We started to get bored, so we did a salsa workout video on Netflix. Okay, only I did that.

We watched a lot of Star Trek. We adore Spock.

In the evening, it started pouring. My patio became a small pond quickly. Thankfully, it never reached my door. When the winds started, I got ready for bed, using what I expected to be the last of my light wisely. I made a huge batch of smoothie for Saturday's breakfast. Sure thing: we lost power around 11pm. Even through my earplugs, the wind was incredibly loud. Faraday slept securely on my chest all night.

I woke up to sunshine, heavy wind, and no power. Naturally. My patio was dry, but I saw a truck attempt to drive down the road, shooting water up on either side. It got halfway before deciding to back up.

Praise Jesus for gas stoves and French press! I enjoyed my morning cup of coffee and smoothie while reading by the natural light of the glass doors on a pile of Moroccan poufs:
Praise the Lord for matches and a gas stove.
My natural-light-nook

A quick walk revealed that two out of the three exits from the complex were flooded:
Can't exit this way, either
Apparently, I can't drive that way.

This is the Ice and Flood Zone:
Ice and Flood Zone

My Droid kept me linked to Facebook, which again proved incredibly useful. The township's police kept their fans fantastically well-informed. I never thought I'd "like" them, but I felt much less alone knowing how my town was fairing. Irene certainly messed it up. At one point, my apartment complex was a black hole--people could drive into it on the one-way street, but couldn't get back out. Princeton itself was basically cutoff, between flooding and downed trees.

Meg and Luc live in downtown Princeton and made a hilarious movie of their epic weekend.

When I got bored, I visited Nadine and Raphael. I brought them disaster food, so brilliantly prepared by me during times of greater power:
At least I have food.

It got really dark. I went to bed early, after discovering that lab was closed on Monday. This was actually disappointing: my phone was dying and I was soooo tired of the dark. BUT! Finally, around 10:30pm, just as I was falling asleep, THE POWER RETURNED. Yeah!

Monday dawned bright and sunny and full of power. The internet informed me that traffic was awful on the roads that weren't still flooded. I decided to stay home, but after several more episodes of Star Trek (Spock started to look rather attractive...), I needed to take another walk. My neighbors all did, too--everyone was going stir-crazy!

The floods already receded:

I checked on the towpath, and was so sad to see its damage:
Not biking here anytime soon
Muddy Carnegie

The bridge is ruined. :(
The bridge is unpassable.

My friend captured this picture of the other end of the towpath:
Pic by Melissa of Harrison side of towpath

But you know, if the worst thing that happened to me personally was damage to my favorite recreation spot, I was blessed. Many people were hit worse.

My phone's camera accidentally turned this shot into an Impressionist painting:
There should be a towpath over there...

The lake water is so high:
Super high water

Okay, it hadn't all receded:
Still can't get out...

The most amazing picture I found of my area was from here:
Hurricane Irene

By Tuesday, I was so happy to get to lab. Three days with mainly the kitty for company was a bit much. As cute as he is!
Hiding in power outage


Steffi said...

Crazy about the earthquake!

Wow - so glad everyone was okay after Irene blew through! And hooray for gas stoves :) I can't believe how bad the flooding was (okay, not really surprised about Millstone, those roads always seem to flood.. but the rest WOW) - hopefully they will rebuild the towpath bridge but I'm sure that is quite low on their priority list.

Hope all is well and that your shins are recovering!

physikerin said...

Yes, I'm afraid the towpath bridge may be down a while...I'll try to get pictures of the progress, if it ever happens! :)

My shin seems to be better, but I still have some pain. Going to the doctor again this Thursday to get her opinion.

See you at APS! Your dogs are the CUTEST.