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:
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:
A quick walk revealed that two out of the three exits from the complex were flooded:
This is the 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:
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:
The bridge is ruined. :(
My friend captured this picture of the other end of the 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:
The lake water is so high:
Okay, it hadn't all receded:
The most amazing picture I found of my area was from here:
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!