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Sandy Eyewitness Account: A New Jersey Resident Reports From Inside the Superstorm

New Jersey resident Eva Frankenberger has been sending messages relating her experience as Superstorm Sandy approached, hit, and left a devastated region with, at this point, no sign of help from emergency services. Meanwhile people have no gas, power, food, or water other than whatever supplies they laid in.

Read Eva’s first-person account here starting at the bottom of the page. Updates will be added as they come in:

Thursday November 8th:

People, as we did, have also decided to stay in their cold and sometimes extremely damaged houses – even without windows!! – to protect from looting. I have never seen a police car here or somewhere else to drive around to protect us. This should be a must – to be able to go or to evacuate!

Commute is extremely difficult or not possible..restriction to 3 people in one car for bridges and tunnels if they are open, in some areas where trains still don’t drive transit companies are trying to replace some services with buses. This is huge and will take months to recover!

Snow storm was not so bad, cold, wind and new snow… Still no trains and buses because of the damages and fuel rationing in NJ. NYC and Long Island are fuel rationing, still many people don’t have power in these temperatures.

Tuesday November 6th:

THANK you ALL for your contribution and supporting words! Lets take nature and what is happening to it more seriously, pay more respect and protect it. As Bloomberg said, whether or not this is a result of global warming, don’t let us wake up 10 years later and say yes it was but we missed the opportunity to do something!!!

One week later… There was light!!

We had actually no hope for tonight anymore, since it was all dark when we came home, but we feel very lucky now! The creeping cold temperatures slowly but steadily disappear… :)

 

Monday November 5th:

Still no power, outside freezing temperatures, inside too.. And new hope for a storm… Hurray! New power outages!!

Room temperature: 10 C

Sunday November 4th:

Today is an even date.. So Its our turn today to line up for hours and get gas…

Power lines poles get planted and connected via a wire … A hope for power?

Alert over alert..assuming we have a cell charged..

 

Saturday November 3rd:

This is how our roads look like, extreme trees loss and power lines poles are down. The railway looks the same, a week after Sandy no trains no busses in our region…

Gasoline? Panic purchases! Yes!!

A rule requiring cars entering Manhattan on East River bridges to have at least three passengers as a way to reduce congestion

Friday November 2nd:

U know what the gas issue also causes? Donations and help cant be delivered since the truck bringing help might stuck bc no gas is available to drive back!!!

Here there is no emergency response.. When driving on Friday we have seen a small sign about a shelter. We have enough food and water , some fuel left, enough batteries..thanks Vancouver readiness guides!! NYC suffers so much bc people are not listening, they never believed something like that can happen.

Today was cold, sunny and brrr windy. Everybody got shocked to see and hear the wind. But it came down and was actually nothing. We have seen first crew repairing the wiring..

Natural gas generator is our next investment!!

Its cold, no water, some damages bigger and smaller BUT nothing like what happened at the shore! Colleague lost his home, a friend her house on an island and the island was broken up in 2 pieces.. So we are just freezing and tired, exhausted with the situation… Small things only :-))…

NJ governor orders odd-even rationing of gas for some counties… Its cold.. In house 12 C degree…people r leaving their houses empty, other people know the houses are empty… We r not leaving.. But its cold, even for the dogs already …we r trying to consume what was in the fridge, freezer everything spoiled…

Thursday, November 1st:

Where is the help? Where are the power supplier crews to start to restore the non anymore existing grid? NO ONE here..

This area with a lot of old trees, old historical structures and uncounted horse farms: got hit very bad in terms of many old trees came down and not damaged but destroyed thr entire power line structure including smashed transformers. Trees, huge trees were piling up on roads and trapped people in their homes. To get help or clear up for emergencies or to get gas the private people with their private chain saws are cutting through the 2-3 foot diameter trunks on the road, helping each other to some roads passable. But as i said gas is not available so soon no one can continue…

Yesterday morning got emails from our employers: offices open report to work…yesterday in the evening: please try to work from home and do not report to the office since no gas is available..gas shortage is a huge problem!!! People starting to think whether to drive somewhere or not..

NYC issues: terrible! …excerpt from a newspaper…In Chelsea, Mary Wilson, 75, was buying water from a convenience store that was open but had no power. She said she had been without running water or electricity for three days, and lived on the 19th floor. She walked downstairs Thursday for the first time because she ran out of bottled water and felt she was going to faint. She said she met people on the stairs who helped her down…. Yes this is NYC, but also we here outside, we filled our tubs with water, three containers a 50 gallons ( apprx 200 each) of water plus 30 gallons of drinking water are wondering where do we get water when we run out of water..but we do not have to run 19!!! Floors down… I did 26 …which means 26 X 2 stairways..for an elderly woman… Impossible!!

Our dog walker wrote at this minute: …Just letting u know the gas line at Wawa in phillipsburg is only a 20 min wait right now every other place is hours …. NO OPEN gas stations, ppl waiting for gas for hours to fill cars and generators… Lucky wise Vancouver earth quake readiness taught us a lot…

The most deaths from fallen trees..and people underestimating nature, not following evacuations advisory..

Looting started, police increased their efforts, i am seeing cars with individuals they don’t fit in here and never seen before…

Mass of cell towers are now down.. Our mobile devices need even more energy to reconnect with towers still available..

Fortunately i am not in the area where the worst happened.. But the only connection we have is cell internet… The issue is not having power for our cells and no info where to go. but also cell towers not sending signal or failing to reconnect. Sometimes numbers can’t be reached. Emergency websites, facebook and website to get info what is happening are too heavy on cell traffic eating too much of our cell power. Bc our area not hit so bad like the shore not seeing anybody, No signs for drinking water, shelter anywhere to see, just closed roads, police blocking intersections and very bad hit roads with oil spillage from destroyed transformers. The danger here is: we got used to drive over all the power lines otherwise we could not get anywhere. Just a few gas stations are open, gas stations not receiving fuel deliveries, but extremely increased consumption on gas for generators.

Tuesday, October 30th:

For DR officials: build websites to inform people about the status without heavy content, high resolution pictures.. Light text without many links.. That makes the life of stranded easier and cells batteries live longer..

Tried to get to our friends to get charged cell phones…realized we are trapped and they are trapped behind huge walls of piled up fallen trees. Power poles, traffic lights are down and destroyed, power transformers blown up in explosions, all power wires on the ground, hanging in fallen trees, when you try to drive you have to try to drive around, underneath and not to touch, its Like a slow slalom between tree crowns, wires, trunks of the trees and then.. It does not go further.. A huge wall..this looks to me to 2-3 weeks without power…

All houses here and many in NYC and other cities need power for water. For drinking water, shower, flushing etc. Parts of NYC are without power so also there no water. So no shower whether cold or warm. As i mentioned before power is also needed for the sump pumps: sump pumps keeps the ground level of the water in the houses on a level that the basement us not flooded . No power to all flooding up you are flooding the basement with ground water. People are trying to get water out with buckets. Heating is not working, it works with natural gas but the initiation and the ventilator need power. So no heating. When temperatures are low your pipes will burst with remaining water in the pipes. Drinking water comes from the private wells that each of the properties needs to gave. Otherwise you cant build a house.

Please check the 8 millions.. Could be more or less..now no transit.. We all are communicating via mobile devices and those who has portable wifi ( mifi) can work as long as they gave enough power in the laptops. Companies have data centers in NYC and NJ all those data center work on generators only currently. Generators work with gasoline. Companies that have a nature disaster recovery plan are soon failing over their system from this region to their DR center somewhere else.. 1% battery…-also cell towers having extreme difficulties because running on generators…

Private wells need a pump that again needs power. No water. Therefore no shower, no toilettes. Boiler for hot water needs power: no hot water. Camping cooker or barbecue grills nay help to get something warm. All trains, buses in NJ, in NYC plus subway suspended their services because everywhere are just fallen trees and debris. Subway flooded, destroyed the electric infrastructure., Some subway stops are still flooded, So no public transport, no transit. The tunnel used by public transport to get to NYC ( there are just few bridges) were flooded so closed. I think i read there 8 millions who commute to NYC every day!! If they decided to take a car and go to NYC? Just chaos. I would say that 75% of those 8 millions are taking public transit (train and long distance buses like I do) to get to the city.

Its cold but it stopped raining: that is very important because houses are flooded not only from the ocean and rain( ground water) but rivers where the water is pushed back from the ocean up to the river beds bc of the high surge, the high winds. From the mountains and the hills the rain water is coming: both situation at the same time are bringing something like an inland tsunami. Bc of the extreme flooding but also many transformers blown up in an explosion (flying debris, got ripped off the poles) the grid had to be shut down. Yesterday driving here around abd actually not getting anywhere bc roads are closed due to fallen and piled up trees ( looks like a big wall of trees) and wires hanging over the road in 1 m height, so we are trapped. All shops were closed bc no power.

Three big trees knocked down, one old and nice big tree bended in the middle like a match, part of the roof – steeple- blown away.. Fence destroyed… Not happy.. But alive..all our thoughts go to them who have their homes flooded, destroyed by fire, injured and incurred damages…

6:55 am: Lost a piece of roof, raining through, a tree knocked down..fence damaged hoping the rain stops otherwise it starts to flood the basement. Our NYC and Queens friend have a bad situation. Flooded houses, 50 houses burned down national guard in town…terrible.. Thank you for asking!!!

Monday, October 29th:

6:00 pm: Just terrified! For the first time in their and my life the dogs are allowed on the sofa with me [and husband Horst]..mutual keeping us warm..

Lost power, just the sound of the hurricane with us

4:13 pm: Terrible!!! Extreme winds and gusts..hoping for not getting blown away with the house..

2:39 pm: Sandy has made land fall now in NJ..hoping…

11:56 am: Very scary here!!!

Working from home, having a cut over for an important project this week.. On internal chat with colleagues.. Many w/o power and flooded already. Here very windy, high speed gusts, NYC zone A flooded, highways shut down, tunnels bridges closed, subways shafts on the streets covered with plywood panels… One ship sank off coast of NJ already…Sandy is 350 miles away and has already such an impact…

Sunday, October 28th

24 h servicing New York subway now to shut down as Sandy nears

 

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  1. This specific posting, “Sandy Eyewitness Account:
    A New Jersey Resident Reports From Inside the Superstorm :
    ACT” displays that you fully understand just what you r communicating about!

    I personally definitely agree. Thanks ,Antje

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