Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cleveland and Irene

Well, we made it through the weekend! Nobody was washed out to sea or blown away or any such things. Hurricane Irene came and went, as did I. I'll tell you about our weekend today, then try to wrap up Chicago tomorrow or Friday. (Look at me, making another post out of chronological order! I really do live on the edge, don't I?)

My weekend was quite lovely. My changed-to-Friday flight got out of both NYC and Baltimore with no problem, and I was glad I changed it when I saw BWI closed down around 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, about an hour after I had originally been scheduled to arrive there. So yes, my fears would have been correct: I would have spent the weekend in the Baltimore airport if I had kept my original flight. Boy, that would have been swell. Maybe next time!

But anyway, my flights were fine, and I was even able to see fireworks over Progressive Field after the Indians game as I flew in! My friend Megan picked me up at the airport and took me to my Gramps's house, where we ate some soup and hung out for a while. On Saturday, Gramps and I spent the morning and afternoon at the house, chatting and watching hurricane coverage. By that time I knew that all public transportation in NYC was going to be shut down as of noon and, in a state of wifely panic, I woke Eric up that morning, just to make sure he didn't think he should evacuate before he no longer had the option. He assured me he was fine.

Saturday afternoon Megan picked me up and took me to her apartment, where I was able to meet her boyfriend Andy (I like him!). Megan and I had some girl talk while Andy cooked us homemade fajitas (homemade tortillas and everything!), so clearly, he is an awesome guy. Dinner was delicious, and afterwards we got some ice cream from Honey Hut and watched a movie.

Sunday I went to church with my Gramps, and then he and I watched the Indians game together (a loss, boohoo). That evening Megan picked me up once again for dinner at her parents' house, where we spent a long time catching up with her folks. They're good people, and I haven't had much of an opportunity to sit and chat with them in a long time, so that was quite nice. Of course, we also picked up four more pints of local Cleveland ice cream and had ourselves an ice cream feast afterwards!

And that was pretty much my weekend in Cleveland. Monday morning I hung out with Gramps a bit more before beginning my looooooong trek home. My flights were fine, but once I arrived in Newark, things turned awful. The New Jersey Transit still wasn't back up and running (post-hurricane) from the airport, so my only real option for getting home was a bus into NYC then the PATH train back home. However, the bus that so proudly boasts arrivals "every 15 minutes" took over an hour to arrive. Luckily, I was the last person to make it on that bus (if I had been forced to wait for the next one I would have either cried or punched somebody or both), but then the bus ride took another hour, then another 45 minutes to get back to Hoboken from the city thanks to my slow walking and evening train schedules. All in all, it took me nine hours to get home from Cleveland. Google Maps tells me that if I had driven, it would have taken me 8 hours and 12 minutes. It literally would have been faster to drive. RAGE.

And can you believe I didn't take a single picture all weekend? Who am I?!

But you know who did take pictures? My dear husband, who was left back at home in Hoboken to fend for himself during the storm. He started off with some "before shots" on Saturday afternoon, before things really picked up.

Rainy, cloudy skyline

Sandbags in front of Zylo at the W Hotel

PATH station, all closed down

Restaurants boarded up

Parking meters covered over, and empty streets

Apparently the winds really started to pick up that evening. Hoboken even imposed a curfew, prohibiting anyone from driving or being on the streets as of 8:00 p.m. on Saturday. Mandatory evacuations were in effect for ground-level apartments, but because we live on the seventh floor, Eric stayed put. He took the dog for his last walk before the storm then they hunkered down.

I was pretty nervous about how Hoboken would weather the storm, because just a couple of weeks ago we got some heavy rain and western Hoboken flooded pretty badly. With Irene, they were predicting the eye to pass over us right at high tide on Sunday morning, which was expected to be disastrous. Not to mention, on any given winter day, the winds really whip through that town. There have been times that I have been sitting in our living room, thinking the wind might blow our windows right in, just on your standard blustery afternoon. Hoboken did not seem like a good place for a hurricane.

Luckily, on our side of town, things stayed pretty under control. Eric never lost power, and when things cleared out a bit on Sunday, he wandered around our part of town to survey the damage. There was some flooding down by the train station and some uprooted trees, but nothing too terrible.

Uprooted tree along the riverfront bike path

Hurricane puddles and hazy skyline

Area in front of the train station, underwater

Another downed tree by the door to our apartment

Debris marking how high the water came

Natalie Morales doing some reporting from northern Hoboken

Sign in a shop on Washington street that seems to primarily carry funny onesies for babies

By Sunday evening, the clouds were starting to clear over Manhattan and New Jersey.

Skies clearing over downtown

Clouds over the Lackawanna terminal

Looking back towards the W Hotel in Hoboken

Much clearer skyline 

And by Monday night, we were back to our beautiful sunsets.

Monday's sunset, as seen from our apartment

Of course, other parts of Hoboken were not so lucky. The western portion did, in fact, flood significantly, and many residents lost power (I think some are still without, in fact). Check out some of these pictures taken from The Boken's Flickr photostream:

Flooded streets
(credit: Brad Miller, source)

(credit: Brad Miller, source)

Flooded ShopRite
(credit: Brad Miller, source)

The water was knee-deep
(credit: Gary, source)

Even yesterday, I was hearing more reports of mandatory evacuations in New Jersey (further inland) thanks to flooding due to rivers continuing to swell. Needless to say, we were lucky in that our portion of Hoboken avoided much damage, but others weren't so lucky. We're counting our blessings, and wishing the best to all those still facing the impact of this storm.

I hope all of you stayed warm, dry and safe this weekend!


moderndaywife said...

Wow those are some crazy flooding in the pics, so glad you guys are safe!

Anonymous said...

So glad your family is safe and sound and back together! Love, Aunt Rachel

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