Posted by: Debbie Abrams Kaplan | November 15, 2012

Hurricane Sandy – the Latest

Life is sort of back to normal. The kids are back in school. School Halloween parties were cancelled and parent-teacher conferences are getting rescheduled. Halloween in our town is Saturday afternoon, depending on whether the neighborhood wants to do it (ours did it Friday night). There are still trees down and some transformers hanging from loose wires. Slowly, our town is collecting the rising piles of leaves and tree branches (though trees need to be disposed of by homeowners). The gas rationing officially ended this week (though it’s been unofficially ended since last week, at least in our town).

Getting ready for a belated trick-or-treating night. Zack was Hurricane Sandy (gas can compliments of Aunt Susan). My niece, visiting from California, got to experience her second trick-or-treat of the season, with stories to share!

SCHOOL BREAKS

The Board of Education met to figure out how to deal with the extra ‘snow days’ we took during the hurricane. On the table: spring break. Fortunately that was spared (for now – let’s see how much snow we get this winter). We did lose 1/2 day of MLK Day and they’ll be in school now on President’s Day. Not a big loss for this family – we have no travel plans and it was only a one day break anyway.

In all, 60% of New Jersey schools closed as Sandy approached. As of Tuesday, 99% of the 600 school districts were open, up from 82% last Friday. Not that schools are damage free. In one nearby town, the two elementary schools are sharing one building for the short term. Nine districts are sending kids to another district for school, or using borrowed space.

POWER

I think the homes in our town all have power now. For our service provider, PSE&G, there were only a few hundred outages still as of Monday. For another Jersey carrier, JCP&L, there were 2,000. In Long Island, though, as of Monday night almost 60,000 homes still were out. At the same time, Brooklyn still had 16,300 customers without. The storm killed power to 8.5 million homes in 10 states during the storm.

The next street over got their power back last Friday – almost 2 weeks after they lost it.

TRANSIT

Those commuting into New York City, whether from New Jersey, or the boroughs, are still having a rough time.  New Jersey Transit can’t even estimate when service will be fully restored. Now, 33 of the usual 63 trains go into NYC per hour (up from 13 just after they restored some service). Trains are very crowded and often late. Mark is still alternating between the trains and the bus. He said he got to Penn Station 15 minutes before his scheduled train, and it was already standing room only. As for buses, accidents have increased delays and from all accounts, the ride is miserable – especially if you didn’t get a seat.

His building has heat again, though still no shuttles. The commute is longer than usual for him, and he’s getting a little more worn out.

HURRICANE SANDY BY THE NUMBERS

An interesting look in a numeric way at the hurricane.

HELP

If you’d like to help out, here’s my page listing many of the Hurricane Sandy donation options.  The food banks are looking for money, frozen turkeys and nonperishable foods. They’re having a food drive this Saturday and Sunday in many New Jersey towns, if you’re local and want to donate. FYI – ShopRite lowered the amount you need to have spent to qualify for a free turkey (now it’s $300). It’s easy to get yours – I picked up mine yesterday (and actually had room to store it in the freezer – that’s a first).

The last of the snow from Wednesday’s nor’easter, after school on Friday.


Responses

  1. Thanks for all your updates. Glad to hear much is getting back to normal. Yes, we are donating and hope everyone is across the board. we have much to be thankful this year and every other!


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