So, Irene is behind us here in New Jersey, although there is plenty of devestation left in her wake. In these parts, it's river flooding we have to worry about. At the homes of both my mom and sister, which are up on hills, flooding isn't any sort of issue, but in terms of getting places you need to go, you pretty much have to cross a river sooner or later.
The nearest river here is the Musconetcong River (named after an Indian tribe that once lived here; there are several such names around norther NJ: Hopatcong, Netcong, Lopatcong). And it flooded like we have never seen in the 50 years our family has lived here.
We went out yesterday to gawk at the flooding and to see which roads were blocked off, and this is what we found. (If you're on my Facebook or Twitter feeds, you might have seen these already.)
First, we heard that water was flowing OVER a small bridge next to my local bank.
Do I need to say it? Apparently so: it's SO STUPID to try and cross a flooded bridge or roadway in a car! The cops block off these roads for a reason! As I was taking that video, I kept praying I wasn't about to record someone drowning. The idiots in this video were just dang lucky they were able to walk away from this, although I hope the cop who showed up shortly afterward gave the driver a ticket for his lunacy.
After we checked out that bridge (which I think was reopened today, fortunately, because we'll need to cross it tomorrow on our way to the airport), we headed toward what I call "Fast Food Freeway" because that's pretty much all that's there, other than a car wash and a Lowe's home improvement store and a few gas stations. And THAT entire corridor was completely underwater! And the river doesn't actually flow that close to some of those stores! But the water was just THAT high!
In this one, one of our favorite pizza/Italian restaurants, which has been doing some expansion and renovation work, was partly under water... what a shame! The Lowe's, where people would probably be heading to buy repair supplies after the storm damage, looked like it was also under water, being nearer the river. The Applebee's seemed to be up on a little rise, so maybe they didn't sustain any water damage, but the car wash probably did (although perhaps, being a car wash, the water wouldn't be as big an issue?) What you can't see from this video is that to the right is a Friendly's, a White Castle, a small used car lot, a KFC and another chicken place, plus a diner and a Dairy Queen around the corner. Oh, and a trailer park which was definitely flooded out -- those poor folks!
To the left were some apartment buildings, a bank, a shopping mall, a Burger King and McDonald's, which probably weren't flooded but had to close because the street was under water, so even those businesses that didn't have damage are losing money daily as long as they're forced to be closed.
For a town this size, this is no small thing. And flood damage even worse that this is happening all through the east coast. Nature can be a real bitch sometimes.
We're finally heading home tomorrow. Might be out of it for a few days with the travel and jet lag, but next time you hear from me, I will be on sweet Paris time once more! A bientot!