My family only had to endure four days without power after Hurricane Sandy before we experienced that magic moment early one morning: we were awakened by our lights going on. The kids yelled out in joy, and I happily anticipated life with electric, heat and running water.
We had a brief letdown when there was a “click” and the power went off again. But it was temporary and we were on the road to normalcy.
But I quickly learned that normal life returns bit by bit, not all at once. I had roads to traverse, an exercise that included maneuvering around downed trees and power lines. The stores in my town still had no power, so buying groceries was a chore. Buying gas was a challenge. You could spot an open gas station by the long line of cars, sometimes a mile away from the station. The other sight that was unusual, to say the least, was the number of people standing in line or walking down the street with their red plastic gas containers.
These crazy scenes, playing out in many communities across New Jersey, did not capture the full devastation of the storm. My family might have been inconvenienced by power outages, but we are well aware that other individuals and communities have lost much more. (more…)