Hurricane Sandy, my story


Hurricane Sandy: Monday October 29, 2012

Well, here’s my story,

It’s 7:00pm and our electric power is out.  I’ll backtrack from here to the start of the day.

Despite Governor’s Christy’s persistent warnings to all New Jersey residents to stay home Monday morning, I went into work because I am a  Registered Nurse with the Blood Center of New Jersey.

I had set the alarm for 4:44am in order to leave my house at 0:630 am. I looked out the window thinking it’s not raining yet but I can hear the rustle of the wind in the trees.  ( last evening, on weather.com, the forecast said rain both in my town and Parsippany from 6 am to 9 am, a Squalls from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m, heavy rains from 4:00 p.m).  I knew I had to go to work nevertheless this scared me. ” How was I going to drive home I asked myself”, and prayed.

Breakfast was as usual for the early shift, my sweet husband makes oatmeal with cinnamon and banana slices and a cup of English breakfast tea. to go.

Once in my car,  for once the roads on a Monday morning were without rush-hour traffic.

Once at work, I busied myself in the Quality Control preparations and forms to be completed before the first Platelet donors arrive at 0:730 am.  Donna S. was my Apheresis technician. One of the two appointments came in at 0:730 am, a triple platelet donor.  Once checking the Parsippany donor center voice mail, I learned that a frequent donor, Claude D. was available: I called him at 0:820 a.m. and he was here it seemed within minutes.  Donna put him on the Amicus machine, knowing that two 09:45 am donors were due in.  Our Boss, Jerry was calling on the phone and I relayed the same about adding donors in this morning slots. (appointments).  Just as my boss informed me that East Orange was trying to move the 7:15 and 7:30 donors , from the large glass windows I see an Apheresis donor Nadine K. It was 09:50 a.m.

I said, ” Look what the wind blew in ,” I added, ” I get to say that today”, I giggle to Nadine. She said, “yes. That’s right”, as she filled out her forms.

My boss called again to say that My team member , Dawn H. is coming  in to work because they’re asking as many donors as they can to come in earlier. Dawn arrived at 10:30am . Dawn with her pleasant demeanor said that she was just eating breakfast when Jerry asked her to come down to Parsippany to help with the Apheresis donors. ” I know that you came quick “, I said , “You didn’t have time to tie your hair back like you had it yesterday”. She looked at me and smiled, and left the room returning in a few minutes.

We finished all of the donors at 2:00pm, and was told that the pick-up was at 2:30pm.  After 2:30pm, still not here, so I called, and Asked if I was to be here “all by my lonesome?”.  Jack, Traffic Manager called me back and said that Mike B. was on his way in a couple of minutes.  I called Mike on his cellphone  and he said, ” 20 minutes more, then he said, ” I’m closer than that, I was joking’.  He’s been working with me a long time, we’re both at the Blood center over fifteen years.

Once I set out on the road, I took the following route on the advise of one of our apheresis donors that Route 287 would have too many “cross-winds blowing, Sandy will blow your car all over the road.” I took Route  287 to Rt 24 to Rt 78 to  the Parkway entering at  exit 141.  The roads were empty, I was not surprised and the wind was blowing my car.  It’s a good thing that the rain was not heavy just yet.  I called my husband on my cell phone.  He said that he was on his way home from work as well  and  by our house it was raining heavier.

4:18pm

Once I got home and parked the car, before getting out , I snapped a few photos; I wanted to capture the essence of the hurricane at home. Then I was warmly greeted by my husband. “Here”, handing him the camera, Please video me with my work schedule in hand, Ocober 29, 2012 for RDC/Parsippany with a note taped onto the page for the directions of a different route home.”. He then video the trees surrounding our court.

As i got out I spoke to my neighbor.

Using my ingrained Girl Scout skills with the motto ingrained in my head , “Be Prepared”, I thought< ” there’s things i want done before the power goes out. Will likely lose power by8:00PM.

My priorities , Boil some water for a cup of tea, hot coca and cookies, cut up some fresh carrots and cook them up to eat for the next few days. Wash laundry (pj’s ,socks, and necessities) at the very least.

I got changed into comfy clothes.

While I write this , I have my Dollar store mini Booklight in hand.  The power has been out since 6:30pm. I hear the closed front door shift ever so slightly from the strong winds. Then eerily I hear the same from the Patio door over and over.

To Be Continued>*****

 

 

I was upstairs on the computer, when the electric power went out at 06:30 p.m.  Coincidentally ,I had just read on “Facebook.com” that Mary J. Bianchi ‘s power was out in Pennsylvania.   I should have known that we were going to be next.  In the dark, I got up from the computer and walked into the hallway and stood by the Guest bathroom doorway which has white moulding that I could just barely see in the darkness.  Pat was downstairs ,got the flashlight and came upstairs to get me.

Luckily, just moments before, Pat had put our dinner plates into the microwave.  While I was sitting on the couch with a flashlight in hand, I said to Pat, ” why are you opening the microwave oven ‘s door?”. He said, ” Our dinner is in there.”  For dinner that evening, we had warmed up ” stuffed cabbage and mashed sweet potatoes  from the Pa. Dutch market and some of my fresh boiled carrots, tender, yum.

I next went to the clothes dryer to check on the clothes that I had put in the dryer.  Thank God most everything was dry except for a few socks which I hung on the clothes rod to air dry.

At 7:00 p.m. with my cell phone I had called my mom’s house to tell mom and Nina that our power was out.  I gently explained to get ready for a power failure, ” Line up your sweaters and warm clothes and get a hat to wear to bed”.  My sister, Nina, said, ” why now?, I can see my winter hats.” I said, ” Because if the power goes out, you won’t be able to see in the dark.” ” Oh’, she said. She put the phone down and quickly returned with her P.J.’s on and long clouds robe and winter hat.  Mom, got on the phone to talk to me, and I advised to get the flashlight by the desk in the living room. ( we had made sure that their flashlight had batteries and extra batteries on the desk mas well.)  She went to the desk, and said, ” It doesn’t work”. Pat spoke to my mom and said “It works, try the switch.” . I hung up.I continued to write this story by the bright light of my mini booklight while siting on the couch.   At 7:20P.M. I decided to call mom back.  Mom answered the phone and said ,” the power is out”.  My sister came to the phone, she said, ” It’s dark, I can’t see to take my medicine”.  “Go to the desk and try the flashlight again.” I said.  She got the flashlight to work.  Nina said, ” There’s not T.V.” Yes, with the power out, there’s no t.v. , ” I’ll go to bed”. From my end of the receiver, I hear them talking as they walk by the phone. After shouting into my phone several times, I hung up, trying their cell phone, but it went to voice mail because it was not turned on.

It’s 8:40 p.m.

I just finished reading out loud the first part of my story to Pat.   While I was reading, I’ll describe the sounds I heard from Hurricane Sandy.

Pat, ” It’s the wind”.  “Sing , “The answer my friend is  Blowing like the wind”.  What song is that?” I said.  Pat, ” A church song”. I thought of the Bob Dylan song.  Pat sang, ” Love is flowing like a river.” Pat yawns loudly.  Then pat said, ” Whispering Woods is doing more than whispering tonight, It’s Roaring.”  Ha ha, I laugh.

The wind outside sounds like this. Seemingly endless rolling in waves like the oceans.  There was one huge, swift rustling sound after another, and another. Alternatively, the inside of the house, the front door creaks as it gently is pushed by the breeze.   No’ “I’m not scared”. ” Although , this could be recorded for a great scary movie.”  Sitting on the floral couch in the living room, the only light now is the jar candle with ocean blue scent.and this small mini book light. in which I’m using to both write and read this aloud.

Stay Tuned.  ****

9:20pm H. Sandy sounds. Standing in our Master bathroom, the wind storm just made the sound as if a train rushed by loudly heard despite my husbands’ battery operated electric toothbrush in use.  ‘Oh” , I say, ” Wow” hear that.  Pat said, ” Roaring and whistling through the trees, rushing like waves”, gently softly spoken by Pat.

09:30 p.m  “It’s time to say goodnight.  I hope mom and Nina stay safe through the night.”

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