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Hurricane Sandy
<lj-cut text=" This is not for the faint of heart">
Hurricane Sandy hit us in a major way. It has been so crazy that I'm just now able to post about it. I grew up in Monmouth County which is one of the counties listed as a disaster area. I lived in Union Beach from ages 12-25 and my parents still live there. We have a bay and a tiny beach, my parents live on the dry side a few blocks from the bay but they live on a street that is considered a flood zone because behind the backyard fence is a marsh but it doesn't connect to the bay. Usually when it rains the street floods a little and if you step out of the car you're ankle deep. No big deal. For Hurricane Irene they had 3 inches of water come into our finished basement and they had to rip the rugs out. They thought this storm would be the same. My parents along with 3 or 4 neighbors decided not to evacuate because we have 4 dogs and my mom's aunt lives with her and she is 87 and doesn't speak any English so it was easier to stay. They were very prepared but not prepared at all for what was about to happen. I live in Middlesex County now which much further inland but I live in a modular home which is also not considered safe so I stayed with a friend in Monmouth County that wasn't near the water. Everyone knows this was not just a "hurricane" it was a hybrid storm on a full moon with high tide coming in. I talked to my mom at 6:30 p.m and she said they already had 3 ft of water in the basement and high tide was expected from 830 pm- 12am. Ultimately the power went out, our cell phones died and it was unsafe to charge the phones in the car. So the next morning my mom tells me what she experienced. First off my mom, stepdad, great aunt, and all of our dogs and other small animals survived. I will tell you what happened to them and tell you that my family is in the group of lucky ones, in a town of pure devastation. My mom was chest deep in freezing water trying to save the guinea pigs one at a time, one of their cages tipped and my mom went under to save it. The guinea pig is fine and thank god my mom isn't sick from the water. White crested waves were smashing against our house and the water was 1 foot away from coming into the upstairs of the house. My stepdad was in the position of trying to figure out what he was going to do to save everyone if he had to. His plan, not great but a plan was to put the little dogs on a door and hope they float safely, have my border Collie swim with him, and he was going to tie my mom to empty water jugs from a water cooler and pull her along. He had no plan for my moms aunt. This is the scariest fucking thing she told me. You could be Michael Phelps and all the cars and debris and animals and filth in that water could kill you. The tide finally receded and all the water went back out into the marsh and bay and ocean. The next morning I was relieved to hear they survived and I went to help. We pulled the belongings out of the house and pulled out the rugs and tried to break down the broken fence. I got them as many supplies as I could back and forth trying to find towns that had power and water and food. Here are the pics:

I told my mom this will happen to the house whether you are in it or not. Put money away now and next time go to PA and stay in a dog friendly hotel. There are 24 confirmed dead in my town and it's a really small town. 

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Un-fucking-believable. I'm grateful your family escaped injury.

Thank you for your kind words it helps.

So scary! I'm so happy that your family - human and four-legged - are all okay. I wish I had the words to help you through this, but I don't. Just hang in there and take care of yourself and know that I am always here to listen!

Thanks. I really appreciate it. It's frustrating because the media is so focused on nyc and popular shore towns from the Jersey Shore show or Atlantic City and no one is taking about the tiny coastal towns. Every time I drive through the town I want to cry. I used to drive to the water front and park just to think sometimes and it's gone. Homes all along the water front have collapsed. Going through the town I see nothing but homes with their life on the front lawn and it's heart breaking. People are still missing and bodies washed up in our back yard because we have fence. Our dogs have to be walked or tied because they can't run around. It's too dangerous without a fence. And yet I feel selfish in thinking "Thank God I moved out." because my bedroom was in the basement and all my belongings would have been destroyed. And my neighbors have it even worse. Next door they don't have a basement. All of their bedrooms are the first floor, and across the street the water is still in the basement and the old woman who lives their paid off her house and she has lived their 42 years so she cancelled her flood insurance never thinking something like this would happen. Now her house is getting condemned and she might not get anything for it.A neighbor around the corner had their attic ripped off and it landed in the middle of the street, another man was injured when a car came through his living room. I'm tearing up just writing this. I don't know how they are doing it. They still have no power. They borrowed a generator to heat the house for my mom's elderly aunt and our pets and to power up the fridge, but we are going to get hit with another storm on Wednesday and they are expecting 3-5 ft of rain. People are stealing gas from other people's cars, they are stealing generators, and looting out of people's houses. It literally makes me sick to think people would do this. We have the national guard and Philadelphia police department here patrolling at night to stop this behavior.Electric companies from ohio, alabama, and georgia have come to help. It's the scariest thing I have ever lived through. Thanks for listening.

I hope things are improving!! How are you and your family holding up?

Things are getting better. They got power back two nights ago. Thanks. :)

OMG. ...PLEASE be safe... the storm coming in tomorrow doesn't look good. Be careful!!!!

Thanks for the kind words.

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