disaster · family · Flooding · floods · Hurrican Irene · Irene · New Jersey · news

My Hurricane Irene Experience

Many of you have read before that I grew up in a flood zone in general. My parents have a river flowing on the back-side of their yard. Thankfully they have a large yard and live on the highest point in their neighborhood, so they only had water in their house once in April of 1984. . until now. 

Rob, the boys, and I live on top of a hill in our neighborhood where we’ve lived for the past few years. My mom stayed for about four or five days with us so that she could get to and from work during Irene (the problem is that her business area was under water so she only got there on the last day).  My dad wanted to take care of their home and the dogs, so he stuck around thinking it would be like normal for them (on their island as the houses around them flood).

It rained heavy and fast! After a day or two of rain, the waters came up more. Turns out this time we were the ones on an island – so no water surrounding our home. We had a lot of water on one side of our neighborhood a couple feet down and about a mile on the other side it was clear and then went under again. There was only one road that we could travel on which was near a food store, but the highways on both sides were underneath so we wouldn’t be able to travel other than on foot.

My hometown was hit badly. The low-lands are shown in the video at the bottom. My friend who lives in that part of town had her home condemned (and thankfully they’ll be able to lift the foundation and live there again but temporarily they are in a house located elsewhere).  My parents had 9 feet of water in the basement and my dad got 2 feet out in the middle of the night. The dogs had to do their business on the deck.The houses surrounding both my parents’ home and our home were pretty beat up. There were homes nearby that we heard blow-up from gas leaks, one which was early in the morning (as Rob was making coffee) that sounded very odd to us, but we didn’t find out until later on. We couldn’t even travel over the bridge a mile down to see the conditions of the water because of the gas in the water so cops kept guard.

We were without power for only an hour, but houses a couple feet away were without power for a few days. We didn’t have internet for two days, but that’s okay. I had a lot of books I ended up reading that week and the weather was gorgeous when the rain stopped so we went on some walks together.

There are many homes that are ruined. My mom talked to a woman at a baby shower a couple weeks ago who is married with two young kids.  They had just bought a new home and it was condemned and they were given nothing from the government or insurance or the state for it. They’re left homeless.  Many trees fell on houses since it was so windy. Many cars were completely destroyed.

My parents had to have their entire basement gutted out and they lost all the things that were in there (but that was okay. It needed to be cleaned anyway. . that’s the way they viewed it and me too).  The sad part for my dad is that he’s been unemployed for a while and does carpentry jobs here and there when people hire him. His new van got destroyed (someone gave him a mini-van since). All the tools that he had in the van were destroyed. That makes it hard for him to work at all now. 

Thankfully Samaritan’s Purse has been around to help out many families. We had our state governor visit my hometown to talk to the citizens. Driving through that town has been dreadful. There are piles and piles of garbage/debris on the sides of all the homes (they’ve been picked up a bunch since, but not completely).  The president visited but I didn’t hear his speech other than that he declared New Jersey and disaster area.  If you feel compelled to help out, please donate to Samaritan’s Purse.

The first three photos I took. Keep in mind it wasn’t too bad by me and these photos were taken near the surface, but down a bit it was very deep!! I couldn’t see how it looked though. There were rescue boats coming in and National Guard helping people out. This next shot is my dad’s new van that you can see had water up to the dashboard!
I leave you with this video I found that someone made on youtube of my hometown.
You’ll notice some homes had water nearly covering their front doors!!
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14 thoughts on “My Hurricane Irene Experience

  1. After the floods in Brisbane I know exactly how you are feeling right now. It's just good that you and your family are all safe. I hope you get lots of volunteers from different areas coming in to help with the clean up that is what happened with us.

  2. I am very glad that you and your family were not severely impacted by the hurricane! I live in inland Queens so we weren't disrupted at all; just a lot of rain and extreme winds. My piano teacher's family home is in Vermont, where a lot of the violent flooding was and the bridge and road apparently washed away and reconstruction is extremely expensive.

  3. Wow, I cannot imagine seeing my town flooded like this. I'm glad your house was spared and that Samaritan's Purse is stepping in to help out. The family who lost their home and are getting nothing — that is just WRONG.

  4. So happy you and your family are safe and sound.  Parts of our town recently got effected similar to this from Hurricane Lee.  Awful, just awful that financial help is not available to each and every person.  I will definitely keep your dad in my prayers that a new vehicle is provided to him so he can work.  

  5. yeah! I saw pictures of that area in Vermont! There is a bridge nearby where my husband works that had a strong current of water hit it and take out the entire shoulder of the 3-laned bridged highway!! They've since fixed it (pretty quickly).

  6. I am very happy to hear that you guys are okay for the most part. I know a lot of people got hit pretty bad and it is so terrible. I hope that your dad is able to get work and that your friend can get back into her house soon. 

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