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The weather system known as Sandy came and went with not much of the ferocity I had feared. There was was some rain, some wind - heavy enough to shake my apartment - but I have seen worse. Due mainly to a managed electrical shutdown, I had no light for two nights.

That was the worst of it for me. My thoughts are with those who are suffering even as I type.

I found that even though I thought I had prepared, I would have been in some serious trouble if I had to go much longer without electricity.

I had charged my cell phones but by Tuesday midday they were on the verge of dying. I went to the car to charge them and found that I had less than a quarter tank of gas. I should have topped up on Saturday when I was out. I set out to find gas and ended up three towns over and now I was using up reserves. That was one of the scariest moment of the whole two days. I saw myself stranded with no way of getting gas and with no lights around. I finally found an open gas station which claimed that they only had super (yeah, right!) and it was 4.29 per gallon. I wasn't about to complain; I eagerly joined the line and prayed that there would be enough left for me...and those behind me.

For some odd reason, my thermos of hot water was tepid by Tuesday morning. Not to worry, tepid coffee is better than no coffee. My candles quickly burned down the middle and I had to remake them in the mornings. By Tuesday morning the rechargeable D batteries I had bought for one of my flashlights were dead. And, you guessed it, no way to recharge! Clearly I hadn't thought about that. LOL.

The biggest eye-opener was finding that reading because there is nothing - nothing! ;) - else to do is not quite as enjoyable as I had anticipated. I hated the food I had bought, especially the boneless, skinless sardines. Ugh!

CBS News became my bosom buddy. Buying the transistor radio was the best thing I did.
CBS News purports to serve the tri-state area of NJ, NY and CT. Even though they seem to favor New Jersey it was such a refreshing change to get news rather than partisan spin.
It was inspiring to hear of politicians doing what politicians should be doing. I have new respect and admiration for President Obama, Dan Malloy, Chris Christie (even though I think he need not have dumped all over Mayor Lorenzo Langford the way he did) and Mayor Bloomberg. I do not know when they found time to sleep. They deserve to be applauded. Andrew Cuomo, even though he seemed to have been largely missing in action, had one of the best quotes I heard over the last 72 hours:

Said that it's not "a political statement" but that it's "a factual statement" that climate change is real and that "Anyone who says there is not a change in weather patterns is denying reality."
By Monday midnight the reports of those who had lost their lives started rolling in. It became immediately apparent that people were losing their lives mainly from trees falling on them, trees falling on their cars, trees falling on their houses. Heartbreaking.
I think that there is something serious happening in the transplanting of trees, especially in urban and suburban areas.
I went and looked at some of the uprooted trees in my neighborhood and found that most of them have roots that seem to be inadequate to the task of keep these massive trunks upright. See pics above.
That tree, the owner told me, was over twenty years old. The electric company had cut down others in his yard and deemed that one strong enough stay. As it turned out, it fell on the power lines and may have contributed to them losing power in that area.

This I found on

A few woody support roots grow downward and outward to anchor the tree in place. Most trees do not have a deep tap root. While a tap root may develop on trees growing in the woods in well-drained soils, they generally do not develop on trees transplanted into the landscape or on trees grown in compacted or poorly drained soil.

I am not a scientist but I think that there is clearly some need for some body/organization to look into what is happening here. Some 62 people dead and at least a third of them killed by trees.

Thank you to all those who kept me in their thoughts over the last couple days. I am humbled.
RIP to all those who lost their lives. Condolences to their families and loved ones.
Waves of positive energy to those who are dealing with the after effects of Sandy's visit.

I leave you with a video of my president showing just why he deserves at least four more years:

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Comment Preferences

  •  Glad you made it through safely, and thx (5+ / 0-)

    for including the video of Pres. Obama, as I had not seen it.

  •  Trees also fall (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanMar, nomandates, SteelerGrrl, 2thanks

    in the forest.  Trust me.  I live on a mountain full of them.

  •  Good to see you, JoanMar :-) (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanMar, SteelerGrrl, 2thanks, Bronx59

    Glad you have electricity again. Interesting points regarding trees and tap roots--I hope they look into that. Here in the Houston area we have lots of trees, but it's seldom that they fall and kill people during hurricanes.

    As far as network news goes, CBS is definitely the least offensive--glad you had a radio to keep you company. In terms of rookie mistakes, not having a full tank of gas was the worst, but you've learned your lesson, I'm sure ;-) And I actually believe that all they had left was Super.

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by nomandates on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 07:35:26 PM PDT

  •  Part of the problem is how folks water trees. If (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanMar, nomandates

    you just surface irrigate, the roots do not develop down. It is better to deep irrigate trees and do not over water. Once they get roots down to the water table, you do not need to irrigate.
    YMMV depending on local climate.  

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 11:03:58 PM PDT

  •  Glad to hear you're well, JoanMar! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanMar, nomandates

    That's good news! Sorry about the sardines. The concept sounds like a good one, but the little buggers don't live up to all the pre-game hype.  ; )

    I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

    by Tortmaster on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 11:04:33 PM PDT

  •  i'm glad you're okay! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nomandates, JoanMar

    for your next prep for emergencies, start now.

    weatherdude has said it over and over - a windup radio with flashlight is a must!  doesn't require outside energy source but you.

    as for food - comfort foods that are healthy - cliff bars, odwalla (if you have them back east), peanut butter or a better take, almond butter (really balances out blood sugar to keep you from being hungry) and jellies or jams you like.  crackers to make little "finger foods" make it more fun than a sandwich.

    lots of fruits that aren't quickly perishable - apples, pears, good sugar sources.

    avocados don't need refrigeration, bananas are good.  think picnic foods.

    a deck of cards and solitaire is a great way to whittle away the hours. if there are several of you, mah jong, dominos, or, if you can stand it in this political climate, monopoly!  checkers, chess - old standbys work.

    it's hard to read when you're worried or tense - solitaire is great to keep you occupied without thinking too hard.  i'm seriously considering getting a few extra cell batteries and keeping them charged in case of emergencies.

    also, i have a yaesu handheld ham radio (got my ham license after becoming active in CERT (community emergency response team) that is set up by counties and under the guidelines of fema.  the fema website has a wonderful emergency kit description - something that everyone should have ready to go in an instance.

    getting organized with important papers - waterproof ziplock bags and in one place - having meds centrally located and a "med bag" that you can put everything into immediately is also important.

    even in the city - the apt blding on 14th st that was occupied when the wind removed the front wall - those folks had only minutes to grab and go.  

    nurse kelley can, i am sure, be a good resource on what and how to prep for an emergency.  maybe we can do a series of diaries on your experiences and others and how to prepare in case of a disaster.

    again, i'm glad you're okay - hope you have lights and good stuff happening your way soon - like next tuesday - when we can all celebrate the worst disaster of all being averted!

  •  Not necessarily transplanted (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nomandates, JoanMar

    We've been told that oak trees that have a lot of traffic (walking) near the roots suffer.  Also the rain makes them more likely to fall when the wind picks up.  We had no tree damage this time around, though a block away a beautiful old oak shaved off the front of a house.

    Trees are so beautiful, and yes, after past experience I view them as dangerous too.

  •  Trees and utility poles are an interesting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nomandates, JoanMar


    In short, when you do the cheapest thing for a long time eventually it bites back.

    As in putting poles on the edge of state and county right of way ... In competition with street trees, which Are a good thing.

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 03:34:22 AM PDT

    •  Route 15 - one of the most scenic routes in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the whole country - was closed down because of falling trees.
      It is deadly serious.

      •  Of course it's serious. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JoanMar, nomandates

        But the trees will fall in bad storms no matter what. The paradox is locating power lines where trees are important, if not essential.

        And then chopping down the trees because, well, you can't exactly chop down power lines.

        The paradox is locating traffic signal poles and tlephone poles on corners of intersections, where they block sightlines.

        The paradox is that someone running off a rural road wouldn't necessarily be kiled, but chances are they're going to stop a phone pole with the front end of their car.

        It's poor decisionmaking compounded by yeras of rote habit.

        Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

        by dadadata on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 10:38:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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