As soon as I heard about the hurricane, I was skeptical about the severity of it. I thought it was going to basically be another rain storm that the media inflated. But man, I was wrong. Even before the designated time that it was supposed to hit, I went outside just out of curiosity and dodged a few tree branches coming at my head and nearly blew away. A few minutes later, the entire house went black. Being somewhat unprepared, I was lucky that I took a candlelit tour in Salem, Massachusetts just a few days prior and brought the candlesticks home as a souvenir, not expecting they were going to be my only source of light.
Almost immediately I tried to call my parents, but there was no phone service. I did what I could to just stay warm and occupied hoping that restorations would follow soon. Within these few days, I was constantly traveling between my own apartment and my boyfriend’s place. With no public transportation, the only vehicle I basically had were my two feet. Desperate to get back to work and honestly just get out of a dark, cold apartment, we decided to take a stroll to Newport, praying that our work was not only opened, but not destroyed.
During the several miles we walked, we saw stores and restaurants with everything outside, cleaning out their belongings. We saw expensive cars with water still inside. There were residents in front of their apartment buildings showing me how far the water came up. We ran into customers from work that showed videos of stores we used to go to everyday getting completely flooded. Right then, we thought to ourselves, this was serious. Power got restored to a few co-workers houses that allowed us to just stay warm and relaxed for a little bit. I felt like a caveman in the lit apartments, saying “wow, hot water, TV, coffee, lights.”
It goes to show you what people take for granted everyday. Once I saw pictures and reports on the shore towns of Jersey, that’s when my heart sank. Seeing the Atlantic City boardwalk basically vanish and the Seaside Heights roller coaster in the ocean showed me this storm had no mercy. I’ve always been a proud Jersey girl and stress how strong of a state we are. Times like these are when that strength comes out.