Nor’easter ‘kicks us while we’re down’: Stories from the storm

Tim Skillern
The Lookout

Just as utility companies in the Northeast fixed power lines and some residents regained heat and electricity, another powerful storm rocked the New York area on Wednesday, sparking fears that the region could again plunge into darkness and freezing temperatures. Yahoo! News invited residents to share their short anecdotes and photos from the nor'easter. Here are some excerpts.

5:31 p.m.

Second storm means second power outage

SEA CLIFF, N.Y.—After Sandy, other than worried about running out of gas, it seemed as if my life was normalizing a bit here on Long Island.

The kids were back in school and mass transit was getting back on track. That was until the second storm, a nor'easter, swept across the area.

The so-called experts claimed that we would only see a slight dusting of snow, but after snowing all day we were in a mess of wet snow and slush. The lights flickered around 6 p.m. Were we to lose power again? Come on, they just got it working again. After falling into a sense of false security for a few hours with no more flickering, wham, two transformers blew up plunging us and half of Sea Cliff into darkness and coldness again at 10:45 p.m.

Now, the Long Island Power Authority is now placing us at the end of the list again saying that it could be seven to 10 days until power is restored. So here I am searching for warmth, electricity and internet once again like a vagabond. Only now I cannot go far for worry that I will run out of gas. I have found comfort at my friend's quiet restaurant before the dinner crowd comes in. If only I could set up a bed and sleep here.

— Carol Ruth Weber

3:29 p.m.

Nor'easter moving out; no major damage in Union Township, N.J.

VAUXHALL, N.J.—Unlike what happened with Sandy, the nor'easter did not bring a loss of power to Union Township whose light had only been restored in phases from the prior Friday evening to Tuesday.

The few road closings still in effect from hurricane Sandy were still in effect. However, residents were in good spirit and relieved that their worst fears had not happened.

By 1 p.m. Thursday, the temperature had risen to 43 degrees, many rooftops were becoming clean and cars that had been buried in snow were also clean. The wind had blown the snow unto the ground and water was dripping from the roofs of houses as the snow melted.

The nor'easter has come and gone without creating a permanent havoc, at least here, and the rising temperature probably means all sign of its visit would be non-existent in a matter of days.

— Adetutu Ijose

11:40 a.m.

New winter storm kicks us while we're down

MONROE TOWHSHIP, N.J.—This week's nor'easter began as a freezing rain. By the time it left the Northeast, it had dumped anywhere from several inches to more than a foot of snow, adding to the misery of those still without power from Hurricane Sandy.

Monroe Township, where this photo above was taken, received about six to eight inches. Some parts of New Jersey lost power again, after just getting back service after the hurricane.

But many people are still in the dark going into their second week. Gasoline is getting easier to find, which is a boon to those heating their homes with portable generators.

However, there have been several local fatalities from carbon monoxide poisoning from generators used with inadequate ventilation. Some residents in northern Jersey have been told it could take until early December before power is completely restored.

So many transformers have been destroyed that the power companies cannot get enough replacement parts. A forecast for warmer temperatures this weekend should make life a little less miserable for those affected.

— E. Burgin

11:33 a.m.

Nor'easter disrupts Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts

QUEENS—One week we have a bad hurricane, and the next week we have snow.

The snow, combined with wind, has slowed down the utility repairs. A number of people in areas like Long Beach, Long Island, the Rockaways, and coastal areas of New Jersey are without power. Heavy snowfall such as this can cause branches to snap and fall on above ground power lines.

Normally, snow like this wouldn't be such a bad deal, but when you're dealing with big populations without light or power, it can be life-threatening. If the snow fall is bad enough, it may also slow the delivery of much-needed supplies.

— Justin Samuels

10:48 a.m.

Storm brings more snow, shivering commute to New York

MANHATTAN—In midtown on Wednesday night, people waited in the snow, shivering in the deepening cold for a bus while New Yorkers like me rushed to the subway to get home. The sidewalks were slippery, ankle-deep slush submerged parts of the streets, and the snow was sticking. Wet snow coated the debris left behind by Hurricane Sandy. A few door attendants shoveled snow from the sidewalks making a secure walkway for people.

After Hurricane Sandy battered the city last week, most New Yorkers felt they deserve a break from the crazy weather. Citizens who reside in lower Manhattan and in the storm-ravaged areas now had to suffer a setback in its Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts because of this storm.

— Shamarie Knight

9:30 a.m.

Nor'easter bears down on storm-weary New York

BROOKLYN—The MTA is still in the process of recovering, with multiple lines still not running normally or at all. Many of my colleagues just returned to work on Monday after a week in which, at best, they were stranded in their homes without a working subway system or gas for their cars and, at worst, they lost those homes entirely. The city is pouring considerable resources into trying to get everything up and running, and another major storm certainly isn't welcome right now.

The idea of once again losing the service of the just-repaired subway lines that are running is not an appealing one—especially with temperatures continuing to drop. Therefore, I'm viewing the fluffy snowflakes currently falling outside my window with less than my usual delight.

— Lucrezia Wise


11:43 p.m.

Storm divides Northeast into two groups: haves and have-nots

DENVILLE, N.J.—There are two types in northern New Jersey right now during the nor'easter: the have and the have-nots. Those of us who have power are sheltering friends and family and doing our best to support our neighbors.

Many, however, refuse to take refuge in the homes of friends or family. They feel they would be an imposition or cannot bring pets. People who know better are freezing in their homes as a nor'easter dumps up to six inches of snow here in the New York-New Jersey region. Those who have power are hoping we don't have additional outages. It's very cold and there is a biting wind that is howling outside.

Snow is piling up here in Morris County and the roads are a mess. The schools already called for a 90-minute delay Thursday morning—after having missed so much school already. The lights have flickered and the trees look heavy with wet snow.

— Gioia Degenaars

10:07 p.m.

Sandy's aftermath in New Jersey makes nor'easter doubly hard

ESSEX COUNTY, N.J.—Hurricane Sandy hit us hard here in New Jersey, just west of Manhattan. We did not get a lot of rain from the storm, but the wind did us in.

Fast-forward to this week. Our building has no heat or hot water due to a power failure with the electric pumps that power the boiler. This is lovely for us, as we have been sitting in the cold for longer than one week. I have three children, a newborn, a 1-and-a-half-year old, and a 6-year-old so it has been a nightmare trying to use a small electric heater to heat a two-bedroom apartment. It makes you want to cry because your kids are cold and all you can do is give them blankets and dress them as warmly as possible.

School final reopened today, and many children in my son's kindergarten class were absent. Some people will not have power until Nov. 9 and tensions are flaring in those areas because of a winter storm that is occurring today. I have talked to a few residents about Sandy. Our friend's roof caved in after a large tree smashed into it. He still has no power and has two children who had to go to their grandma's in a neighboring county to stay because it is too cold for them to be without heat.

The debris clean-up has been slow. There is a lot of debris in our neighborhood such as broken glass, shingles, siding, toys, trash cans, garbage, and a lot of tree limbs. It will take a week of two before the area will return to normal again. Sandy hit the area hard but we will all bounce back soon.

— Arrivanna Brooks

9:06 p.m.

Like a Hurricane Sandy encore

FREEHOLD, N.J.—I am writing this in the midst of yet another blackout. On Oct. 29, Hurricane Sandy hit my hometown of Freehold. That was only nine days ago. I was without power for an entire week.

Now, just four days after power was restored, I am sitting here in the dark again. A nor'easter is currently dumping snow on my neighborhood. There are six inches of snow on the ground, and it is still coming down. The snowstorm caused a transformer explosion, knocking out power on my block. Trees weakened by Hurricane Sandy are falling under the weight of snow. More and more of my neighbors are losing power by the minute. Fortunately, I still have gasoline leftover to run my generator. But I will have to buy more gasoline tomorrow.

Residents in Freehold were just getting back to normal when this nor'easter arrived tonight. People are relying on generators for power again. They are burning wood to stay warm. And tomorrow morning, they are going to need gasoline to run their snow blowers too.

Some of my neighbors rely on well water. But without power for the pumps, they have no water. For this reason, they left town during Hurricane Sandy. If power is out too long, they will have to leave Freehold again.

— Edwin Torres