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Hurricanes, warnings and not wanting to believe

Flooded street outside of my house

The predictions were dire. Hurricane Sandy had been stewing in the Caribbean for days. It was projected to travel up the East Coast of the United States and then make a left turn—heading directly into my home at the Jersey Shore.

A year ago, my husband, Terry, and I had heard similar warnings about Hurricane Irene. Officials were predicting a direct hit and ordered everyone to evacuate the islands along the Jersey Shore. We moved as much as we could from our ground floor, which actually goes down two steps from the sidewalk. It included the queen-sized mattress from the futon in our recreation room, the television, my husband’s drum set, tools and boxes and boxes of Lovefraud materials. Then we evacuated.

Irene came and went. Other parts of the country got smashed, but not us.

Hurricane Sandy

So when those same officials predicted that Sandy was both a hurricane and a nor’easter, the storm of a generation, promising devastation like New Jersey hadn’t seen in many years, well, Terry simply did not believe them. He didn’t think anything could be that bad.

I did. As a kid, I’d played on the beach in Sea Isle City, New Jersey, among cinder block foundations in the sand—all that remained of homes that had been swept away in a hurricane. The first street in Longport, New Jersey, was named 11th street—because 1st through 10th Streets had been consumed by the ocean. People said New Jersey was hit by killer storms every 100 years—and we were overdue.

But then I started to doubt myself. After all, I’d lived in the area for nearly 35 years, and nothing truly bad had happened. There were many scares, and most of them amounted to nothing. Still, as a journalist, I knew that there were honorable reporters who told the truth. And they were saying that even though Hurricane Irene was a dud in our area, Hurricane Sandy would be a terror.

The debate

I wanted to heed the warnings and prepare to evacuate. Terry decided he was not going to leave.

We argued. Terry said I could leave if I wanted to, but he was staying. He said nothing happened the last time, the media just wanted to scare people, local officials were just covering their butts, and the weathermen always get it wrong.

I was torn. In the end I didn’t want to leave my husband alone, so I didn’t actually agree to stay. I just stopped arguing to leave.

I started carrying our possessions from the ground floor upstairs again. Terry went shopping to buy food to ride out the storm in our home. He reluctantly helped me carry the futon mattress upstairs again. He did not move his drums. He put them on top of the empty futon frame.

The storm

The night of Sunday, October 28 wasn’t bad. We heard some wind, but it wasn’t howling. We heard rain, but it wasn’t pelting. We slept well.

But the storm was predicted to hit Monday, along with two high tides, which would be higher than normal because of the full moon. The first high tide was slated for 8 a.m. Long before 8 a.m., water started coming into our basement.

It was actually ground water, percolating up through cracks in the basement floor. We ran a Shop Vac and mopped, and were able to stay ahead of it for maybe an hour, as the bay crept up the street. Slowly, however, the water surrounded our house. Before long, there was two feet of water in the basement. We sloshed through the water, carrying up more items that hadn’t been moved, like Terry’s drums. Other items were consigned to wreckage.

The escape

I freaked out. The hurricane still hadn’t hit land yet, and the next high tide, in 12 hours, would be worse. Terry finally admitted that he was wrong; he had underestimated the danger. So when the water receded at low tide and the streets cleared, we made a run for it. We took our last chance to get out of town.

As we drove away through the rain, I asked Terry why he didn’t believe the warnings. “I’ve never experienced anything like this,” he said. “I just didn’t think it could be that bad.”

And that’s why I’m telling this story. It is an indication of how our beliefs, or lack of belief, can lead us to disregard warnings and evidence. This is how we get in trouble with sociopaths—by never having experienced anything like them, and not believing it is possible for people to actually be that bad. So we fail to act, until it’s almost too late.

Standing in my flooded basement

Epilogue

Although our basement flooded, we made out a lot better than many other areas of New Jersey. Seaside Heights, the location for the infamous Jersey Shore reality TV show, was smashed to smithereens. The streets of many beach communities are filled with tons of wet sand, deposited by the raging ocean. And in New York, a fire wiped out a hundred homes, while firefighters, blocked by floodwaters, couldn’t reach them.

We’re back home. We have electricity, gas, telephone service and Internet, but our heater is ruined. We’ve been hauling trash out since Friday.The entire basement has to be gutted and repaired. But in the end, I am grateful that for us, Hurricane Sandy wasn’t much worse. I feel very badly for the thousands of people who suffered far worse. Below is a video from Sea Bright, New Jersey, which is near where my brothers live (and near where Bruce Springsteen lives).

 

 


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56 Comments on "Hurricanes, warnings and not wanting to believe"

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Dear GreenScapular,

Our spiritual walk, whatever our faith is, is important to our healing. The EVIL that is done to us by people without conscience can be over come with FAITH….faith in our selves, faith in God, or both of those.

Thank you for posting!

GreenScapular,
thanks for your post. It made me feel hopeful. It’s a great reminder too, to offer up all of our lives to our creator.

My spath wrote a prayer to God asking to be healed and he promised he would use his talents to teach evil people to be good. Well, he wasn’t healed so instead he decided to make a meal out of me. It backfired. All his poisoning just made me more adamant to be healthy. My entire family has benefited from my knowledge of alternative health. My parents will likely live forever.

What he didn’t understand was that suffering INCREASES our faith. It has to. The more we suffer, the more we must rely on God. The spaths’ machinations are doomed to backfire.

GreenScapular, OxD, & Skylar, I’m still grasping for that spiritual lifeline. My spiritual beliefs that “good” triumphs over “evil” have been utterly dismantled. From one socipath to the next, they have each erroded those beliefs quite effectively.

As an aside, many, many survivors of Hurricane Sandy are STILL without power, this morning. These people have been over a month without power and are living under the same conditions that I am, but I have electricity. I cannot imagine how horrible it must be for these people who don’t even have THAT luxury. This is 100% inexcusable, and I would imagine that their beliefs have been challenged to the highest degree.

Brightest blessings

Truthspeak,

In this country we have come to expect that utilities should be restored immediately when there is some storm or what ever, but the reality is that utilities must be CAREFULLY restored. Did you hear about te big explosion yesterday I think it was when some gas repair folks didn’t do their job exactly rigth and it blew up dozens of houses.

When houses are badly damaged especially by water, it takes TIME to get the mud and wet stuff out of the walls so that power can be restored…plus, the power company is only responsible for getting the power TO the house, the property owner is responsible for getting the house READY for the power to be turned on. So if those people don’t have their houses repaired enough for the elec co to turn on the power SAFELY that is NOT the responsibility of the city/count/state/country.

We had a storm here that blew the roof off my studio and it landed ON the power line. The company ad to come out, turn OFF te power to the aircraft hangar, but then WE had to fix the damage to the hangar, put in a new meter loop etc. and THEN tey came back and turned ON the power. It took several days and I was the one who had to run a generator to keep my freezers from melting down.

As for a spiritual life of believing that there is “good in everyone” I really don’t believe that any more, I think there are people who are EVIL to the core. I also believe that in the battles between good and evil that sometimes evil wins a battle, but I believe that in the end that the WAR will be won by God as I experience him. The Bible says “all things work together for good for those that love the Lord” and I have seen things that at the time they happened I thought were bad, but later I saw if they had not happened then something really great would not have happened.

Yes, when storms of life hit us, whether is is a psychopathic storm or a Hurricaine, we may feel like we can’t survive, but life has problems and we either quit or we do the best to survive and over come. I choose to overcome, not quit. I know you do too Truthy! (((hugs)))

OxD, thanks for the hugs! I need ’em, today! It’s cold as hayell… LOL

Yes, restoration of electrical services is a dicey project. But, my point in mentioning that folks are still without service is that MY situation isn’t as bad as it COULD be. What I would hope would be that those hurricane survivors would have access to some sort of generated power, even if the generators were loaned until power is restored. It’s very, very bitter at the NJ shore during winter months – a kind of cold that is damp and gets right down into one’s bones.

I do not believe in the “goodness” of all humans, anymore. I don’t believe in giving the “benefit of the doubt,” either. Sure, a criminal trial legally requires this, but my everyday interactions with people who are not on trial are kept to a very superficial level. I don’t tell anyone about anything, anymore. Any information that I provide could be used by a predator, and I really don’t want to go around flushing out predators. I just want to make it from one day to the next, so I don’t let anyone in at this point in time.

I’ve heard, read, and even said that “Quitting is not an option.” In reality, it IS an option. I just don’t choose it, today.

HUGS BACK ATCHA

The gas explosion Oxy is referring to happened in Springfield, MA and it was done correctly according to procedures.

The markings were incorrect.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/11/26/massachusetts-gas-explosion/1726615/

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