Civil/Structural Engineering, Vashon, Washington, USA 206-463-5311
Ellisport Engineering Blog
More Hurricane Sandy Thoughts

Amidst the Hurricane Sandy work, I noticed some interesting things:

Everywhere I went (hotels, rental cars, restaurants, stores, shops), I found that, when I mentioned I was doing Hurricane Sandy work, people treated me very kindly and generously.  Budget cut my rental car bill in half.  The hotel offered me a discounted rate through AAA even though I didn’t have my card, and was willing to store our ladder as Eric and I came in and out of town.  The Lowes, where I originally bought the ladder, also stored it for me.  Restaurant service was excellent and they expedited the food if I was in a hurry.  Everywhere, I met nice people, appreciative of what I was doing.


Driving throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey is quite different than in Washington; there are toll roads and bridges everywhere.  In the Northwest, we’ve just started with tolling some bridges, and I suspect it’s a harbinger of things to come.  In my 6-day trip, I spent about $25 in tolls, including a whopping $5 on one bridge!  The bridge was a miserable drive, under construction with narrow lanes and congested traffic. 


While working in Manahawkin, New Jersey, I saw something fascinating.  As I was driving into my project location, I noticed that all of the ring road homes on the East and Northeast sides were heavily damaged and mostly red-tagged for demolition.  Yet, just across the street, the homes displayed much less damage, yet all had been inundated by flood waters.  I stopped and snapped some pictures and looked at the terrain.  There is a large salt marsh (very flat), then a row of red-tagged houses, the first to be hit by the hurricane.  It was quite obvious that they took the brunt of the wind damage, and actually shielded the homes across the street and further into the neighborhood. 

Finally, I was struck by the organized debris piles outside each of the homes.  People were attempting, as best they could, to restore order to their lives.  I surmise that everyone was gutting their floodwater-inundated first stories, and they were disposing of all damaged house contents and demolished materials in curbside piles.  There was so much debris to be removed, that everyone had to wait their turn for construction equipment and dump trucks to come in and collect the materials. 

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