Keeping Watch for Hurricane Sandy in Hoboken
In August 2011, I stayed in Hoboken with my husband and two toddlers throughout Hurricane Irene. You can read my live blog coverage here, but the summary is:
- The storm hit Hoboken on August 27 at 6pm. It intensified overnight, with a lot of wind and falling trees around 3am. The streets in southwest Hoboken, an area with a history of flooding, were relatively clear until 6am, when a wall of water showed up. By 10am on August 28th, the sun was out and the storm was over. The approaching high tide slowed the receding flood waters but the worst of the flooding was gone by 8am on August 29th, 38 hours after the arrival of Irene in Hoboken.
- Flood waters reached as high as five feet in some areas of Hoboken.
- We lost electricity for 8 hours since PSE&G cut power to protect its lines during the storm and then turned it back on after the worst was over.
I am starting to check over my disaster preparedness kit. With six people living in an urban condo, space is tight, but I keep my disaster kit in several locations since we don’t have enough storage space to accommodate it all in one place. I keep a two-week supply of canned goods and dried fruit in our pantry, and have bottled water stacked in a large kitchen cupboard and in a corner of the den (my husband is oh-so-thrilled about that). You can read about my current disaster plan at Metro Moms Magazine.
What tips do I have for Hoboken area residents?
- Get your car to high ground. I parked my car for 24 hours on the second floor of the Sky Club parking garage – at $30 for the day, they had enough space for all comers plus I had easy access to my car in case I needed to charge my phone via car charger. Make sure you have a full tank of gas BEFORE parking, the Hess station on Marin by the Holland Tunnel usually has good prices and speedy service.
- Grab an old beach cooler, fill it with water before the storm and keep it in the bathtub to flush toilets and wash hands – my drains tend to leak so filling the bathtub doesn’t work
- You should be okay if you live on floors 3-10 (flooding risk below 3, wind risk above 10)
- You will be able to cook if you have a gas stove (should work even if electricity goes out but keep a lighter handy to light the gas)
- Stock up on plenty of food & water (week’s worth), get spare cell phone batteries if you don’t have a land line, keep the City of Hoboken’s emergency # handy: 201-239-6643/6644, direct info at http://twitter.com/#!/cityofhoboken
- I picked up an APC Battery BackUp Power Supply System the day before Hurricane Irene arrived at Best Buy in Jersey City – 121 minutes of power was enough to charge two cellphones several times.
- If you have double-paned windows (ie. new construction building), they are unlikely to break in the storm even if you sustain a direct hit from debris
- Hurricane prep: Secure all loose outdoor items (either tie them down or put them away) and take window/wall air conditioning units out since they will get destroyed. Caulk exterior doors and if you are on a condo board, you might want to bring your elevators to the top floor of the building and lock them there since the cabs will get damaged if there is major first floor flooding and they would be expensive to replace. For ground-floor units, sandbags & plastic over doors will help keep water out although if the flood waters are really high, those efforts won’t matter.
I will be live blogging throughout Hurricane Sandy and tweeting @kathyzucker
Related – What Can I Expect From Hurricane Sandy?
Complete Sandy coverage at momcondoliving.com/category/sandy/
Andy Denny stayed in Hoboken during Hurricane Irene to caulk doors, place sandbags and pump out properties. To get tips on hurricane preparedness, stop by to see Andy at the Healthy & Green Halloween bash on 10/27 in Hoboken.