We are fine.
My town is not.
Our first two homes were in town, by the river. The Rockaway River is fed by a series of brooks as it travels through my town on it's way to joining the Passaic River. It's a long, but not wide, river, and it floods our downtown after every major storm.
We were living in a small ranch house downtown when Floyd came through in 1999. It rained for three days, and the river surrounded our house, leaving two feet of standing water inside. We had to gut it and rebuild. But we loved the neighborhood, enough to move across the street to a larger house, with a big basement to catch the water. Which it did more than once. After Five was born we left the flood zone, and moved to a mountain. I've never been happier. It was exhausting living in a hotel with three small children while we rebuilt our house, and I never want to do that again.
It rained rather spectacularly Saturday night, and at one point we were under a tornado watch. However, the heaviest downfall occurred overnight, so we only heard it. One stayed up all night watching the Weather Channel, because severe weather is his thing. I think it has something to do with being born during The Storm of The Century.
When the Captain and I awoke on Sunday, we drove down off the mountain, in search of a paper. Because it was only raining lightly at that point, we thought the damage would be minimal. We were wrong. We couldn't get to town. The river had jumped its banks by our sports fields, and crossed the road. We couldn't get to the highway.
We tried another way out, and found that the river had washed across that road as well. We watched as a tow truck pulled a minivan from the murky mess. We turned around, thinking we could get out the back way through our neighboring town. A swollen creek had closed that road. We doubled back, drove through our old lake community, through the lagoon water running across that road, and tried one last route. Flooded.
Frankly, we were shocked. We had never seen it this badly flooded. We went home, grateful for our safety. We soon found out that the destruction of our town was a scene repeated throughout all of New Jersey. The Passaic River covered entire towns. The Rahway river flooded my brother's basement. Dams broke, and highways caved. Then a large tree fell on some power lines and we lost our electricity, along with 700,000 other people.
It wasn't that bad. We played board games with the kids, and then Rummikub by lantern light. We kept the refrigerator shut, except to pack it with ice. The little people actually read books! Our greatest concern was my mother, who uses an oxygen converter that runs on electricity. But we had packed in lots of tanks, and we set our alarms to wake up that first night and check the air levels. We figured if something happened, we could take her to the hospital. Except, this is what the hospital looked like.
It's a small sacrifice, compared to our neighbors downtown. It will take months, if not longer, for some towns to recover. I lived through the rebuilding once, and my heart goes out to those who must do it again.