Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sandy Day Four: A Tale of Road Weary Travelers

When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.
 - Thornton Wilder

Today we tried going home. After lunch we packed the car and headed east to the land of sand, ocean, bay, and home. Sand throughout the island, and ocean and bay water standing in pools of water in streets, parking lots and yards. Empty homes yearning for their owners. I know this from videos and pictures posted online. I have yet to see all this with my own eyes.

We could not get home today.

We tried all possible entry points, bypassing the first road because we knew it was closed. The highway buckled and will be impassable until fixed.

We were turned away from the second thoroughfare. Barriers prevented cars from passing and police turned away everyone except essential personnel. We, apparently, are not essential.

The third road is the one usually taken. It, too, was barricaded and secured by several uniformed guards.

One road left. We had no hope of success, but tried anyway. The road is long, straight and flat. We were far from the island when the distant flashing lights alerted us to the fact we were foolish to try going further.

By this time it was late afternoon. We were not going home and did not want to turn around and drive three hours back to Harrisburg. It was time to get a room for the night.

We visited my mother-in-law at her assisted living facility. I used my computer and the facility’s wifi to surf for a hotel for the night. I called a nearby resort that I drive by all the time. The place had closed for a couple of days because of the storm but was reopening. They had a special post-storm rate. $79 for the night. I made a reservation.

We took my mother-in-law out for an early dinner and then drove to our shelter for the evening.

So here we are, ensconced in a small but very nice hotel room. It is warm, there is a large TV (much larger than ours at home), a large bathroom and comfortable bed.

The main reason we were not allowed on our island today is because the sewer system filled with salt water and is not pumping effectively. If everyone were allowed back the system would break down. Can we sign a pact not to flush!?

A neighbor who never left the island called and brought us up to date on our property. Our backyard, front yard and the entire island are a mess. Mulch and other lightweight yard debris floated and ended up everywhere. Water seeped into our garage and probably our laundry room, which is a couple of steps below the main level of the house. But we will have to wait until we actually see things with our own eyes to assess the damage.

We are weary travelers ready to go home.


  1. My husband had to deal with a flood at his shop several years ago. His ex-partner, who bought Mike out when he wanted to retire, was hit again by Irene last year. I hope that you are able to return and clean up soon.

  2. My heart goes out to you. I pray you will be able to get home soon. Even though your spirits are staying upbeat, living on the road gets old fast!! (((hugs))

  3. So sorry to hear that you couldn't get home. Brought back memories of our family and Katrina. Hopefully you will be able to get back soon. But don't rush, better to stay safe.