An Oral History of Wetpocalypse 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Felled trees. Power outages. Stalled travel. Sidewalks littered with umbrella carcasses. This past weekend’s storm is a record-holder in destruction, and the damages are still being assessed. Amid the flurry of news stories, we’d like to hear from YOU.
Was it a wetpocalypse or maybe a showergeddon? What would you call this storm? And, what does your neighborhood look like post-rainquake?

Comments [45]

Rick Grossman from Bridgewater, NJ

March Mudness!

Mar. 16 2010 10:07 PM
DL from NYC

The Tide of March. #23 That's the one. Absolutely. Beware.

Mar. 15 2010 04:50 PM
NJ Transit Watch

5/erik -- appreciate the report. but many new jersey transit passengers don't feel at all like they are living in a 1st class nation -- *because* of nj transit's abuse and mismanagement that is so extensive they are unaware of their "customers" (prisoners?)

Mar. 15 2010 02:17 PM
Keith from inwood

Bravo #'s 20, 23, 38, 41 !

Mar. 15 2010 12:39 PM
Larry from Oceanside, NY

Everyone knows it's Windy.

Mar. 15 2010 12:01 PM
Kristina from Lefferts Gardens Brooklyn, NY

I went running in Prospect Park yesterday and found the roads impassable. All of the dedicated runners were forced to run in the woods on the trails and get muddy. I ran around the entire park and saw huge fallen hundred year old trees and people around them like they were mourning beached whales. It was really sort of sad.

Mar. 15 2010 11:59 AM
dj from NJ

Long Hill Township is at the southern tip of Morris County - and the Passaic River comprises more than half of our town's borders - to the west, south and east. Many bridges have been impassable, as well as many roads in town, due to flooding of feeder streams. Our regioal high school is open - but our town's students have an excused absence today, since the school buses are being kept out of town - our town has called a state of emergency.

Mar. 15 2010 11:59 AM
Anon from Staten Island

"Mary Poppins meets The Wizard of Oz"?

Mar. 15 2010 11:58 AM
Tory from Manhattan

Pics I took yesterday of umbrella corpses on the streets of Manhattan:

Mar. 15 2010 11:58 AM
Abhijit from Wayne, NJ

On Sunday we went to see a train show in Edison, NJ. Unfortunately hey had lost power due to the storm and so the show was canceled. Luckily the dosa place in Edison was open and we enjoyed some dosas instead.

Mar. 15 2010 11:58 AM
Tess from downtown

Someone has made an installation of hundreds of broken umbrellas on the corner of Prince and Mulberry - wish I'd had my camera

Mar. 15 2010 11:58 AM
Sunshine Hernandez from Bushwick

wish I had the same scenerio. I had to drive all the way to Patchogue for my art opening from Nyc only to sit and not have a single soul come. I was entertain watching the street lights fall over

Mar. 15 2010 11:58 AM
Waldo from Chelsea

I spent the whole day Saturday at the Metropolitan Museum -- very crowded. They had a day of Early Music concerts with most seats taken. It was almost impossible to find a seat in the cafeteria. Maybe art/music lovers are tougher than most. ;-)

Mar. 15 2010 11:57 AM
Billy Gray from Greenpoint, Brooklyn

My band and I had a show in Asbury Park on Saturday night. Took us four hours to get there from Brooklyn, and we saw no end of calamity and traffic disasters all the way there, with the wind constantly threatening to blow us off the highway. When we finally got to the Lanes we were astonished that people actually came out for the performance!

Mar. 15 2010 11:57 AM
Marsha from New York City

I was worried my hand or arm would break because I had an unusually strong umbrella and the wind twisted my hand and arm around frighteningly so. It literally stopped me from being able to walk.

Mar. 15 2010 11:56 AM
Paul from Brooklyn

I rode my bike to work Saturday afternoon, from Prospect Heights Bkln to W. 18th st. I returned at 10:30 pm. It was wet--wore rain jackets and rain pants, and didn't have any trouble. Work was very quiet though--fewer customers than I've ever seen on a Saturday afternoon.

Mar. 15 2010 11:56 AM
brad from crown heights

The umbrella losses weren't only bad news - I got a lovely and fully functioning umbrella off the sidewalk on 57th street, keeping me dry for the next day or so, so Thank You to whoever didn't bother to chase after it!

Mar. 15 2010 11:55 AM
Elise from Marine Park, Brooklyn

We lost over forty trees in the main park area of Marine Park. They looked like dominoes knocked down. People strolled the park in awe with cameras to record the devastation.

Mar. 15 2010 11:54 AM
Robert from NYC

To be fair I've seen umbrellas blown out of people's hands and blown far from them. Can't really blame them for not chasing after them...sometimes.

Mar. 15 2010 11:54 AM
Anon from Staten Island

Lest we forget: "March comes in like a Lion..."

Mar. 15 2010 11:54 AM
Jeanne from Hawthorne, NJ

My sister, daughter, and three nieces (one of them 5 months pregnant) were in the city to see "Love, Loss and What I Wore". We left the city at 9:30ish and took the Palisades Parkway North to Rockland County. We were astonished at the damage; trees down everywhere. We thought there was a tornado that went the length of the Parkway from the GWB to the Thruway. It took us almost 3 hours to get home. Three hours is a mightly lonnggggg time for a pregnant woman who needs to pee!!!!!!

Mar. 15 2010 11:50 AM
Troy from South Shore LI

A 60 foot tree fell into my neighbor's back yard. If the wind were in a different direction it would have reached my house. An enormous branch fell across the street where I usualy park my car. Sirens and emergency vehicles could be heard in all directions.
Sunday cleanup was even more eerie. My across the street neighbor discovered my other next door neighbor's door was blown open. He went to investigate to find that she had passed away on the couch at least 4 days ago!
I'm not into "-geddon" names either, but on Sunday with two law enforcement agencies, utilities and contractor vehicles in front of my house, and the whole block milling about outside, it sure felt like it.

Mar. 15 2010 11:50 AM
Martin from Manhattan

The Tides of March

Mar. 15 2010 11:49 AM
Robert from NYC

I like the WMD. very good.

Mar. 15 2010 11:49 AM

The NearEaster Noreaster

Mar. 15 2010 11:47 AM
Michael from Brooklyn

Name for the storm? How 'bout "That big storm back in March of 2010"?

Mar. 15 2010 11:46 AM
John from Bergen County NJ

Here in Glen Rock NJ (15 miles west of GWB) we lost power to at least have the 3700 homes about 8:30 PM on Sat. night. A huge, 150 year old Oak fell across major N-S county road taking the high voltage power lines with it.

We went without power about 22 hours. We went to church in a building with no lights/plumbing etc. But the sky-lights worked.

We spent Sunday afternoon in library with 100's of others. We stayed warm as we recharged, laptops and Ipods.

We listened to WNYC & WQXR on Hand cranked radio. (a 2008 Xmas gift taht sits on a table all year.)

I just learned that houses 3 streets away are still without power. PSEG says it will be at least Wednesday.

On the plus side - due to the fallen tree around the corner we can now get bus service from our door step. It is a mild sort of perk.

But is also means everything else goes by our house too. Very noisy.

Mar. 15 2010 11:44 AM
Barry from Westchester

Along with dozens of other felled trees and branches on my block, a giant tree -- at least two feet in diameter -- fell in my neighbor's front yard. The good news is it missed crushing his house by a couple of feet; the bad news is that it also failed to destroy his hideous iron fence.

Mar. 15 2010 11:41 AM
george from brooklyn

One massive pound of thunder jolted me from my sleep, then it was eerily quite for twenty minutes. I lay there considering if I'd dreamed the sound and the mini seizure attached. Then hail and distant rolling thunder. And then sun, and then rain. And rain.

Mar. 15 2010 11:36 AM
nat from Brooklyn

If climate science is to be believed, this storm should simply be known as "the new normal", since we will see more weird and severe weather like this all over the globe.

Mar. 15 2010 11:33 AM
Devon from brooklyn

i counted 10 felled trees in prospect park yesterday. at least 4 were uprooted. i'm sure there were more - this was just the periphery.

Mar. 15 2010 11:18 AM
Jersey Jeff from Rahway, NJ

With all due respect to the poor souls grappling with power outages, flooded basements and/or fallen trees, this storm was nuthin' compared with Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

Mar. 15 2010 11:10 AM
Robert from NYC

It was horrible on my block, the squirrels and sparrows were not fed because I did not go out to feed them. Obviously that is not as horrible as having a tree fall on one's head.

Mar. 15 2010 11:04 AM
Sue K from Freehold NJ

When I started my car for the first time post-storm yesterday, it made unusual noises and the Check Engine light flickered on and off. This continued for several minutes. I checked my oil, and everything looked good under the hood. We concluded that I'd have to try to get it to the auto shop for further examination. My other half was going to follow me there, but lo and behold: when he started our other car, sputter, sputter, and the Check Engine light flashed on! He speculated that the spark plugs got wet from all the sideways rain...I just spoke to my auto repair guy who said "Bring 'em in; we're not sure yet what's going on, but it's a serious condition that our engine lights still won't go off. The catalytic converter may go if you do any substantial driving now." Will keep you posted if this is truly rain & wind related, and interested if anyone else has had any auto issues post-storm.

Mar. 15 2010 10:47 AM
Marissa from Manhattan, NY

Let's save the "-geddon" and "-pocalypse" for when they really make sense - perhaps when a major hurricane hits NYC, that will be a "-geddon". If 1/3 of your population is flooded out of their homes, that's a "-pocalypse"

Mar. 15 2010 10:44 AM
Yourgo from Astoria

Wasnt that bad in astoria.
Wish it had snowed instead.
Its good for mother nature to remind s who is really in charge every once in a while. Be safe NY, im sure we'll be seeing more of this.

Mar. 15 2010 10:37 AM
Steven from Beacon, NY

Upstate, Beacon, NY.

First an epic blizzard, now 3 days of non-stop rain.

Austin is enjoying South by Southwest (SXSW). We have the SnowBySuckyWeather Festival.

Mar. 15 2010 10:26 AM
Chris from Yonkers

I agree with Marissa - it is not a 'pocalypse of any kind, it's winter.

I teach and my daughters come to my school and we got off from school! Scarsdale schools closed!

Mar. 15 2010 10:19 AM
Nick from NYC

Weather Hysteria Event #169

Mar. 15 2010 10:16 AM
Zan from Brooklyn

Anyone seen my hat? It was black.

Mar. 15 2010 10:13 AM
Eric K from Brooklyn

I was stuck on that New Jersey transit train for about 7 hours. We were stuck for 2 hours just outside Newark then again for 3 hours after we stopped at Rahway. (then about 2 hours of movement total on either end of being stuck). Those 3 hours near Rahway were almost entirely in the dark as was the ride back to into Rahway and on toNewark.

NJT has a lot to answer for. They did not communicate with the train crew who openly made it known to the passengers that they did not feel obligated to see us to our destination. On the ride back, the conductor was ranting at her coworkers that they were violating union rules by staying on the train and seeing the passengers to the end. I guess she wouldn't have cared how thankful we were for them seeing us through, because if they were to walk away at Rahway, we'd have been stuck there with no buses back to New York (and it was still questionable at the time the train left when the buses to go to Trenton would arrive).

Our adventure did not end at Newark. There were no shuttle buses or trains to go to New York Penn. Path went out of commission after one stop. There was one scheduled late night bus out of another part of Newark that may or may not be there. The only option were cabbies who were gouging people to get to the next safe Path stop that was operating (to say nothing of the gouging to New York itself). We were eventually rescued by a friend who drove from Brooklyn to get us.

Could have been a lot worse - no trees fell on the train, no one was even thankfully sick and needed emergency attention, there was no earthquake, no maniacs on the train. It was just a case of a 1st-class nation having 2nd-class infrastructure.

Mar. 15 2010 10:13 AM
Kate Zidar from NYC waterfronts

On behalf of the S.W.I.M. Coalition, I began documenting sewer overflows that regularly occur when it rains in NYC. If you are not out in the rain, you dont know when or where its happening, so we geared up and went to CSO (combined sewer overflow) locations at low tide. What a weekend to start this project! We tweeted the (totally gross) results, and will continue to do so...

Mar. 15 2010 10:13 AM
Marissa from Manhattan, NY

Why is every big storm suddenly some "-pocalypse"? It's the northeast. It rains here, wind blows, snow falls. If we saw 6 feet of snow in Manhattan in one day and 120 mile per hour winds - ok, maybe that could deserve something like a "-pocalypse", but some downed trees and flooding? That's called "winter".

Mar. 15 2010 10:12 AM
Matt from UWS - West 94th Street

SATURDAY AT 4 A.M. I was woken by a huge explosion. Pulled up the blinds to see a geyser of sparks and flame emerging from a manhole at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and West 94th Street.
Then more building-shaking explosions. Then half the fire trucks from the Upper West Side. Then another explosion -- from a different manhole on West 94th that was out of sight.
The fire trucks backed off and waited for Con Ed emergency trucks to show up.

An hour later and not much had changed.

Con-Ed blamed the heavy rains + street salt for corroding a subterranean transformer. Although no one was hurt, the flying manhole covers destroyed several windshields and set at least one car aflame.

What a night!

Mar. 15 2010 10:08 AM
Keith from inwood

Returning from Westchester County, I was diverted off the closed Saw Mill Parkway onto I-87. I looked off to the left, thinking "Hmm, I don't remember a lake there" then saw two basketball goals sticking up out of the middle of said "lake".

Mar. 15 2010 10:06 AM

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