After looking for a viable evacuation route yesterday morning for about two hours – checking forecasts for interstate highways and possible landing spots, talking with campgrounds about their forecasts and seeing that the weather there would be dodgy also – we altered our plans and will be hunkering down here.
We will close up, lock down and secure our rig and then move to a local hotel tomorrow. We plan to check on the rig and property daily if weather conditions permit us getting out and about safely.
We spent the morning clearing the property around us of potential flying projectiles, taping windows in the office trailer and gathering items to take with us to the hotel.
Staying or leaving is a crap shoot. Our concerns with leaving included being out on congested highways with panicked folks and quite possibly encountering rough weather while traveling.
Destinations I considered also had rough weather coming in either the form of Hurricane Sandy or wind/snow from the front approaching from the West. We could conceivably end up in worse conditions than here.
Even in ideal weather, there is always the risk of mechanical breakdown, blowouts, etc. when towing a 40-foot RV.
It’s a crap shoot either way and always has been in situations like this. Living on the Texas Gulf Coast, I have sheltered in place and I have evacuated.
At least here we know the area and the resources available to us. There are no trees directly around our rig to fall on it. The Musconetcong River is 1-2 feet lower than it was prior to Hurricane Irene last year, so we are hoping that it will not escape its banks. (Even during Irene when the river came out of its banks, the water did not threaten our rig at all.) I have the iPhone app Flood Watch, which monitors river levels, so I can keep an eye on the “Muskie” from the hotel.
We are located essentially on the New Jersey/Pennsylvania border, inland from the coast (so hopefully Sandy will weaken a bit before reaching us, as hurricanes typically do once making landfall) and in a valley with a mountain right behind us; therefore, we are somewhat protected from winds, although we do get weird swirling winds here which could ultimately prove to be an issue.
We have contacts to call who can see the property from their home nearby, so we can be in touch to monitor our rig and status of the property if need be. If we have to come pull the rig out due to potential flooding, we should be able to haul it about a block up the road to higher ground like we did last year during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. (That spot, although higher ground, leaves our rig much more exposed to winds, so we will only do it if flooding is a direct threat.)
Our generator is construction-grade and too big to transport with us (and too heavy for just Dave and I to lift), so at least we will have a source of power here after the storm passes. Genny got moved into the mill and higher ground today to stay cozy and dry.
We have several full cans of gas for Genny. We have four propane tanks; two are in the rig (and will be shut off prior to our leaving) and two full surplus tanks on-site. That’s our usual routine, especially during Winter months.
The company we are contracted to has very graciously offered to pay for our hotel stay. Although we are “only contractors,” they treat us with the most concern and caring from an employer I have seen in decades. We all do seem to work together as a easygoing, respectful and fun team in both trialing times and when the going is easy. We were even given the option of putting our rig in the mill; the boss would have sent guys up yesterday or today to move stuff out of the way if necessary. We decided against this for various logistical reasons; besides, it would be too tight a squeeze getting it in.
Yes, we are taking a risk staying. Our rig may get flooded, topple over or be otherwise damaged.
We would have been taking a risk leaving.
We are hoping, as are millions others in the region, that we will come through just fine regarding material possessions, including our home.
It’s a crap shoot. You weigh your options, make your decision and take your shot. Then you live with your decision come what may.
As devastating as destruction of our home or vehicle would be, as long as Dave, Maggie and I are safe and together . . .
Life is good.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
I am a Warrior.