We were very lucky and blessed to have escaped the brunt of Hurricane Irene. We have a few branches down in the backyard and a little water in the basement. It is really no more than in a big storm, even though the recorded rain for Newark airport (closest measure) was over 8 inches!
Some of the towns right next to us did not fare as well. The rivers were overflowing, some even before the hurricane hit. Downtown Millburn was hit very hard, as were some neighborhoods in Maplewood, South Orange and Springfield. Maplewood and Millburn are among many towns that are under a water boil advisory, or may even have no water. They are saying that those without power or water may be without it for a week. Considering that we are the first house in Union from Maplewood, I would say we are very lucky!
Here are some pictures on our local message board, Maplewoodonline.
All my storm preparations may have proved to be unnecessary, but I don't think that I went paranoid-overboard. And seeing how the situation is merely the next town over from me, I think I was right on target. I ended up falling asleep on Saturday night, maybe about 2am, while Vinnie stayed awake for some time after that. Lilly slept through it all! The key there was that we never lost power so her sound machine stayed on all night.
Thank you for all the prayers and thoughts as we weathered this storm. I ask for your continued prayers and thoughts for my neighbors and those in the shore communities as they recover from Hurricane Irene.