March 13th, 2010


I am back

That was some adventure - getting back from DC today through the storm. Normally, it takes me between 3.5 and 4 hours to do so. Today, it took me full 6. First, the roadwork and the confusing intersections in DC got me, so instead of 10-15 minutes to get to the major road it took me some 25-30 minutes. Then, the entire damn state of Maryland was barely moving, so I was already running more than an hour behind after I finally crossed into Delaware (though to be fair, traffic started moving a few miles before I crossed the state line). The biggest problem, of course, occurred in my home state. First, I was going fast and happy, even the rain had subsided - but then the traffic was at standstill. It took me 30 minutes to drive grand total of 0.5 miles when I finally decided to call 511. The message was not at all encouraging - the entire Turnpike was shut down between exits 4 and 7A (which is 30-some miles, BTW). Only now I have learned that there was a problem with the wind tearing off pieces of overpass under construction... At least I was lucky that the Turnpike had reopened after I spent some 50 minutes barely moving - otherwise, being detoured would have meant I would barely make it to the nearest exit until 6:30 or so! Then the traffic was barely moving again, and I decided to try my luck on other roads - but they were flooding badly so I came back onto the Turnpike. I literally had to grasp the steering wheel with all my strength to maintain control every couple hundred feet... Then, of course, the way home was closed off, so I went onto the detour. The first option had a billion cars waiting already, so I decided to try to go through the park. I knew the road always floods, but I also knew it floods in the opposite lane, not usually in this direction - and I did make it. Though my car literally had to swim part of the way... And the park was completely flooded. I don't know whether it is rainwater or the river went out of its banks - it was dark already, so I couldn't make it out. A lot of fallen branches on the roads, too. I am lucky I passed through with no damage, and my home still has power. Almost 75,000 people in NJ have already lost power, including the town two towns over.

The conference itself was very useful, though I will hold off with saying anything for now... and getting to hang out with tigressita was an added bonus. :)