By David Cruz
For a few hours, the Andros Diner was the only place in town that was open. The rest of the Ironbound was already black. Within just a few minutes, the rest of Newark was likewise, dark. Over in the University Heights section, trees and power lines were down. We estimated the winds at maybe 70 miles an hour, gusts the speed of which were confirmed by the National Weather Service. Police patrolled the streets, which were mostly empty, as the state’s largest city cowered in the face of a superstorm.
On the way out of town, the Turnpike was dark and strewn with branches, and debris from the Meadowlands. In Lyndhurst, much of the town, including our hotel, was without power as the Hackensack River stormed into the area.
This morning, the Quality Inn across the street lost power, the ground floors flooded, knocking out sewer and emergency systems. The Lyndhurst fire department safely escorted a hundred or so guests, including some in wheelchairs, to waiting buses, which took them to other hotels or nearby shelters.
Compared to the devastation down the shore, these people were lucky, but they were victims, nonetheless, of a devastating storm that struck the Garden State with indiscriminate, and deadly, ferocity.