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Floyd was a particularly nasty hurricane that struck the East Coast in September 1999. It made landfall near Cape Fear, NC on September 16 and proceeded to flood the crap out of the state. When it hit, Floyd had wind speeds of about 90 knots, making it a category 2 hurricane. It then moved north through Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey on its way up to New England. Rainfall levels exceeded 15-20 inches in North Carolina and Virginia and totals of 12-14 inches were observed in Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey. This caused record flooding and general wanton destruction. 57 people were killed (including 6 in my state of New Jersey) and the hurricane caused an estimated $3-6 billion in damage. Over 2 million people were evacuated, possibly the largest evacuation ever in America.

It's not often that New Jersey is hit with a natural disaster of such proportions. We're usually too far north to feel the full force of a hurricane, and very rarely there's a small tornado or earthquake. Needless to say, the state was completely unprepared for the flooding that ensued. Bound Brook and Manville were largely underwater.

My home town of Somerset is bordered by the Raritan River and Delaware-Raritan Canal. I live about a block away from said canal and river. Thankfully the flooding never reached my house, but the main road that runs along the canal was flooded and it was wicked awesome to see. I went down there with all the other kids to observe the mayhem. There were two fully submerged cars with their antennae sticking out of the water! Let's throw rocks at them! Let's throw our action figures into the floodwater! Let's wait for the water to recede, then open the car doors and watch the water spill out!

Ah, the simple pleasures of youth.



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