Greg Smith, WB2PPQ #7 in Chester NJ

Saturday Nov. 3, 2012

Short summary of the effects of Sandy:

Chatham sustained wind damage to homes and massive power outages that were caused by trees that toppled over in sustained winds of  around 75 mph.  One of my neighbor’s trees came down on the utility lines and snapped 2 two telephone poles.  This shorted power lines and caused a power transformer to explode as it smashed onto the pavement.  Live wires were on the pavement at the nearby Weston/North Passaic Ave intersection.  Cars were driving over the live wires!  Chatham police yellowed taped the area, yet some cars felt safe to once again drive under the yellow tape.

During the height of the storm, the centralized multimillion dollar Morris County Police radio system went down for an extended period of time; our local police were forced to use a hand full of the older technology 155 Mhz equipment that worked well.  First Aide and public works department also use the newer Motorola (I believe) digital trunk system.  I monitored the older police frequency and it was an all hands on deck with most of the community without power.  Most of the traffic lights were also not working.

I lost about 7 shingles and my neighbor lost about 20% of their shingles.  I had my little 3.5 KW propane generator in the detached garage ready to roll with a 30 amp., cable to the house to a double duplex electrical box.  I had run electrical cords to needed items to power.  I lost power for 1/2 hour and then it came back on while most of the town was out.  Looking at the night sky all as I could see was bright flashes from arcing power wires in every direction.

Chester:  Most of Chester was also without power.  The near town of Mendham and Mendham Twp. had 150 telephone poles snapped in half by fallen trees – these are tiny towns so you can imagine what other towns suffered.  Barb lost two tall trees, one that exceeded 100 ft that was located at the border of her back property.  The top branches just touched her deck.  We have worked 2 days cutting the back tree to the extent my 18″ chain saw will cut and once again using the Toro tractor and moving truck and 2 x 4 to move small branches to the street for pick-up.  The tree in the front went across the power lines.  This tree is being supported by a smaller tree.  Barb is close to the Chester substation and had power throughout the storm event.  Cable/tel./internet just restored tonight.  Some pictures attached.  The G5RV dipole antenna did not survive the fall of the back tree, however, I had a rope and pulley system that permitted me to tie the copper wire together and raise the antenna to be on the weather nets early the next morning.

Gas is almost impossible to get and there is no food available locally -o mostly delivery and power issues.


Hi Dick, here is an update on conditions here in Chester, NJ:

Thanks for posting Sandy,  This morning in church, the mayor of Chester announced that 60 % of the town is still without power.  Since most homes have wells and private septic systems this becomes a real issue.  The town has a distribution center for bottled water, one case per family for the event.  There is still no local food store (ShopRite) open or gasoline available.  Residents have to travel to PA, about 60 miles away to obtain fuel for vehicles or for their power generators.  However, propane is available!  This is something to think about if you plan to buy a future generator – consider a tri-fuel powered unit.  Propane distributors do not need power to fill your propane tank.

Barb never lost power, just cable service; we have opened our home to our church family so that folks can get warm and take a hot shower.

One of the local churches has been providing two hot meals a day for anyone needing a meal.  There has been no support from any other agency.  These agencies are overwhelmed with providing welfare and housing for those folks that resided in coastal communities.

Cell phone service was almost impossible during this storm; however, you could get text data messages through all the time, another fact to keep in mind if you have a severe storm event and need to communicate with another cell phone user.

In Fairfield, NJ where my daughter resides power generators were being stolen at wee hours of the morning; a quick way for the bad guys to make money.  Police recommend that generators be chained.  Chester, fortunately does not have this problem; its been helping your neighbor and that is wonderful.

Best, Greg

Contributed by Tom Carr, #49, WA1KDD

A much warmer than normal October here in Acushnet, with below

normal precipitation.  It was the second warmest October on my records with a mean

of 56.2 degrees and 2.9 deg. above normal.  My warmest October was in 2007 which

saw a mean of 59.1 degrees.

October was on the dry side despite 19 days of measurable precipitation.

Most rain events were pidly not pesty for many fell during the nightime hours.  It was the

driest October since only 2.72″ fell here in 2004.

Fall colors seemed to peak around the weekend of the 20th of the month.  A

tough call for a number of breezy days had striped some trees almost bare by then.

Hurricane aka Super Storm Sandy produced the bulk of the months precipitation

with 1.64″ falling with wind gusts to 50 mph here and a low barometer of 29.05″.  We

experienced no loss of power, only several days of pick up sticks.  Very lucky indeed.

October 2012 Acushnet, Ma.               41 deg,44min N            70 deg,55min W

Ave High      64.9  deg.

Ave Low       47.5 deg.

Oct Mean     56.2 deg. is 2.9 deg. above normal

High Temp     77 deg. on Oct. 5th.

Low Temp      29 deg. on Oct. 13th.

Days 90 deg or better     0

Total Precip     2.73″ is 1.78″ below normal

Max 24hr. Precip     0.85″ on Oct. 30th.

Snowfall     0

Total 2012 Precip     38.70″ is 4.63″ below normal

T- Storm Days      1

High Wind Gust     50 mph on Oct. 29th.

Heating Degree Days     291

Cooling Degree Days     5

High Barometer     30.49″ on Oct. 13th.

Low Barometer      29.05″ on Oct. 29th.

Tom Carr

What is CoCoRaHS?

CoCoRaHS stands for Community Cooperative Rain Hail and Snow Network.  The network originated with the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University in 1998 thanks in part to the Fort Collins flood a year prior. In the years since, CoCoRaHS now includes thousands of volunteers nationwide. This is a community project.  Everyone can help, young, old, and in-between.  The only requirements are an enthusiasm for watching and reporting weather conditions and a desire to learn more about how weather can effect and impact our lives.

Each time a rain, hail or snow storm crosses your area, volunteers take measurements of precipitation from as many locations as possible (see equipment).  These precipitation reports are then recorded on their Web site The data are then displayed and organized for many of our end users to analyze and apply to daily situations ranging from water resource analysis and severe storm warnings to neighbors comparing how much rain fell in their backyards.

CoCoRaHS is used by a wide variety of organizations and individuals.  The National Weather Service, other meteorologists, hydrologists, emergency managers, city utilities (water supply, water conservation, storm water), insurance adjusters, USDA, engineers, mosquito control, ranchers and farmers, outdoor & recreation interests, teachers, students, and neighbors in the community are just some examples of those who visit our Web site and use our data.  It is sponsored, in part, by the National Weather Service and NOAA.

Some of the members of the NEWN participate in CoCoRaHS.  Reporting precipitation and snow data to them adds about 15 to 45 seconds to our data recording in the morning. Joining CoCoRaHS is simple.  Visit their website, find an application (, fill it out and submit it.  They do ask that you take time to review their educational material (
CoCoRaHS sponsors webinars on weather topics through out the year.  They aslo provide summary reports for stations such as the one below.
Incidentally, the NWS in Taunton and the NERFC (Ed Capone) download data from CoCoRaHS daily.  I would encourage all of our stations to consider enrolling in CoCoRaHS.

NEWN on Track

The NEWN is on track to achieve more than 10,000 check ins for our fiscal year of May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013.  For the first five months we have had 4,297 check ins, which annualized equals 10,323 for the year.  And, typically, the Summer months have fewer check ins because of vacations.

I am please to report that we have added some new members and we have several more that will have numbers shortly.  These include Rob, AA1IR from Unity NH, Ray, KB1RAW from Oxford ME, Warren, W1LO from Campton NH, and a returning old member, Joe, N1ZKB from Fort Kent Mills ME.  Many members have commented on having two Joe’s both from Fort Kent ME.  New Chueck ins include Chris, W1KMA from Warwick RI, Arnold, KB1MGY from New Sweden ME, and Frank, WT1B from Searsburg VT.  We also heard from another old time member, Fr ed, N1RCO also from Warwick RI.