Long Sandy night: Holding the fort in Northeast as storm comes in

| October 31, 2012

“Wet, windy and no power,” Matthew Jaco wrote Tuesday morning on Overdrive‘s Facebook page in response to a query as to drivers’ situations after the rainy, windy night in the Northeast. “Just another day in the world of trucking.”

Hauler Joshua Colvin, running through the evening from Syracuse, N.Y., to Fremont, Ohio, also took conditions in stride. “Last night was ‘fun,'” he wrote. “Cleveland was the windiest, raining sideways. Green and blue lightning.”

Others weren’t so breezy about their circumstances. Truckers corralled at weigh stations and truckstops before the shutdown of Connecticut’s major highways yesterday settled in for a tough night. Worcester Telegram and Gazette reporter Kim Ring dispatched from the Pilot location in Sturbridge, Conn., yesterday, filled beyond its 250-truck capacity and without power. “There was no fuel, no restrooms and no place to get a hot meal,” Ring wrote, “but the truckers said they’re usually ready for such predicaments, carrying food and supplies in their sleeper rigs.”

Ring found driver James Gamble (pictured — click through the thumbnail of Ring’s photo for the full story) in his cab nearby shuttered pumps. “I have fuel, but I wanted a little more,” he said.

This morning Joel Soto, in South Jersey, reported conditions as “wet and flooded” all over, writing on our Facebook page. “I heard that a part of the New Jersey Turnpike has some rail cars on it,” he added. “Crazy. Floods everywhere.”

As far west as Cleveland, Ohio, Charles Olm reported “25- to 30-foot waves breaking over I-90 off of Lake Erie by the power plant, and lots of high wind gusts all over.” Power outages there were beginning in spots as he wrote, he said.

In Glen Falls, N.Y., “40 minutes north of Albany on I-87,” wrote Brian Batease, also this morning, “we had some rain squalls last night and some gusty winds, but no major damage and no power outages.”

Yesterday (Monday) afternoon, on I-80 coming out of Pennsylvania, owner-operator Mark W. Arnold reported he’d left Pottsville in the morning empty.  “Strong wind and heavy rain on I-81,” he said. It was “still raining” as he wrote, he said, “but the wind is not as severe.” He’d pushed his empty van up as close to the tractor as he could and kept both hands firmly on the wheel. “Be careful guys, and stay safe,” he said. “No load is worth your life.”

Aaron Mattingly, posting on Facebook late Monday afternoon, urged good thoughts for those in the path of the storm. “I don’t ever do this,” he said, “but I think everyone needs to pray for those on the East Coast.”

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