Irene over but much of East Coast waterlogged, clogged

| 8/29/2011

While much of the East Coast may be feeling relief that the worst of Hurricane – now Tropical Storm – Irene passed over the weekend without Katrina-like damage – many counties and cities remain gridlocked with highways shut down and major power outages.

OOIDA Member Michael Bergstrom of Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, said the New York State Thruway is closed, and Westchester County is bogged down by flooding, mudslides, downed branches and wires.

Late Monday morning, Bergstrom told Land Line Now that he’d been sitting on Interstate 287 near the New Jersey/New York state line for 10 hours, watching only a convoy of FEMA trucks move through the area.

“I’m at a dead standstill,” Bergstrom said. “I’ve been here for 10 hours now, and it could really be another 10 at least to get through.”

On Facebook, OOIDA Member Richard Lawson said 60 mph winds and flooding had taken out power for many near Albany, NY.

The Tapanzee Bridge and the Verrazano Bridge were each closed at times, and Maryland was hit hard in areas by downed branches and flash flooding.

Bergstrom said he typically makes it to the New York state line in about 20 minutes. On Monday, that drive took 2.5 hours – before he hit the traffic standstill.

Many drivers who couldn’t avoid New York were routing themselves through Connecticut and adding 150 to 200 miles to each trip, Bergstrom said.

As of Monday morning, few signs visible to Bergstrom were alerting drivers about traffic conditions. Instead, he said, drivers were passing information along by CB radio, which often is “pretty bad information,” Bergstrom said.

Land Line Now Reporter Reed Black contributed to this story.