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|Jared Washington's street (left) and the dock at the end of his street on Monday afternoon (right).|
Monday night, as Hurricane Sandy was rapidly approaching the New Jersey area, Animal Bikes BMX pro Jared Washington stepped outside his South Amboy, N.J., home. Waters from the Raritan Bay edged closer to his house.
He took a photo of the approaching waters in his housing development, posted it to Instagram and wrote "Okay, I should've left."
Earlier on Tuesday, approximately 11:30 a.m. ET, Washington took a walk outside of his house. Waters in the Raritan Bay had already risen over the boat launch ramps. He sent me a text message of the rising waters and said, "If it starts getting any closer, we're going to move our stuff upstairs."
I told him to start now. A few hours later, he lost power in his house. Washington, notorious for not charging his phone to 100% since his days as a teen-ager in New Brunswick, N.J., probably had about one to two hours of battery life left on his phone.
Hurricane Sandy made landfall around 8 p.m. ET Monday near Atlantic City, N.J., with winds measuring 80 mph. For most of the night, it battered the communities throughout the entire state. The water level along the Raritan Bay shoreline reached heights that have yet to be documented, but were most likely the highest the area has ever seen.
President Obama declared much of New Jersey a disaster area, including Atlantic, Cape May, Hudson, Essex, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union counties.
|A dead fish on the sidewalk in Jared Washington's housing development on Tuesday morning.|
At approximately 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Washington emerged from his house. The coastal surge had begun to recede. His phone, most likely at 1%, allowed him to comment on his Instragram photo from earlier in the night.
"It missed our house by like 20-feet," he said.
More than two million homes in New Jersey remain without power on Tuesday. "The devastation is unprecedented -- nothing we've ever seen reported before," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said at a Tuesday morning press conference.
Eventually, Washington turned his phone back on mid-day Tuesday. He texted me photos of fish on the sidewalk and said that "30 houses on our block got flooded." I texted him back and told him to conserve his phone battery.