Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, Our Experience...

This will probably go down in the history book as the most devastating hurricane to hit the northeast. They gave us plenty of warning. Many were skeptical that it would be so bad because we have never lived through anything as bad as this storm, in terms of damage. The fact that it was a category 1 storm was deceptive because the totality of the situation created more of a category 4 type of destructive flooding. I am still trying to absorb all the problems being reported in the news this morning.

We live in inland, in an old house. I imagined the shingles flying off with the 90 mph winds being forecasted. I was most worried about the two side by side trees in the backyard. They are very tall with full branches and if they came down they would land on my daughter’s bedroom. After hearing me worry about the trees enough times, my daughter agreed to sleep downstairs, on the couch, out of harm’s way. All we could do was watch and wait the entire day. It rained lightly all day, but around 7 PM the winds started howling, the windows rattling and I even felt my bed vibrate. Still it was nothing compared to what was happening along the coastline to so many others. 

We had an early dinner in case we suddenly lost power. My brother, who lives not even a mile away from us, lost power. He was not prepared for the storm. He was irritated. He called me on his cell. We had a couple of conversations. This is how it went. 

Vin: My power went out.

Me: Your power always goes out, I told you to get a small generator.

Vin: A generator needs to go outside and only lasts eight hours.

Me: Do you have candles?

Vin: I bought some at the dollar store that were supposed to last 25 hours and I’m lucky if they lasted three.

Me: Oh brother. Do you have a book to read to pass the time?

Vin: What am I supposed to do? Read by candlelight?

Me: It was good enough for Abraham Lincoln, it should be good enough for you.

Vin: (losing patience with me): I’m not doing that. I took out my little DVD player, I had it charged, but the battery is dead now.

Me: Can’t you charge it with your desktop computer?


Me: Oh, I forgot.

Vin: I don’t even have extra batteries home.

Me: Well tonight you better make a list of all the things you need to do for the next storm so you aren’t so unprepared.

Vin: Yeah okay, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Me: Okay, bye.

My family stayed in the living room, where there are no windows and more importantly, the large screen television and the girls’ laptops and phones. All life’s necessities were there and a short distance from food and snacks. 

I watched the news all day, until I got a headache. Some areas were already under water while we were still waiting for the storm to hit here. At least I was in peace knowing that my husband and girls were home and safe. There is nothing more worrisome than to have your family out and scattered during a storm of any kind and waiting for them to get home. My younger daughter actually starts work next week, so she was able to spend yesterday and today and who knows how many more days, with her sister. I actually don’t remember the last time we are all home together and it wasn’t a holiday or something. My older daughter’s new job is on the block with the falling, dangling crane. Yeah, can you believe that? Her block was evacuated because of that. The crane will probably be easier to fix than the subway flooding. We don’t know how or when she will be able to get back to work right now.

I went to sleep, surprisingly. My daughter did honor her promise to sleep on the couch. I woke up at midnight from an emergency service call of some kind…then they called again at 2 am. I finally pulled the plug out of the wall. I suppose some needed those calls, but I didn’t. I got up this morning. The trees were intact, the shingles were still on the house. My daughter was on the couch at 5:30 am. I woke her up and finally made her go up to her bed so she can sleep in. The girls are still sleeping. I called my brother, who is still without power. I told him to pack whatever he needs to charge and bring it over. I can feed him lunch and dinner while he occupies himself with the internet. He tells me maybe he will come…never gives me a definite answer, but he has nothing else to do.

We got away with murder, to say the least. The next order of business is figuring out how my brother and daughter can get back to work. My brother will be totally preoccupied with his lack of power, but I think it will take a while to fix that. I am guessing they will send all Con Ed employees into Manhattan first.

That’s our story. I’m glad I don’t have anything major to report. I guess I will see how the devastated parts of the city affect our lives in the days ahead. For now we will pray for those impacted the most by the storm...and there are too many of those.

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