Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sandy Stories

The last few days have been miserable. My mother was the first to lose her power as Sandy started to unleash her fury Monday afternoon. Mine went about 15 minutes later. We spent an anxious night dressed for the outdoors, but under the blankets, trying to sleep to block out the sounds of the storm. It was scary.

The next morning, I went out with a friend looking for breakfast. We found a diner open. At least I had a good breakfast and was able to take warm food and coffee to Mom and her caregiver.

We saw widespread tree and property damage. It's so sad to see those majestic trees pulled out of the ground with their root balls. I napped a lot yesterday. What else was there to do? I was too anxious to read a book. The battery strength was dwindling on all my wireless devices, and Charlie wanted to sit on me to stay warm. Occasionally, I went outside to the car to charge batteries.

Mom's power came back around 7:00 pm, and I was thrilled. I was sure I faced another cold night. I considered going over to her house to sleep on the sofa, but Charlie would have missed me. At 10:00, my television and lights sprang to life. Power! I was one of the lucky ones.

I've seen many photos of the damage in the DC area. It doesn't compare in magnitude to what happened in New Jersey and New York. I feel so badly for those who never expected such flooding and had no flood insurance. I hope FEMA can help them. It's going to be a long haul, and Sandy has already been predicted to be one of the costliest weather disasters in history (per NBC).

During the outage, I published a contest and one feature I had "in the can." Now, I'm out of photos and out of pre-written features. I have to/want to go to work, so I'll write when I get home. See you later today!

How did you fare during the storm? Even people who aren't on the East Coast were affected, worrying about friends and relatives who couldn't communicate without power or cell service.

Photo of a NY subway station courtesy of inhabitat.com

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope you are safe and sound. Don't worry about us. We'll be here when you get your footing again. It's wonderful that you and your mother could support each other during this terrible event. It's hard to go through alone. We love your posts and will patiently wait for you to be back in the saddle.

Anahita said...

So glad you're ok. We were really lucky in Center City Philadelphia as there was not too much flooding or damage. I didn't loose power and still had cable thank God. My mom lives in the suburbs and her house is surrounded by huge trees. Luckily she only had 1 tree branch fall and it did not cause any damage. I was off Monday and Tuesday as all city government offices were shut down. I am going back to work today and am thrilled. I was going stir crazy.

bisbee said...

Sorry you and your Mom lost power, but I'm glad it wasn't too long. We were very lucky - didn't lose power - normally we do. Of course, watching the devastation along the coast is heartbreaking...and that fire in Queens is unbelievable. My stepdaughter lives in the West Village - no power - but she's in a 3rd floor walkup, so no elevator either. She and her roommate were walking uptown to a friend who did have power last we spoke to her.

I'm back at work today too - it's kind of a relief instead of watching the destruction on TV!

Rosemary said...

CG, I saw your tweet that your Mom had lost power, then you had. I knew how much you worried about your Mom losing power, and I was thinking of you both last night. I'm so glad the power is back on.

Over here in the mountains, we had snow all day and most of the evening but zero accumulation! I guess the ground was too warm. We were very lucky and didn't lose power.

It's hard to take in everything that's happened as a result of the storm. I worry about the animals as well as the people and pray for all.

Charleston Girl said...

I'm glad Anahita. Philly did get lucky. Glad to hear your mom is fine too!

Charleston Girl said...

Hi Bisbee,

I'd gladly have watched TV. I missed the news (but not the political ads).

That fire was heartbreaking. No other words. Horrific.

I'm glad to be back at work too.

Charleston Girl said...

Hi Rosemary,

I worried about the animals too. Funny that you mentioned that. I found a drowned rat near a storm sewer. I even felt badly for a rat!

No thanks to the snow. I saw the pictures and shuddered. :)

Marta said...

So glad to hear you and your mom are ok. I hope and pray that the necessary resources and help reach those in need. Reading the news out of New York and New Jersey is heartbreaking.

Charleston Girl said...

Hi Marta,

It's really bad there. Heartbreaking, listening to people affected by flooding or the fires.

Mary Beth said...

I am very glad to hear that you and your mother weathered the storm with only momentary power outage.
I live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and managed to get through with very little impact, not even a loss of electricity. Granted, about two and a half blocks east of me was under the East River. All I could think about were the animals at the ASPCA in that area.
I managed to walk the three miles to work this morning, and after hearing stories from coworkers and friends, I was very lucky with my Sandy experience, and my heart goes out to everyone dealing with destruction right now.
As a side note, this is my first comment on your blog, but I read it regularly. Keep up the wonderful work!

Evelyn said...

Thank goodness your power came on faster than the last time. This has not been fun. I spent my time worrying about my friends on Staten Island and our friend's sister who decided to stay in Breezy Point (when they say evacuate they mean it). She finally decided to evacuate when the water was chest level in her basement...and she barely made it to higher ground before losing her car to the waves. It's all horrible. Our house was shaking from the winds in the storm but has made it through only to lose power last night. Fortunately it came back sometime in the early hours of the morning (I woke up to a horror movie on the now working tv-lol). Still have to check on a small building my parent's have by JFK. Let's hope it made it through ok.

Losing the subway is a big hit because I rely on it for half of my commute from Brooklyn to Bronx and back every day. A minor problem compared to everything else people are going through. I'll just pray that we make it through the challenges ahead.

On the positive side, I was glad to see the city was evacuated both people and their pets, a very big reason people don't evacuate which I understand. How could I leave a pet to the mercy of a storm? Also New Yorkers and Jersey folk get a bad rap but we really do stick together in an emergency. Couldn't imagine being anyplace else.

Take good care of yourself Charlestongirl and mom, and everybody! :)

mamavalveeta03 said...

I'm really glad that everyone that has posted seems to be OK, with the exception of lost power and downed trees. I spent most of yesterday crying because our neighbor and friend, Dee Wright, was swept away in the storm and they found her body washed up on Georgica Beach in E. Hampton. We don't know why she was out walking her dog in the storm. We'll never know. But she leaves behind 2 lovely daughters, Lainey and Kia, ages 18 and 23, who also lost their dad to serious illness a few years ago. I am grateful, however, that we have power, and that all of our family on Long Island is OK, even tho' my brother-in-law missed being hit by a falling tree by 2 feet! Please keep Dee's family in your prayers. My husband, a minister, continues to spend some time with them and the community of Montauk has rallied around them.

Charleston Girl said...

Thank you, Mary Beth. The sights are indeed tragic. I thought about all the animals affected. One couple was killed while walking the dog. The dog survived, but his family is gone.

Sadness for everyone affected.

Charleston Girl said...

Hi Evelyn,

I'm glad you are OK! I worried about my NY friends.

Ditto to your comments about pet evacuations. I would NEVER leave my cats behind. I'd rather die.

Charleston Girl said...

Oh MamaVal,

That comment left me in tears. I read the NY Times while I ate dinner and ended up with an upset stomach. It wasn't the food. As I learn more and see more, I'm getting a feeling of intense sadness.

During the storm and its immediate aftermath, I had no power. Now, I'm seeing fully what happened in New Jersey and New York.

Mary Ann said...

Glad to hear you and your mom are ok and got your power back. I'm in western PA, fortunate no damage just alot of rain. A few years back when we had a hurricane pass by we lost power for 3 days and had 5 trees fall, one on our house. It's very scary. My thoughts and prayers to everyone who have affected by this terrible storm.

MoonRae said...

Thank the Lord you're alright!! My niece lost her home but she's okay...
My prayers are with all of you!

~Sharon~

Charleston Girl said...

Thanks, Mary Ann!

I'm glad you didn't get snowed under, like Western Virginia!

Charleston Girl said...

Hi Sharon,

Lost her home? That's horrific. I can't even imagine the feeling - and hope I never experience it. That's terribly sad. I hope that she gets help fast.

Any inconvenience I suffered pales by comparison.

EllenB said...

I am so glad that you and your mom are OK. We live in central Maryland, 20 miles north of Baltimore city, and although we had strong winds and alot of rain, we were fortunate compared to NY and NJ. I complained about losing power for 30 hours then felt bad about complaining when I saw the NBC newscast Tuesday evening at my parent's house. My little loss of power is nothing compared to what happened in NJ and NY. Those poor souls are in my prayers and I do hope FEMA lends assistance to them.

mamavalveeta03 said...

Thanks CG for the positive thoughts. My husband just told me of the most heart-wrenching story of a Staten Island mom that lost both of her little boys, 2 and 4, as she realized just too late how intense the storm was and tried to evacuate. My sympathies go out to her. She just didn't know how horrible it would be, and now she's alone. Too sad. So many sad stories.

Charleston Girl said...

MamaVal, that story of the woman whose children were swept out of her arms makes me tear up every time I see it on TV. Even now, as I write...

Dlori said...

I live in Manhattan. My zone, zone A, was mandated to evacuate. Half my neighborhood, including me, stayed. I was lucky. The Hudson River was practically at my front door but miraculously, no water entered the building, we never lost electricity, cable, etc. Just no phone for a week. HOWEVER, the rest of New York looks like a war zone. I am a 911 survivor, and was evacuated for over a month before allowed to return home. I lived in a war zone then too. Right now, although my building is OK, we can't get food, medicine, necessities because no trucks can get into the city. Long Beach/Lido Beach, Long Island, where I grew up, once a gorgeous beachfront community, has been completely destroyed. I don't think they can ever re build since the once beautiful beaches have disappeared, along with the boardwalk. The ocean literally now flows right up to the buildings, no shoreline. The area has been taken over by the national guard and has been deemed toxic. Long Island, Many parts of manhattan, New jersey, Staten Island, so many areas completely destroyed. It's hard to wrap your head around all this devastation. I never thought I would ever see this type of complete devastation in my lifetime, no less twice. My heart is broken.

Dlori said...

One last thing, it's been about 5 days since the storm, literally hundreds of thousands of people homeless and where is FEMA? If you know, can you please ask them to come to New York. We need you!

Anonymous said...

Hi, it's Donna from youtube and twitter, I just had so much fun reading your blog like I always do, I had no power for 6 days and needed a beauty feast and got it. My cats kept me great company too, I know exactly what you mean about being too anxious to read I felt the same way, I listened to Women Who Run With The Wolves over and over again on my Ipod, my God, that is such an amazing book and I was so happy I had downloaded it last year. I bet you would love that if you haven't already read it. Stay well, and thank you for your wonderful blog.

mamavalveeta03 said...

Agreed, GC. FEMA is there and doing everything they are able. We've got power trucks coming in from all over the US to try and restore power to all of us. Remember, the folks that are working to RESTORE our power have no power and had to leave their OWN families to deal with the messes that were left by Hurricane Sandy. Let's praise them for their sacrifice!

Charleston Girl said...

MamaVal,

Thanks for making that point. A host of Dominion Virginia Power trucks left here as soon as they got us back online - which was so much faster than after the June disaster. I'll bet those guys still haven't seen their families.

NY and NJ have been all over our news. I see FEMA; I see local volunteers; I see much help. Unfortunately, there is never enough help fast enough to please everyone. I hope they can get the critical infrastructure put back together soon. Only that will allow free passage of people, power, fuel, and and drinking water to start helping the recovery on a house-by-house basis.

If only they had moved those marathon generators into the neighborhoods!

Charleston Girl said...

Thanks, Donna. I'm glad you have power. As it gets colder, it gets more miserable.

I have friends up there who still have no heat. They are doing the best they can, amazingly without any complaints. Still have trees on their cars. Still have flooded homes and offices. It will be awhile too for many.

Weird how we couldn't read, huh? It would have been the perfect time to read one of the books I have backed up. It would have been kind of dark, but I could have done it if I hadn't been anxious.

Stay safe!