Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It Caught On in a Flash

Last night was confusing. The storm was not quite one event. It was more of a series or system of happenings matched with non-happenings. The winds were super loud. They came in waves, and actually sounded a lot like waves crashing on our window sills if you can imagine, sort of frightening and violent.
After it got later, we'd been waiting so long for this thing to come and even the news casters were running out of ways to scare us. The most exciting thing was when the power went out and we lost communication. I began texting my city friend H who had lost power turns out for days and days and was getting freaked.
P fell asleep way early that night but me, I laid perfectly still listening to every sound with my full attention until I too musta dozed off. The next morning we weren't sure what to think. We were all still here. At first look outside, all was normal-ish aside from all the leaves and branches on the streets and the fact that no one was outside walking yet. The TV was turned on immediately and we tried to absorb all the updated news. Manhattan had major power outages and New Jersey really got hit. P needed to check on the building that he manages downtown Manhattan. So we rode out there. Our bike ride was strewn with downed trees and very few cars on the road. Brooklyn and Manhattan was eery and deserted. The streets empty aside from the not-as-well-dressed hipsters holding on to their last drops of cell phone juice and looking more wide eyed than normal.
We couldn't find any place to eat. All restaurants and businesses were closed up but here and there some little diners were allowing people in to sit and they were making what they could on powerless devises. We decided to tough it out and eat at home later. God knows I over prepared on the food end.
Honestly at this point, it still wasn't clear what had really happened. It was too unreal to fathom what had happened on the Jersey shore. But even what occurred just blocks from where we were in the city was unclear. Let alone, in Battery Park, Red Hook and in Staten Island, Coney Island, the Rockaways. So many areas. The main coverage was of New Jersey and Breezy Point. It wasn't until later that we began to really see the scope of the damage. The subways were still closed and the internet pictures were starting to pour in of the massive flooding that came in the night. At that moment we had no idea the power would remain off for a whole week in Manhattan and that the subways would also remain shut down. That people wouldn't have power or heat or water in many places for more than two weeks.
Matter of fact I'm renaming this storm the Creeper. You know how that nasty creeper weed used to hit you way later past the time you thought you'd dodge the whole paranoia stage? And then surpassed the level of high you'd signed up for in the first place?? There you sat, couch-locked until you finally regained some of your wits praying no one noticed. That's exactly what this storm was like. That surge just slithered in like a snake, up over all the vulnerable areas. The water flowed in and down inside all the basements and first floors, quickly and without warning. Since the power was out the news crews couldn't capture much if any of that. It was dark, it was late and it came after most of us thought the whole thing was over.
Several people that I work with lost their homes and lots of things that we were blessed to keep. It feels as though we dodged a bullet. We're so grateful to suffer no damage but also feel guilty and more compassion for our fellow New Yorkers and neighbors than we probably ever have felt. Nothing brings people together like a good horror fest. Thanks Frankenstorm!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home?