Sandy And The City

by Jen on November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy came and went leaving her nasty mark on the city I love.

It comes with an odd sense of guilt, in a way, because George and I were spared any hardship aside from being confined to our neighborhood induced by the suspension of mass transit.  Our power flickered a time or two, but never went out.  Our countertops and furniture were coated in strange mud-like substance that blew in though our window screens.  Our apartment rocked and the water in our toilet sloshed from the wind.  Our dogs trembled from the sounds of the storm whistling through our apartment and knocking down curtains.  But otherwise, we were untouched.

I can’t say the same for many of my friends, who remain powerless three days later.  Communication has been spotty at best, but I did hear from a friend living in Rockaway Beach whose home was severely damaged and whose spirit was left traumatized by the blazing fires that surrounded his neighborhood.

When the wind gusts settled Tuesday evening, we ventured from our apartment to assess the damage done to our block.  Limbs and lattice littered the street, shop awnings were damaged, a large tree was uprooted, a few cars bearing the brunt of said tree, and the flooring company at the base of our building was left with a tattered sign and shattered glass.  Unfortunate, but all in all, East 73rd Street  was lucky.

The suspension of mass transit lends a tiny piece of insight into the post 9/11 world in New York City.  Sure, you can walk most anywhere, but the knowing the bustling underworld that usually hums beneath your feet is quiet and still is an eery, isolating feeling.  We offered a landing place for our friends and family without power, but discovered our resources were rendered moot without a means of actually getting to our apartment.

George and I are both employed by NYU Langone Medical Center, which as it turns out, is the hospital in the city whose back-up generator failed leaving them to evacuate over 200 patients from their facility.  The articles of nurses manually pumping air into the lungs of premature babies in dark stairwells as they fled the building humbles me.  The effects of the storm were scary in the safety of my warm, dry, well-lit apartment, so I can’t even begin to imagine the adrenaline keeping those nurses from losing it while the tiniest of lives rested in their hands.  My admiration overflows.

The Medical Center is still without power, and George and I have been off work all week.  Under most circumstances, a spontaneous vacation is a dream, however, this situation doesn’t feel nearly as celebratory as one might think.  We hope to be back to work next week, but haven’t been given the green light just yet.

On the whole, New York City is a resilient beast and makes me proud to call her home.  I wish a speedy, painless recovery to the rest of the country affected by the storm, and say a thousand “thank you’s” to the medical teams and service men and women who helped us keep it together.

And thank you to my dear friend Kim (The Wanderlustee) for letting me steal a few of her photos from the aftermath of the storm.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alison November 1, 2012 at 6:11 am

I'm so glad that you, George and the doggies are well and safe.
The devastation breaks my heart.

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2 Jen November 1, 2012 at 8:23 am

I am so happy that you guys are safe and well! Praying for the city!

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3 Andrea November 1, 2012 at 8:44 am

I'm glad you are well. My heart hurts for NYC, but I know she is strong and never-waivering and will return to her hustle-and-bustling self sometime soon. xo

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4 mamamash November 1, 2012 at 9:45 am

I am glad you are safe. But NYC being what it is (and quite like Texas in some ways!) it will say a quick prayer, roll its eyes at the workload and just get to it.

When you do get back to work, if you get a chance to meet some of those nurses who brought those babies out of the darkness to safety, please give them a big ole' hug and tell them that they're my heroes.

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5 Tammi November 2, 2012 at 8:56 am

I am glad you and your family are safe! My hearts goes out to everyone effected by this storm!

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6 Alana K November 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Goodness. Glad you guys are safe. I finally heard from my cousins in Long Island and thankfully they're safe, but with some pretty bad damage to their home from a tree and their neighborhood is devastated. Thinking of everyone up there.

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7 Alan B. November 16, 2012 at 2:08 am

Great write up! A great first hand account. I am glad you were spare the brunt of the storm and made it through safely.

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