Weathering Superstorm Sandy in Brooklyn

Following Saturday’s pumpkin picking and painting festivities, Mylo got sick. We were home bound with a fever-stricken child on the cusp of Superstorm Sandy, which was expected to hit the New York City area hard.

Sunday was business as usual in our house. Doing laundry coupled with watching football. When the storm projections became more serious we picked up some essentials from the grocery store and from the drugstore. I’ll admit, the lines out the door and the near-empty shelves had me a tad nervous. But the day rolled on… until Mayor Bloomberg terminated the NYC transit system. My husband was even told not to show up to work – this coming from a boss who rented a van and picked up all his employees during Hurricane Irene last year.

Our deck furniture all battened down!

Monday felt like the longest day ever. We hunkered down with Mylo who was on the mend. We didn’t take our eyes off the news coverage. We took the dogs for quick walks despite the hard winds and constant mist of rain. Luckily, my friend Scott lives upstairs with his wife and a toddler of their own, so when we got real stir crazy, they came over. We drank wine, played with the kids and waited out the storm. Together.

I communicated with my parents on Long Island up until about 5pm.

A mutual friend of mine and Scott’s who lives close to the water in DUMBO was evacuated by the NYC Fire Department after the lobby of his building began to fill with water. The transistors in the basement of the building across the way from them caught on fire. Chris, his girlfriend Julie and their dog, hitched a ride up the hill to our place.

We eventually put the kids to bed and then the “real” Sandy soiree began!

A few bottles of wine, a really good bottle of champagne and some 18 martinis later, we were having a blast. Other than the lights flickering a few times and the loss of TV and Internet, you wouldn’t have known their was a full-fledged hurricane happening right outside. Probably the only pain we felt from Sandy was a hangover the next day.

Friends since kindergarten and the seventh grade!

The morning after Sandy it was eerily quiet out on the streets. There were fallen trees as far as my eyes could see. Sirens wailed in the distance. Normally where there are cars, people were walking in the middle of the street. When we arrived at the bagel place on Court St. we found its massive awning laying in the middle of the street and the doors boarded closed.

Hurricane Sandy's aftermath on Bergen St.

After our unsuccessful bagel trip, we *tried* to get a table at the diner – turns out one of the few places open in our neighborhood – across the street. Just to put things into perspective a little: On a typical day, this diner has a few tables occupied at a time. The morning after Sandy, it was standing room only. When Jason told the host we were six adults and two kids, he pretty much turned us down on the spot and advised him to not bother waiting. Ahh, if only I had the time to write THAT up on Yelp!

Mylo and Olivia walking to the diner the morning after Sandy.

While Monday felt like the longest day ever as we waited and waited for Sandy to make landfall, Tuesday, which was largely spent trying to connect with family, felt even longer. Neither me, Scott or Chris, who’s parents weathered the storm in our hometown, could reach any of them. Jason also lost touch with his father in Westchester.

I didn’t hear from my folks until Wednesday, a whole two days after the storm. They lost power, had a ton of downed trees in their yard pulling down power lines, and had to drive around town just to find an unreliable cell phone connection. And then came the mile-long lines for gasoline to fill their generator. They likened my safe, hilly, waterfront town with no traffic lights, road detours and tons of downed trees to that of a “war zone.”

Superstorm Sandy nailed some and not others. We were virtually unaffected by it while my folks have been royally stressed and inconvenienced by it. But there are others whose lives have been forever changed by the storm. When I really think about it, I am grateful. Beyond grateful.

 

 

 

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