A Fool's Sandy Report
Board: Macro Economics
qazulight seems to think my perspective will be valuable. I think maybe not, as I'm kind of close to the trees and cannot properly see the forest. But I'll go on his suggestion, anyway.
Saturday everybody with any sense was already gearing up. My son was at my parents' apartment, which is right on the water just north of the Verrazano Bridge on Staten Island, staying overnight. I wasn't entirely happy about this but he and they insisted, and I gave in, feeling that it wouldn't be an issue this early anyway. On the way back I filled up the gas tank at kind of a long line. That day they announced that the NYC Specialized High School Admissions Test was cancelled, which relieved my son no end. The schools haven't opened back up yet; they're saying maybe next Monday.
Sunday it started to blow, but nothing serious yet. My parents' power went out at 3 pm and they decided to bring my kid home; they also lost water at that time, since it's pumped up the building. Still no problems on my end, and I suggested they should stay with me. They, stubborn and maybe a little tetched, went back to their apartment building, insisting that it was 23 feet above sea level and they'd be fine. Incidentally, they live in NYC evac zone 3 (unlikely), but they're just across the street from zone 1 (guarandamnteed).
Monday, the hard stuff hit. I am on a hill pretty far inland on Staten Island. We never lost water or gas; we're very lucky. We didn't lose power until Monday afternoon sometime. Phone went out at the same time - and we do have a Verizon landline, just in case. Cell and internet went out a little bit later, but not before they called my husband a couplethree times to come to work (he's a nurse) - too late; the bridges were closed. Monday night the house shook with the wind, but we didn't even lose a shingle. I want to be really clear about this: we are pretty much the luckiest people I know. This town is essentially broken, but we came through without a damn scratch, except for the inconvenience. I still can't even believe it.
Before the power went out, I could see on the internet and TV what everybody could see: low lying areas in Brooklyn and Queens already flooded, including LaGuardia and the safety zone outside the runways at JFK; East and Hudson Rivers up over their banks; and (worst) Breezy Point burning. I don't know what to say about all that. I never saw such a dreadful fire.
That day our new dog took sick. We adopted him Wednesday, he was neutered on Thursday and came home on Friday. By Monday he was showing post-op infection, and by nightfall his scrotum was really bad, swollen and hot, and he was febrile. We gave him some Levaquin (DH is a nurse and just kind of had some around) and went to bed.
Tuesday the dog was worse, and the storm had hit overnight, mostly in the small hours. We had no phone or power. We set out driving to find a vet. Four hours later we concluded that the island was pretty much closed for the duration. Our vet is about two blocks from the water; the road was open, but soggy broken wood debris - not treefall, more like broken piers or pilings - was all over the place, and there was watermarking on the side of the building about two feet up. A quarter mile away from his storefront, there was a ship - a really big ship, I mean, not a cargo carrier, but something not much smaller - run aground down near the old Navy Homeport. Most roads were open, but the bridges were still closed, and some roads were blocked by trees. We encountered no flooding that we couldn't pass, but didn't venture down to the south shore, say New Dorp and southward, where I understand things are very much worse.
By Tuesday evening they opened the bridges, and we found an emergency vet in Brooklyn. They took the pup overnight. We still had no power. We never lost gas or water, and we cooked up what was left in the fridge that night, bagged it, and put it back in with the water bottles we'd stuck in there on Sunday. Turns out pretty much nothing spoiled.
We picked up our dog yesterday and he looks to be pulling through. I was really worried he might go septic. Meanwhile there are literally half mile lines at the gas stations where there's gas and power to pump it, and the cops are enforcing order on those lines. Nothing on the commercial strip is powered, including the supermarket, but two miles west there's power - and the chick at the Boston Market where I got our dinner told me they were about to run out of food because the delivery truck hadn't made it.
Yesterday night the trick-or-treaters came out. I couldn't even believe it, but there they were. I ordered my candy from Amazon, and of course they couldn't deliver on time. Luckily I'd bought coupons for free Junior Frostys at Wendy's the week before, and I had a big box of loose novelty toys left over from when the teenager was younger and I used to make goody bags for his birthday parties. I did all right - maybe I was even one of the good houses; those toys were pretty decent, for Halloween crap. The power had come on sometime that afternoon, was off again for a while, then back to stay. Cellular came back around the same time; internet only came back today. Time Warner Cable's branch here is in a low lying area.
Today I called my partner at the dojo and asked if we were going to open. He said not; his house is under, first floor, and his family's three cars are all a dead loss. He doesn't have power yet, since his box was shorted. Neither do my parents, though they've got water now - I don't understand how they have one and not the other. The whole east and south shore of the island probably won't be up for at least another week. I haven't gone out to the west shore but I hear rumors that the highway was underwater over there.
My house and family are fine. I still can't believe it. Everywhere around us looks like serious disaster. A tree limb fell in the next door neighbor's yard, with no damage or injury. I don't know how we got away with it. I can't understand how I can be so lucky in the middle of such really, really awful times. It scares me a little.
I'm pretty much out of story. If anybody has any questions I'll do my best to answer.