Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Our experience PART TWO

The pictures and stories on the TV have left me with no words.
What Sandy has done to so many of my fellow New Yorkers is simply catastrophic.
It’s almost surreal as I look at the devastation downtown and knowing that is a short subway trip away. Seems like a world away at the same time. We are truly blessed here in the Upper West Side! Beside a few businesses that were closed it seemed life was almost back to normal.
As the time went on the division between our City became more and more evident. It was like a line was drawn in the sand. There were those of us that reside uptown who were able to continue as if very little had changed.  Then there were those who had reside downtown. They had to pack up and find some way to survive in a city that was increasingly getting dangerously cold and unlivable.
The TV coverage was totally and completely about life here after Sandy. The main channels were just broadcasting 24/7 what had happen and how New York was going to recover. It made me think a lot about what life would have been like here during 9/11.
As the hours and days went on more and more the devastation became evident it was just horrendous. 
The moment everyone was able to leave their apartments the community sprit just kicked in. Everyone and I mean everyone was trying to do their bit to try and help those not as fortunate. It’s been an overwhelming experience. Hugo and I have done the most we can do to donate to help.
This City has always amazed me and at some many different levels. This time I have been amazed by the sheer determination and strength of my fellow New Yorkers. They are a breed that never gives up even when they are hit with a storm that was so strong and powerful it blew a rollercoaster at Seaside Heights into the ocean.  
At the moment we have thousands of people in various areas of the Tri-State in refuges. We also have so many people in their homes without power.
And then to add salt to the wound two days ago we had another north easterly storm that brought 6-8 inches of snow! More people lost their power L

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hurricane Sandy! Our experience PART ONE

As I sit here about to start writing about the last 7 days I can still hear helicopters that are transporting goods to either Staten Island or the Rockaway’s.
Over a week ago we started getting the warnings about this so called super storm that was going to hit New York and New Jersey. I have to say that this being now our second hurricane here in Manhattan,  it did have that familiar ring to it.
This time around I felt there was not as much of a lead up as there was with Irene. When the storm was just a few days away the warning were loud and clear. Again the evacuation zones where clearly defined and the plan of action was put in place.
 I know many of us here in Manhattan where probably a little bit more relaxed this time around compared to last time with Irene. This was obviously the worse attitude to have.

Last Sunday was the last day to prepare!
 We had weeks ago planned to go out to a farm to go apple picking coincidentally on this “preparation Sunday”. It was the last weekend for the season so it was now or wait till next harvest season. We decided we would still go as we would have plenty of time to return and get indoors for the storm. We ended up having a great day although it was rather cool. I will include some photos later on.
We arrived back to what seemed a night like every other. The cafĂ©’s and bars were their usual bustle. There was no indication of the tragedy that was about to hit in less than 24 hours.
The next day school had been cancelled and Hugo had to work from home. His work had advised them to work from home as many employers had done. Parks were closed and businesses were closed as the subway and busses were also shut down. In retrospect it was what saved our mass transit system as the damaged that would have been done if they had not done this would have been catastrophic.
We decided to watch TV and do arts and crafts to entertain ourselves. At 3.00pm our fellow neighbors decided to have a get together in the lobby. Everyone was in the same situation and most of us with children which is extremely challenging in small apartments.  We had a great time and the kids had a ball. Little did we know of the devastation that was about to hit this tri state area.
The girls went to bed and were excited as they had now cancelled school on Tuesday too. At no stage did my girls understand the severity of this storm. Hugo and I are very careful how we allow them to learn about issues that may be traumatizing.  We are both very adamant that children really need to be protected from the way they learn and process potitially danagerous situations.
We also during the week had the traumatic news about the Nanny that murdered the two children she cared for. The eldest child was a pupil of my daughter’s school so again we have had to deal with such trauma.

Hugo and I stayed up and I have to say it felt like any other night. It was almost surreal to be watching TV and listening to what was happening around us.
I finally went to be around 1.00pm however found it very difficult to sleep with the howling of the wind I could hear outside.. I did start to feel a bit scared. I also expected to lose power shortly as I was aware of all the power cuts downtown. It was going to be inevitable.
Eventually morning arrived and we all woke up like any other morning.  I quickly got up to see if the power had been lost and to my relief it was still on. I turned on the TV and it was at the moment I realized the absolute worst case scenario they had talked about was a reality. It honestly felt like we were living in a movie such as Armageddon or something.

Pumpkins galore!

Corn fields

Mummy and Annika on a Haystack ride!