Tuesday, November 20, 2012

After Super Storm Sandy

Although 'Sandy' hit New York City 3 weeks ago, many areas are still dealing with the aftermath and devastation caused by this super storm.  It will take a long time for the hardest hit areas to rebuild and make a full recovery.

I was extremely lucky as we were largely unaffected by the storm.  We were still living downtown at the time and our building lost power the night of the storm.  We were due to move back uptown that week, so decided to go early as we discovered that building had power and water.

We had no idea how we would get uptown and were expecting to walk the whole way.  We walked down 12 flights of stairs in the dark (I was very thankful we weren't on a higher floor!) and found it to  be eerily quiet once we got outside.  Although there were lots of people walking around, it was strangely still and absent of the usual New York City sounds.  There was a very strong police presence on the streets which was comforting.

As we started walking uptown it began to rain again and we thought we would be in for a long wet walk.  Then, completely out of no where, a taxi pulled into the street just as my husband turned around and we managed to hail it down!  I could not believe our luck.

As we drove up you could see the damage caused by the storm, peoples' businesses were completely flooded and ruined, there was debris and rubbish everywhere.  You could see how high the water had risen from the water marks left on the buildings.  It was like something from a disaster movie.

As we got further uptown the power was on and I couldn't believe the scene compared to what we had just left.  Uptown restaurants and shops were open and people were queueing for brunch!  There were many fallen trees, but apart from that the neighbourhood was almost untouched by the storm.  Central Park had taken a hard hit, but it was nothing compared to other areas of the city.

When we got home we were able to see how other areas had been affected by the storm.  It was terrible to see how many people had lost their homes and belongings.  I felt guilty having a hot shower that evening as I knew what others would be facing.

I watched the coverage of the aftermath on the news constantly for the next week.  It shocked me that so much damage was done and how complete areas had been obliterated.  You could have been looking at scenes from a war rather than a modern day NYC.

Everyday I watch how people are rebuilding their lives after the storm and greatly admire their strength.   It will take time for the city to recover from 'Sandy', but I am getting a sense of the New York spirit and that no matter what, New Yorkers will overcome anything.