I have made it out of one of the worst weather events my area has ever seen – Hurricane Sandy. We were all warned of potentially how bad this storm would be, but no one, not even government and weather officials, expected it to be as bad as it was. The last I read the damage was estimated to be between $30 billion to $50 billion, when it was originally thought to be $20 billion. But the cost on people’s lives has been way beyond a dollar amount. Lots of people have lost their homes, and some even lost their families. One woman in Staten Island was trying to rescue her two sons, 2 & 4, from rising flood waters from her car when she lost them due to the raging waters, and they still have not found those babies. I could not imagine going through that as a parent.
I live in Queens, and we got hit pretty hard, but that has become the norm in this area unfortunately. Breezy Point, a coastal area in Queens, had horrible flooding but yet a huge blaze took out 19 houses. Can you imagine that? You have your house, your LIFE burning while being filled with flood waters. Just unimaginable.
This is Seaside Heights at the Jersey Shore – it is completely decimated. My grandmother used to take me there all of the time in the summers when I would visit for a week or two and we would go walk on the boardwalk, go to casino pier with the amusement park rides, and go to the arcades to play skeeball. All of it is destroyed. If anything were to make me cry in all of this, it was seeing that picture. I feel like a big part of my childhood is gone, and a big connection to my grandmother (whom I consider the only grandparent I ever truly had) has vanished. Yes, they will rebuild, but it will never be the same.
As for me, I have been without power for what will be a week tomorrow. ConEd, the power company for most of the five boroughs of NYC, estimates I will not have power back until 10 or 11 November, if not longer. I had been shivering for three days straight since the storm, and the combination of having no heat, no power, and no hot water makes life beyond miserable to just downright inhuman. My Mom lives at the Jersey Shore, and she had power throughout the whole storm. I decided to head down by her for a hot shower and just basic heat. Literally fifteen minutes after my bus started heading her way, her power went out as well. You can’t make this stuff up. So my Mom and I toughed it out here, layering on multiple sweatshirts and terrycloth robes. We played I don’t know how many games of Yahtzee by candle light, and went to Dunkin’ Donuts by her house to get warm drinks and most of all charge up my phone. I at least have a radio app we could listen to, and just to be able to have some connection meant a lot. We talked to numerous people we met at our time there, and all of us came to the same conclusion: we are so thankful that we are even alive and still have our loved ones and homes, despite having no power and freezing. I have seen numerous people helping other people, from something as simple as a guy at Dunkin’ Donuts unplugging his cell phone so I can charge mine, to people taking in neighbours that do not have power so that they don’t freeze. It has been amazing how everyone has pulled together for everyone else, and we all have each other’s backs. This area has been through a lot, from 9/11 to this, but we are very resilient and we always pull through, stronger and better than ever. We are also so thankful for everyone’s help and prayers, they really do help at times like these. Although it may take a while, we will recover, better than ever.
To help Hurricane Sandy victims: Click here