Friday, November 2, 2012

The Aftermath of Sandy

We were among the lucky ones who rode out the storm without any serious loss.  We were without power from Monday evening through sometime Thursday.  I was at work when the power was restored so don't really know the timing.  We are still without phone and internet service ... funny how such things seem like necessities until you put them in proper perspective.  We are all safe.  We suffered no real property damage.  The yard was a mess of fallen leaves and fallen branches varying from as thick as a pencil to as thick as my arm but no damage was done.  We are so much better off than many.  My heart aches for those folks out in Breezy Point, Queens: a whole neighborhood destroyed, 100 homes burned to the ground.  I knew that area well as a child since my parents had friends who had a cabana at Breezy Point and frequently invited us to the join them at the beach.  It was a neighborhood of firemen and police officers with several generations of the same families buying homes within blocks of one another.  It was a tightly knit community and still is, with folks vowing to rebuild as soon as possible.  The Hamilton Beach, Queens neighborhood where my grandparents lived is still underwater.  The beaches in Rockaway and Riis Point that I frequented as a teenager are unrecognizable.  My husband's Manhattan office tower had three large plate glass windows blow out but no shattered glass was found on the street.  One can only assume that the heavy windows were literally lifted into the air and carried off to God knows where.

We heard from my son and daughter within a day of the heaviest hit.  My daughter was okay: her apartment building is on a hill in her Morristown neighborhood but she says that all around her is devastation, flood waters came right to the bottom of her hill.  Still, I worry about her since she is caring for her elderly beagle, whom she rescued from a roadside some 16 years ago.  The beagle, Shenny, is in the final stages of terminal kidney disease and has been brought home to die peacefully.  My daughter is a vet tech and is giving poor Shenny the canine equivalent of hospice care at home.  Shenny was probably 6 -8 years old at the time of the rescue and has had a long and very happy life with my daughter.  But I know Ange will be heart-broken when Shenny finally passes. My son didn't experience any flooding since the authorities in his New City neighborhood had the foresight to open the sluices on the dam on the lake at the foot of his street.  They had the lake bed half empty in preparation for the storm.  Commuting has been treacherous with no street lights or traffic lights for several days but those began to be restored Tuesday night into Wednesday along the major roads.  I was unable to contact my Mom for several days since her phone was out and she doesn't have a cell. and I can't help but wonder about my Aunt and Uncle and cousins on Long Island.  My very friendly local banker lost the roof to her house and was joking about how she is always admonishing her 'can-we-keep-up-with-the-Jones' kids, "Just be grateful you have a roof over your heads!"  She wonders, "Now, what am I supposed to tell them?"  That kind of humor in the face of adversity is admirable.

There are pockets of flooding around town ... after all, we are right on the Hudson River.  But even these areas are slowly draining.


Vickie said...

I have been praying for you and your family Riona. I am so glad everyone is safe and healthy.
What do you know? I am/was a vet tech too. There is one college in Wisconsin for this degree.

Susieq said...

Very glad you made it through without too much damage. I live in Illliois where we get tornadoes, and have been lucky enough not to have had any damage from the couple I have been through, so I know you do count your blessings after something mother nature conjures up for us.

Kay said...

In England we just cannot believe all that has happened. We are praying for you.

Anna van Schurman said...

Thinking of you.

Brigitte said...

It must have been such a relief to know that there's no major damage to your home and that you and your family made it through the storm safely. We rarely have such storms over here, the last one was about 15 years ago when wide parts of the woods were completely distroyed.