Thursday, November 1, 2012

The lights go out in the city that never sleeps

As everyone is aware hurricane Sandy sent her wrath to NYC and exploded an electrical substation, on October 29, 2012, sending Manhattan, south of about 40th street into darkness. Our hotel, and the apartment we moved into today are both in this area. We are entering into the 4th day of no power, no Internet, no hot water, no heat, no subway, no cell service, no traffic lights, and no fresh food close by. Our well stocked emergency bag is at home but we did manage to pick up two headlamps, candles, snacks, etc. I wish we had our crank radio with us so we could stay in the loop! Everyone should keep a well stocked emergency bag, including three days of easy to prepare food. Check the Government of Canada's Get Prepared site, out for tips.

We are very very grateful we still have running water as some don't and we've seen people doing their laundry in fire hydrants! The day after the storm we took a 12 km walk and surveyed the damage. There were cars floating in an underground parking lot under the FDR over pass, uprooted trees, ripped off signs, destroyed fences and scaffolding, busted lawn furniture, garbage strewn about, and piles of debris including large hunks of wood from destroyed docks thrown up from the river.

We spend our days making the 3.5 km walk over the bridge to Williamsburg, and eat great vegan food at Food Swings, and Bad Burger. As well, there are lovely independent and vintage shops to browse. Today J lugged over our laundry to the closest working laundromat.

New Yorkers are a kind and resilient bunch! Folks are helping out neighbors, businesses are doing their best to be open with what they have, and every business we've been to, in other areas with power, have no problem with folks charging their phones etc. We've heard stories of people giving away free perishable food items. For us it is an uncomfortable inconvenience but for families, the elderly, and people trying to get to work it is much more serious. I fear with ongoing climate change extreme weather will become more common. A relevant article on the issue; It's Global Warming Stupid. Consider they ways we can individually make better choices to protect the environment and elect officials who will do the same.

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