Friday, November 02, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

This past weekend we got a lot of rain and some gusty wind, compliments of Sandy. Overall, though, it barely touched us - we didn't lose power, nothing flooded, and the biggest causalty was a branch that fell on our garden, snapping one of the pepper plants in two. I was sad about the pepper, right up until the moment the storm hit New York and shit got real. 

My parents' street on Long Island.

My parents and youngest sister live on the south shore of Long Island; my middle sister lives in Harlem. I was worried about them, but figured they'd be okay. On Monday night, my youngest sister said she'd talked to our mom and that water was rising and they were thinking about sleeping it the attic. And then the power went out, the phone lines were dead, and cell reception was pretty much non-existent. I didn't hear anything for hours, kept getting a busy single when I called, had no idea if my parents' house had flooded, and was worried sick about my family.

My parents' front yard.

Finally, on Wednesday, my youngest sister managed to post some photos to Facebook. My other sister had gotten through to my parents very briefly - just long enough to find out they need a new roof and my mom was worried about her pre-wedding hair appointment (priorities...). They got power back yesterday afternoon (they're very lucky - hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders are still waiting) and my mom called me. The water didn't get in the house, but it did flood the garage and ruin a bunch of my dad's tools, including his beloved riding lawn mower. It flooded the crawl space under the house and destroyed the hot water heater. Huge swathes of shingles were torn from the roof. The backyard is a mess, and the street was flooded for days, but the water has finally receded, and they've started cleaning up. State troopers are guarding the streets and only allowing residents to enter, and there's a curfew. Scary stuff, but I'm just glad my family is okay. Too many others were not nearly so lucky.

After the storm.

I'm not posting this for any particular reason - I'm sure you've all heard a thousand stories from the storm, seen photos of the destruction daily since it hit - but I just wanted to share. Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes - these things happen, we can't stop them, and the best we can hope to do is hold on tight and cross our fingers. And after, we have to clean up, fix the things that are broken, replace the things we lost, and - most important - lend a hand to those who need it. If the Sandy hit you, I hope you're recovering. If you were lucky enough to be spared, I hope you're grateful. And if you have a family, or friends, or anyone that you love, make sure they know it. <3