I'm sitting here in Long Island NY, again thinking about the last week or so. I posted a thread the day after Sandy made her debut and talked about
some of the experiences I had
, and I thought I'd share a bit more for some of the folks that are
It seems like it has been so long since Sandy made tracks, every day is so different from the day before. I don't think if you asked one person on
this island where he will be tomorrow or what he will be doing you'd get a straight answer. More than likely you'll get a blank stare... On top of
all of the craziness from the last few days, now Athena is bearing down on us with a vengeance that nobody could have imagined.
I just returned from driving my four year old daughter home to her mothers house. It's apocalyptic out there! There is four inches of snow in the
streets already and the Noreaster has not even landed yet. The people of NY are frazzled to the core and driving around hysterical. It's not going to
be good for us...
Let me start by updating from the last few days for those of you who participated in my last thread and wanted updates. I work with a great team of
guys who are from all over the island, each of whom has had a different experience. Nobody really can focus on work these days as there seems to be a
need by everyone to sort of decompress or something and it seems like all we do is talk about what has happened. We are very fortunate to have a
company that has allowed us all to come and go as we please and get paid for working even though not much has really been getting done.
I'll start by telling my part. I work for a solar contractor. The first day I went to work, me and my partner went to the house we had been working
at and when we pulled onto the street it was like we had drove into a different world. This particular neighborhood had not a branch that was broken.
Every tree was perfectly manicured, all the grass was not a blade out of place, yet two out of every three trees was gently laid on it's side.
Beautiful mounds of trimmed grass with exposed roots underneath, Blue spruce that were leaning at 45 degree angles, it was amazing. It gave the
impression that one could just lean them all back up straight and everything would be fine. Not like most of the broken and mangled neighborhoods that
I had driven through to get there. The house that we had been working on was perfectly untouched though, The sun seemed to be shining on it alone and
we went to work. Towards the end of the day the buildings department inspector drove by and stopped and got out of his car. He walked up into the yard
just as we happened to be coming down off of the roof. "How ya doin" he said. "What the hell are you doing out here! Go home!" he said. "There is
no power! no cell service! God forbid someone got hurt, no one would respond even if a 911 call did go through!"
As we drove out of the neighborhood, I nodded my head and looked at Johnny and agreed "Yeah maybe it was a bit stupid." as I looked around at all
the beautiful trees that seemed to be taking naps.
There had been Crews working up in their cherry pickers at both ends of the neighborhood trying to restore power. We might have been knocked off the
roof by some kind of explosion if a mainline blew or something. The house still does not have power BTW and we haven't been back since.
I am one of the lucky ones though. My power was restored by Tuesday. I keep thinking it has something to do with the two little old Catholic ladies
that came by this summer asking for donations for ST. Gerard. It took me by surprise because I couldn't see their heads through my door window when I
looked out. They were so tiny and I couldn't understand a word they said, but I gave them the 10 dollar bill I had in my pocket. My street seems
untouched and I really think that LIPA turned the power off for some reason, to keep from having problems later maybe.
My other partner Greg wasn't so lucky. He's big into surfing and lives in long beach. Actually all of his family lives there. He was lucky enough to
park his truck on a high spot and still has it. His house and everything in it went into the drink. One of his aunts was chopped out of her attic. His
other aunt and uncle had to jump off of their roof into the bucket of a front end loader and carried to safety above the waves and still to this day
they have no idea who the guy was or where he came from. One of his brothers lost his whole house and has a three week old baby, another lost his
house and has a baby do next week. There are one bedrooms in the area with eight people sleeping on the floors. Greg tells me of streets lined with
garbage, furniture sheetrock rippings, and sand, bonfires and smokehouses that have brought all of their smokers out into the yard and smoked
everything that they had and fed whole sides of town. Greg has spent most of these last days pumping sewage out of peoples basements, most of which
have no idea who he is or what he is doing. Sometimes they come up to him and ask, when he's half way through, 'Who are you again, what are you
doing?" Greg has only been to work twice since the hurricane, but when he is there, all he can do is talk about his experience. All day long. It's
as if he has to retrace his steps and repeat everything he has done and seen to prove to himself that it is real... His family has pulled together and
are working as a team though.
There is no gas! What little can be had goes to people in great lines. One out of twenty stations at a time all over the island. Lines are 250 strong
and they may run out at any time. People line up at gas stations that are closed! You could get into a line if you're not smart and find that it goes
nowhere! The few people who were smart enough to fill up before the storm and conserve it are just now starting to come out of the woodworks as well.
I have seen guys sitting in front of a pump that was closed and they have been there for THREE days. Gas stations everywhere are filled with abandoned
cars that drove in on E and the owners left them. Cars by the side of the street abandoned by people from Brooklyn and Queens who heard on the news
that there was gas in Nassau County. They drove around looking for these places only to run out of gas.
On the other hand I could tell of countless experiences of compassion and humanity out there as well. I have had a house full. The few friends that I
have outside of work have all crashed for a day or two at a time at my place and enjoyed the lights, hot food and internet. My daughter is in hog
heaven along with most of the other kids around here who have played endless hours of board games, spent days on end with their friends, completely
forgotten school and what not. It's been a vacation for the youngsters. It's the grown ups that can't handle the subtle differences in the
lifestyle of Sandy's aftermath.
After all this and so much more we are handed Athena! The goddess of war and housekeeping!!! It's ironic. Who the hell gave this storm a name, and
that name to boot. Power outages again all over the place, exhausted unexpecting drivers on their way home caught in this crazy blizzard. It all seems
like some sort of gross punishment. Me and my girlfriend were joking today and said that they should have named the storm Karma Clown...
Good luck to all those out in it, stay safe and warm,
Take care of yourselves...