DAY 1 – MONDAY
As Sandy was scheduled to make landfall at 8:30pm, our apartment lights began to sporadically flicker at around 4pm as winds picked up. It started to rain around 5pm, and that’s when we began to frantically cook and reheat as much food as we could in lieu of the possibility of losing power. As the night went on, many of our friends slowly lost power, and many reports were surfacing that flood waters had entered downtown Manhattan.
DAY 2 – TUESDAY
By the grace of God, we went unscathed, but other parts of the city weren’t as fortunate. Lower Manhattan below 34th street lost power, NYU Medical Center’s generators were damaged and forced a complete evacuation, there was a huge fire in Staten Island that destroyed over 100 houses, many houses in Far Rockaway were flooded and ruined, and Long Beach and numerous parts of New Jersey were hit very hard.
I didn’t think Bloomberg would call it, but because many subway tunnels were flooded which prompted a system shutdown, school was canceled the next day and consequently for the entire week.
DAY 3 – WEDNESDAY
I was off, but my wife wasn’t, so I drove her and a friend into Manhattan. Of course, with the subway and midtown tunnel closed, millions of other people were forced to drive into the city as well and take the 59th Street Bridge which caused one of the worst traffic jams in city history (next to the Queens tornado of 2010). Thankfully, we had the guts to veer off and take the BQE into Brooklyn and cross over the Willaimsburg Bridge as no one was headed in that direction because the power was out, and then we were able to race up 1st Ave to get to 68th & York in 45 minutes because there weren’t any traffic lights below 34th. It was certainly the right call and much better than the 3-4 hour drive through Long Island City.
However, I didn’t fare as well later that day as I returned to pick up the wife from work. I foolishly took the 59th Street Bridge as I was deceived by an empty LIE and no updates from 1010 Wins. I ended up taking the upper level, which was even worse, but I was still able to meet and take the wife home.
DAY 4 – THURSDAY
Limited local trains were now running into Manhattan and in light of the doomsday traffic, Bloomberg enacted a 3-person HOV policy for all river crossings. Coupled with our car being low on gas, the wife was able to find a ride with a co-worker and used the same entry point as we did the previous day into Manhattan. The subway proved to be good, but not entirely as they were packed and there were long lines on the return trip home. I had the bright idea of searching for gas that morning, but came up empty as I drove all around Forest Hills, Rego Park, and parts of Metropolitan Ave. A total waste of time and previous gas. I didn’t do much for the rest of the day as I just stayed home and took care of CJ. He’s growing and learning new things each week as he’s taken on the ability to turn pages of books all by himself. This is something that frustrated him for a while as he always needed someone to turn the pages for him, but now he can do it himself which is so cute as he tries to act intellectual.
DAY 5 – FRIDAY
The wife was able to find another ride into work, but this time I had to drive her to meet this friend in Briarwood. Not a problem, but we had to wake up and take CJ with us at 5:15am and as the wife got out of the car, CJ’s cute antler hat accidently fell onto the street. I didn’t notice until I returned home with CJ and my wife texted me back saying that she was holding the hat on her lap and it might have fallen out as she exited our car. Both of us were saddened as it’s such a cute hat that my sister altered so that it could fit snuggly on CJ. I was going to return and search for it after my mother in-law arrived at 9am so that I could go to work, but CJ wouldn’t fall back to sleep so we got back in the car and it was right where the wife said it would be. As I drove along Queens Blvd that morning, I saw long lines of cars parked with drivers sleeping and waiting for gas stations to refuel and open up. Lines of 6 blocks and over a mile were the norm everywhere. It was pretty brutal and eerily similar to a zombie apocalypse.
So although the kiddies had off, teachers had to report back to work. I took the F train at 9:30am and it was packed. I was tasked with creating a geometry midterm for the course, but it was great reconnecting with coworkers and hearing their stories. We still have a fifth of a tank of gas remaining, so I was able to pick up the wife on the other side of the 59th Street Bridge after she walked over, but ironically Bloomberg lifted the 3-person HOV requirement at 5pm, right when I picked her up.
This week was quite an ordeal, so that’s why I wanted to document it. I’ll write about my reflections in the next post.