We were thinking about Sandy today as we started our yard clean up in preparation for the summer. The devastation of Sandy was far too great for most to actually fathom, even those of us who lived through it. We humans have this wonderful forget mechanism for traumatic events. While we had minimal damage at the doggietrail although we certainly suffered through Sandy.
These were some horribly blurry shots we took while Sandy was happening. We had already lost power and unprepared. We stared out our window watching our tall pine trees swaying like puny branches. Just waiting to see one of them fall at up through the window. As scary as it was, we couldn’t stay away from the window. As if we could stop it with our stares.
Our dopey asses did venture outside a few times to move cars around. We even shot some video which we lost. Stupid SD card error. It was miserable out there. We saw other flashlights in our neighbors’ yards and even one or two random cars.
The next day we surveyed our damage like so many others. Our neighbors above us had a bunch of trees fall in their backyard. One that crushed their above ground pool. Miraculously, the mass amount of water seemed to just float past us without damage.
As we expected one of our pine trees came down in our front yard. Luckily the tree behind it broke its fall and the tree just kissed the front of our house. We were really lucky. Of course that doesn’t make this any more pleasant to clean up.
Something amazing happened as we looked around our yard. People started to congregate in the street. Neighbors we never spoke to before were all outside chatting it up. It was very surreal. We got more information in that short gathering then we have since we’ve moved in. We also found out that there seemed to be no way out-of-town. Everyone swapped updates about roads they’ve tried. Trapped!
Clearly, that wouldn’t stop us all from continuing to try. We had no power, no supplies, no internet, and no cell phone service. We couldn’t even text. I might also add that our area is primary well water, which not only means no hot water, but no running water at all.
The day after Sandy hit, October 30th, we could not even reach the center of town. We snapped a few pictures as we circled over and over. We heard that this house was just recently purchased. Not only was it crushed, but so were both of their cars.
We drove under low hanging electric wires and around downed trees. We saw no signs of workers. We only saw the same civilian cars circling.
We saw homeowners with chainsaw removing trees from their cars, homes and the street.
The next two weeks became like an apocalyptic movie. Living without power was a hard life. I realized very quickly why people used to die at 30. They had to have been glad it was over! We spend all day preparing for the evening. Foraging for wood and water, chopping wood, cooking what we could on the grill while there was still light.
Lines of cars and people were everywhere by the time we were able to get out-of-town to areas that had power. Lines for gas were like parking lots. Police and emergency vehicles were there monitoring the lines.
Everyone had these rumor-like updates, “I hear there are no lines for gas in PA. They even have generators up there”. So we made a run up to Pennsylvania to try to get gas cans and gas. We were lucky enough to get gas but no dice on the cans or generator. There were lines and a number of gas stations had no gas. It really wasn’t much better. By this time the odd/even gas rations were in effect.
At night everything was dark and the moon and stars were blinding. The shot below is from moonrise, that is not the sun.
Driving at night was tough. We were busy lighting every single candle in the house, starting a fire and trying to keep warm.
The cats were even run down from the whole thing. We would burn the fire all through the night and all bundle up together on the couch. During the day when the fire was out, they would just snuggle in the blankets to keep warm.
As if everything was bad enough, we got hit with a lovely nor’easter on November 7th. At that point, spotting a utility vehicle was like seeing the ice-cream truck when you were a kid. “OMG! STOP! COME BACK!”
November 8th, ten days with no power… This was the very first time we spotted work being done in our area. And no, we didn’t get power that day. At this point, it seemed like most everyone already had power and continued on with their lives. Expecting that we too would be moving on and oddly having no sympathy for us. It was all sort of cruel at that point. I understand when people are sick of hearing complaints at that point, but that’s no reason to have no understanding for others.
The following day, day 11, we finally got power. I’d like to thank these gentlemen in the pictures above and below. Clearly, it was their hard work that got us back on. They stayed well past sunset working in that bucket. Thank you, I wish someone had dispatched you to us earlier.
I hope this brings back those fond memories of Sandy for you and helps you appreciate what you have and helps you be more sympathetic to others with less.