Hurricane Sandy – as of Friday afternoon, November 2, 2012
Over last weekend, a storm of historic proportions battered the Northeastern U.S.. The following is a consolidation of posts I’ve made to Facebook and Twitter as I’ve seen the situation go down hour by hour from Queens and Manhattan, NYC –
Thousands of pictures of heartbreak and destruction are emerging, and the losses are great. The situation is very fragile and a lot of people are going need help over the coming days and weeks. Here are some resources for volunteering (These are NY-centric; New Jersey badly needs assistance also!)
A site specific to the Rockaways – a resource for volunteers and those needing help: http://rockawayhelp.com
By all accounts I’ve heard, OccupySandy has been doing an excellent job getting into areas and helping in ways that conventional relief agencies have been unable to:
Check out the site if you need help, or can provide it: http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/
If you are in need of food and water, here’s a list of distribution areas: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/11/01/nyc-announces-locations-for-food-and-water-distribution/ . As of today, many food carts are giving away meals, and I’ve witnessed many acts of generosity.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
– Hype=Viewership=$. Still – this is the same exact setup and at the same time of year (almost to the day) as the 1991 “Perfect Storm”, which was absolutely no joke. (Hell, they made a movie about it)
– I have never smelled this city so laden with the scent of the sea. And I’m 5 miles or so inland. I love it. I think it’s because the sea is being whipped up and the advance edge of the storm is pushing the air inward. There’s definitely a charge before every storm. It’s slightly different every time.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
-Today the charge is more like the precursor to a winter storm. A chill. The winds have become cyclonic and are pulling chilly air from the Nor’east. At the moment it’s supposed to make landfall on the Jersey Shore (24 hours from now!) between Atlantic City and Tom’s River. But with this projection, a lot of wind and water is going to be forced onto LI and into NY harbor. Storms surges in excess of 10 feet are possible for the Battery. I did most of my shopping yesterday thankfully, but ran out today for a few extra things and it’s a mob scene. It’s funny to see what people think they can’t live without for a few days. The biggest thing is that the storm is lumbering along so slowly that conditions will be elevated from now until Tuesday morning, with the brunt tomorrow afternoon. Which is a lot of time for water build up.
-Damn, this storm is mammoth. Largest diameter ever recorded in the Atlantic. The wind is already getting stiff here and the center is still off the Carolinas.
-HOLY! Someone is leaf-blowing outside. I can’t imagine a more Sisyphean task right now!
Monday, October 29, 2012
-A good summary of pics from around the city as of this morning. Lots of flooding already.
-Schools closed again tomorrow; also the New York Stock Exchange (the last time the market was closed for weather for two consecutive days was during the legendary Blizzard of 1888). The Battery and Holland tunnels are being closed, the Jersey Shore is being pummeled. Incredibly the storm’s winds have increased as it moves north, munching off the Gulf Stream. I went out around 830am and the wind was already vicious at times. And the brunt is still many hours away. Stay safe!
-Crane collapse in Midtown, and the East River is breaching into the UES and the FDR Drive.
-One of the lowest barometric pressures ever recorded in the Atlantic, unprecendented storm surges, 1500 miles wide diameter of intense storm conditions. And now it’s becoming a winter nor’easter type hybrid with snow on the back end in the Appalachians. Basically the most powerful storm to hit the Eastern Seaboard in recorded history, I’d posit. (edit – I have to fact check this)
-Brooklyn waterfront near the Manhattan Bridge: http://youtu.be/jNYLvuBRFUQ
-From the National Hurricane Center: “Atlantic City is under water. The boardwalk is in the street”.
-7 bridges in the metro area to close in 50 minutes. Surge all the way up the Hudson to at least Tarrytown. And the horrifically toxic Gowanus Canal is overflowing. Atlantic City is half underwater and the boardwalk’s been washed out in spots.
-The Queens-Midtown Tunnel is now the only land passage between LI/Brooklyn/Queens, and the mainland. And water is coming up in the East Village.
-Avenue C, Manhattan, between 10th and 11th Streets:
-Just keeps getting worse and worse – Ave. C at 20th Street, Manhattan:
-Power outages and now reports of 4 feet of water in the East River subway tunnels. This city is getting a historic beating. http://gothamist.com/2012/10/29/photos_cars_are_floating_through_fl.php
-Seems like there was an explosion in the 14th Street Con Ed plant. A huge swath of Manhattan is blacked out. Window panes are flying off of 30 Rock and the Empire State supposedly on generator power. All bridges and tunnels are closed and the subways are flooding. Scattered reports of building collapses. Given the developments of the last few hours, I can say with confidence that, in recorded history, no storm like this has ever hit the city. That’s 400 years. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-10-29/postcards-underwater-new-york
-The Lower East Side:
-NYU hospital is being evacuated. Highest winds on Long Island hit registered around 95mph.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
-According to preliminary assessment, it may take up to 4 days to pump out the East River subway tunnels. Pretty obvious, but the MTA now says it has never suffered a disaster of this proportion. Meanwhile, reports say a buoy in NY harbor recorded a 32 ft wave.
-Coney Island is underwater, there are fires and floods in the Rockaways. Lower Manhattan, including the WTC have major flooding. Ships washed ashore on Staten Island. Extensive damage up and down the coast. Search and Rescue is underway, with many out of state and federal responders. Manhattan and much of the city will remain dark for the foreseeable future. The surge in the city last night temporarily restored the pre-Colonial, pre-landfill, waterline.
-Just saw some footage of a twisted Jersey Shore roller coaster, and apparently, 24 train cars washed onto the northern NJ Turnpike. The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is filled to the brim:
-So I guess a lot of us have to get reacquainted with our neighborhoods. Looks like the subway will be out for at least 3-4 days. Buses may be be back tomorrow. Most importantly, hope everyone is, and stays, safe. Hopefully, NY can keep its cool over the rest of the week. Cabin crazy is a particularly virulent form of crazy.
-People are stuck on rooftops and neighborhoods are wrecked beyond recognition. Now that the emergency has passed, sad images and situations are emerging:
-The shoreline got clobbered all over. Manhattan is still without power below 34th Street, except in spots. Which is worrisome because food will be getting scarcer and people are getting stir crazy. No Red Cross on scene apparently and all the while the financial sector is just ignoring this whole thing and getting back to throwing billions around.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
-Hundreds of thousands are still without power below 39th Street to the Battery. A huge swath. Apparently it’s hard to find stores that are open, including supermarkets. No elevators, of course…. No timeline for restoration, no subways… http://gothamist.com/2012/10/31/outrage_in_the_powerless_zone_a_dis.php
-Red Hook Fairway is giving away perishables. Grocers in your neighborhood might be also if you’re in need. (in the end Fairway did not give away food, though I heard that other markets were)
-Manhattan south of 34th Street will still be without power for sometime (again, a huge chunk). They’ve cleared 3 of the 7 subway tunnels under the river, so limited service will resume tomorrow, but only to 34th Street from the north, and Downtown Brooklyn from the south. Many lines will still be down, even in the outer boroughs. MTA subway details for tomorrow: www.mta.info/sites/default/files/pdf/HurricaneRecoveryMapOct312012.pdf All fares on all MTA transit (including LIRR and Metro North) will be waived through Friday. Also, there’s a 3 person/car minimum to cross the lower East River bridges in effect
-The power-less are keeping it together it seems. Though surely much food had spoiled and local business is at a standstill. The coast got hit very badly. Reports of some looting in the Rockaways and Coney Island. The Jersey Shore is decimated. 20 ft. surf and roller coasters in the ocean: http://gothamist.com/2012/10/31/photos_sandy-decimated_new_jersey_s.php Thursday, November 1, 2012
-Eerie to stand in front of the Flatiron Building and only hear the click of my camera. Also weird to have to cross 23rd like its a suburban highway. There exist 2 cities right now divided by 34th st. One carrying on like nothing happened, and the other shuttered in darkness.
-Power trucks from around the country are assembled in a dead quiet Union Square. I’ve never seen Canal Street and Chinatown so serene.
Friday, November 2, 2012
-The National Guard has been giving out meals, and today some food carts are following suit. Con Ed is giving out ice, and expects power to be restored tomorrow or Sunday. Things are getting a bit more ragged, especially along the beachfront. Some areas are really in dire straits, and by some accounts the relief efforts are slow in coming. Staten Island suffered the majority of the death toll.
-The NYC marathon is up in the air; some runners are calling for competitors to ditch the race and help out.
-Thousands of photos like these are emerging. Devastation: http://gothamist.com/2012/11/01/photos_haunting_photos_of_the_rocka.php
-Right now, it’s secondary to those in immediate need, but almost every single business below 34th St is closed. In fact, it took me 2 hours to find coffee. The rare shop that is open is a novel experience – it’s rather pleasant to peruse the shelves with no light other than that of the windows or candles. But it’s really hurting the mom-and-pop businesses that dominate the city’s local economy. Chelsea, Union Square, Flatiron, Greenwich Village, the East Village, the Lower East Side, Chinatown, Tribeca, Soho, South Street Seaport – all closed down. It’s extraordinary. With no traffic lights, it’s pretty amazing how cars are flowing below 34th Street. Lots of courtesy, occasional confusion, but it seems both the pedestrian and the driver are in sync – everyone’s going on instinct
-Here’s a list of National Guard/city/FEMA food distribution areas: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/11/01/nyc-announces-locations-for-food-and-water-distribution/ I hear the lines are really long; you might find some alternatives – I’ve seen lots of generosity.