The Early Morning in Park Slope After Sandy
A few hours of sleep and then it was time for an update on the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Sandy’s landfall in New York City. The wind gusts are still fierce on Third Street; the trees sway violently. From my windows it looks like Park Slope made it through the storm very well. The same, of course, cannot be said for areas close by…
Walking though the apartment I see signs of yesterday’s panic/preparedness. The stove top is covered with pots filled with water. On the countertops are pitchers of water. The bathtub is filled with water.
The dining room table is covered with flashlights and batteries. A Scrabble board with tiles of a game played last night next to a thousand jigsaw puzzle pieces, an image of Marilyn Monroe coming into view.
The refrigerator is filled with food; our rain boots and foul weather gear are at the ready by the front door. We never got around to creating “Go Bags” but I don’t think we’ll be needing them now anyway.
On the TV, a flooded Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, a dark Manhattan, a crane dangling from atop a NYC high rise under construction. New Jersey looks hard hit, weathermen and women describe weather conditions to come. More than 600,000 are without power in NYC and Westchester.
Before sunrise it’s hard to even know how bad the devestation. The Gowanus just a few blocks away flooded familiar streets near our home. Park Slope may have averted disaster but Manhattan, especially below 34th Street, wasn’t so lucky.
Shock. Pain. Incredulity. A native New Yorker I don’t remember a situation like this before. 9/11 comes to mind as a similarly disorienting and traumatic event. We know from that experience that we can pull together, that we are resilient, that we will get through this.
Remember: this too shall pass—with a great deal of hard work on behalf of rescue workers who evoke our gratitude. But all of us will have to find a way to help those in need and muster our strength to get through this anomalous and disorienting situation.