October 30, 2012

Hurricane Update Edition!

Posted in life at 2:27 pm by otherdeb

Yep.  Sheepshead Bay was in the path of Hurricane Sandy, if only peripherally. My block is one block into Zone B, so we did not have to evacuate, unlike those in Zone A.  We found this out during Hurricane Irene last year.  So we stocked up supplies to last for a few days without access to a grocery store, and hunkered down.

I spent much of the time on the computer, checking in with people to see if they were okay.  When I wasn’t on the computer I was in the kitchen.  I baked a pie.  I made soup.  The roomie roasted a chicken.  When I wan’t cooking, I was knitting.  We had the news on most of the time, so I was also updating friends across the pond as to what was happening over here.

My brain started going muzzy this morning around 3 am.  Around 2-2:30 am, the roomie and I heard a sharp snap.  We checked the house to make sure it wasn’t internal, then I went to the front door.  Couldn’t see much outside, but I could see that the street light to our left was hanging at a crazy angle.  Went back inside, reported it via computer, and went back about my business.

Went out around 7 am and found the following:

Not only had the tree in front of the house been uprooted, but it took three light and power poles with it (a fourth later started to bend, prior to snapping). The one we had seen at night was the one pole that was metal, and had been twisted over about two inches above the base.  The others were wood and had snapped.

The last two photos in the group are from a later walk, around 9 am, and show that the light pole furthest from our tree had finally lost its fixture, which lay in pieces in the street, and that one other tree (closer to Avenue X and across the street) had had its top snapped off into two huge pieces.  It was too windy to do more walking, although I might go out again later, and wander over to Bedford Avenue, which is the border between Zones A & B at this part of Brooklyn.

Finally was exhausted enough for the brain to stop running about 9:45 am, so I caught a nap, and woke up around 1 pm.

I still feel like I’m in shock, but I know just how lucky we are that no one got hurt when the tree fell, that it didn’t destroy the house across the street, or fall the other way, taking out my Landlord’s apartment (above ours), or his mother’s apartment (next door), and that we till have light, power and Internet.

Also, while I never thought I would thank the late Robert Moses for anything, I am darned glad that the Belt Parkway, with it’s solid rock underpinning at this latitude, form a very nice elevated berm between our house and the water five block away (the Bay).

My sister, who lives on Long Island in a Zone A, smack between two inlets (a block and a half on either side from her), had to evacuate with her fiance and their dogs.  They are all safe with a friend, but are very afraid of going back and finding their house didn’t make it.

Seriously, with all the destruction that happened in Brooklyn, and the flooding of the tunnels in Manhattan (not to mention a crane playing at being the Sword of Damocles over one of Manhattan’s busiest cross streets), and floods and fires all over from the Jersey Coast up to part of Connecticut, I know that we got off with relatively minor damage.  A new tree can be planted, if the Landlord chooses; people would be a heck of a lot harder to replace.

And, with that, I will end this, and I will pray for (and ask you to pray to whatever aspect of God you choose) those who were not as lucky as the roomie, the Landlord and his family, and me.  I would also remind you not to take your loved ones for granted.  It’s too damned easy to lose them suddenly.

Peace out.



  1. Janet Wilson said,

    It’s at times like this that I remember why I’m an agnostic — so I can go ahead and pray when it’s called for. Best of luck to everyone in the hurricane’s path. Ditto for the earthquake off the west coast (which, btw, we hardly noticed in the Vancouver area). And may the fear caused by these disasters not tip the Nov. 6 election the wrong way.

    • otherdeb said,

      Your prayer are most welcome, Janet! So many people got hit so much worse that I did.

      You reminded me of something: When my mother was in the hospice, which was run in a Catholic hospital, they had crucifixes on the wall in each room. My sister wanted them to remove it because Mom was Jewish. The nun asked Mom if it bothered her, saying that if it did, they would remove it. Mom’s response was that they should leave it there, because at that point she was happy for any help she could get.

      Me, I kind of figure that people don’t have to pray to my particular flavor of deity for their prayers to be felt.

      I agree about fear tipping the election. A lot of people are claiming a lot of things. You would think that those who espouse a Deity who preaches love and forgiveness would know better, but history has proven again and again that that just ain’t the way it works.

      I’m glad the quake didn’t affect you and yours terribly much. Sadly, I suspect that with what we’ve done to the environment for years, these all are just the proverbial “shots across the bow.”

      Anyway, stay well and safe!

  2. Glad to hear that you’re safe! I’ve been a bit worried. Any word from other filkers in the NYC area?

    • otherdeb said,

      Hi glasserkitchen! Everyone in Brooklyn seems to be safe, although some are without power. Most of the Queens contingent is also safe, either enroute home, or home already, or at hotels near where OVFF was. Same with the NJ contingent. Rennie noted that Mike Browne is essential personnel and had to go in to work (he works for the Transit Authority). Since the city is pretty much just starting to get back on its feet, most of us have been sitting at our keyboards if we have power, or touching base with others via cell phone.

      We are beginning to get some transit back — limited bus service will be restored by 5 pm, or so MTA says. Trains will take a lot longer, because all the equipment and tracks need to be inspected, and the flooded tunnels need to be drained. Roads are starting to be opened, but I suspect that driving after dark will still be dangerous, since street lighting is patchy (a lot of places have lost all power), and I’m guessing that most people do not want to drive into water that might have become electrified by a falling live wire.

      Sigh. While inconvenienced, I think that most of filkdom in this area can probably count themselves very lucky, especially when you see what the damage has been, and how huge an area this thing covered (at one point, the news said the hurricane’s cloud shelf was over 800 miles wide, and reached from about Raleigh, NC up to Hudson Bay).

      • Actually, the outer bands reached past Chicago almost to the Illinois/Iowa border at one point. And a local weatherman did a nice job of demonstrating the storm size by placing the center over Cedar Rapids – north to south, it reached from International Falls to north central Arkansas.

        Mom’s in WV, but the far west, and has only seen a light snowfall, so far. I saw updates by Batya & Alex, and from Dave W. I haven’t seen anything by/from Merav and her household, but I suspect they’re in the same boat as lots and lots of other people, with limited power and/or ‘net access.

        And you were really lucky with that tree 🙂 (the pictures impressed my seven year old to no end)

        • otherdeb said,

          Yow! Merav, Josh, Lisa, Aaron, and one or two others are, AFAIK, still at the OVFF hotel, until they can come home (I think on Thursday, but not sure). I spoke to Merav on Sunday, because I wanted to make sure the NJ contingent was okay.

          I’m kind of happy the pics impressed your son, although, frankly, I’d rather have the tree, the power lines, and the light poles intact.

  3. I just got a heads up: PC is going to hold orders for areas where FedEx has suspended delivery until normal FedEx service is resumed. I sent your order in this am, so I presume your delivery will be affected. I’ll let you know when it ships (providing I get notice!)

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