Once again New York is fighting one of its annual hurricanes bursting through the Tri-State-Area… Hold up! And I thought after living in Florida I would have been in the state the most threats when it came to hurricanes, floods, alligator bites…?! While when I was there, I had not witnessed even the tiniest storm in the sunshine state, New York is offering its second (!) hurricane sweeping past the city within just one year! Yes, one year!
I have no clue as to why all of a sudden I am preparing for a natural catastrophe on an annual basis. But sure enough, after the devastating Irene of last year’s August heat (read more here), we are now on the run to fight hurricane Sandy (whoever comes up with these names, I like Sandy a lot better than Irene). While Irene had been downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it hit the City in 2011, Sandy is predicted to have gained in strength comparable to two storms. And on top of this it is rumored to have a diameter of 1040 miles, meaning it will reach far into the countryside. Once it is close to the Canadian border, experts believe it will mingle with the colder atmosphere to create a vicious mix of snow, ice, and wind…
Now if this does not sound like bad news, I don’t know what will. The fact that the news spread right when the weekend started certainly did not help in terms of New Yorkers believing in taking extra precaution. While a few coworkers had fantasized about an extra day off on Monday, we were all too absorbed in our daily routine to really think about what to do if it really were to happen.
But then it became more and more apparent in the news on Friday and Saturday that indeed New York is not likely to dodge this bullet. “I am buying tape to plaster up my windows,” my phobic friend announced at a pre-Halloween party on Friday. Both my other friend and I looked at each other, rolling our eyes at her expression of anxiety. “This is the closest I have ever lived to the shoreline, I am not taking any chances,” my friend went on, nervously chewing her nails and probably thinking about all the other precautions she could be taking.
Then, on Saturday, the roomie got me hooked on bunkering a few necessities, such as water and food. As I made my way to Trader Joes, I could hardly believe my eyes: A line reaching over half of a block was forming in front of the huge store in Brooklyn. “Wow, three days before the actual occurrence, not bad!” I thought while I annoyedly stood in line waiting for my turn. Luckily, it only took 5 minutes. Apparently Trader Joes just wanted to make sure that not too many people were swarming around their store, so they made the customers wait outside until the inner capacity was well-balanced. And even better, there was still plenty of food, liquids, and what-nots for me to shove into my basket before I went off to the bodega. 2 gallons of water should be more than enough, I thought yesterday. Now, after hearing the reports worsening, I am actually not too sure anymore.
We will see how things go. Plenty of rain is predicted. Flooding is one of the big hazards, as in last year. High winds could leave substantial damage. Which is why Bloomberg called it a day when he shut down the MTA at 7 PM (which happens to be right now). The last train has left the station and whenever the danger is over, New Yorkers will be able to commute safely again. Or such is the original idea.
And what cannot be amiss during a
once twice in a lifetime hurricane? Absolutely right, a hurricane party, of course! Bars around the corner started drawing their first Sandy-related ads onto the black boards until they decided to put the sign back inside due to the strong winds outside. Nonetheless, I got to shoot this fine picture at Alchemy, advertising for Dark and Stormies and Hot Bloody Mary’s. Perhaps I will have to drop by at some point in time today or tomorrow…
Because, after all, no one in New York will be working for at least one day. Hopefully two. A wishful three, if worse comes to worse. But let’s be happy with a labor-free Monday! Unless you work in the hotel industry… That indeed will mean busy 36-hour shifts, I dare say.
Until then, I will once again keep you updated on how this storm will coin my life in New York! Cheers to Sandy! And Irene! And all the other hurricanes that decide to drop by in the beginning of the week here in the Big Apple!