Dealing with Hurricane (or Superstorm) Sandy.
My electricity came back on Friday evening, after being out since late last Monday afternoon. I am okay. My house was undamaged. I live in Huntington Station, more than 5 miles inland and 200 feet above sea level; so there was no inundation in my neighborhood, but there was still tremendous damage. Many very large, ancient trees came down, along with power lines. Fortunately, no one in my neighborhood was injured.
Here on Long Island, New York, there is still a tremendous amount of damage and power loss that won't be completely restored until next weekend. I was without power until Friday night; so I saw no news reports, and had no idea just how bad things are, until then.
On my street, two massive trees came down, with electrical wires wrapped around them. This blocked the entire street, which is a through street. No one could enter or leave my section of the neighborhood, until both trees were removed. Fortunately, one of the neighbors is a guy who sells cord wood. He used a chainsaw to carefully cut down all the limbs; cut them up into firewood, pile them into the back of his pickup truck and drive off; then he kept coming back for more. Fortunately, he knew what he was doing, and many of us helped.
While everyone was working at removing the fallen trees; someone drove up in an Official Town of Huntington Car; and spoke to some of the neighbors; telling them that we shouldn't be doing this, but should instead wait for the utility trucks.
I wondered if he was going to tell us to "Put everything back just the way you found it." Fortunately, he did not. What he did say was, "I didn't see this." He was a true "Petty Official". The pettier they are, the more official they act.
That afternoon, the scariest thing I personally saw during the crisis occurred. While the fallen trees were still blocking the street, an ambulance came around the corner, with its lights flashing. That was a truly scary moment. I was afraid that they were going to have to back out, and go around a different way. Fortunately, they stopped at the house on the corner, and didn't have to go beyond where the tree had fallen.
Two utility trucks arrived later that day. They'd come all the way from Wisconson. They had all the necessary equipment, and were able to clear all the debris away much more quickly than we could have.
Another thing. During the storm, a tree came down in the neighbor's yard, behind my house. Its branches fell atop three cars in our driveway; but the fall was restrained by a chain link fence atop a concrete retaining wall, so there was no damage to any of the vehicles. Those branches were the first things we cleared away with a chainsaw and help from the neighbors.
One more thing. Everything that happened wasn't bad. At 4:30 on Thursday evening, a guy from my Church showed up at my door. He and his wife invited me to dinner at their house. They were using a generator. So I had my first hot meal since Monday night. They also invited me over the following night.
His mother-in-law prepared the dinner. We had a shrimp cocktail appetizer. For dinner we had meat loaf, broccoli, string beans, baked potatoes and yams. For dessert we had cake and ice cream. Then when he drove me back to my house, the lights were on.
While things are back to normal for me; there is still a major amount of work to be done here in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut region. Now according to the weather report, another powerful storm is expected to strike our region tomorrow.
Please pray for us all.
Oh what a month this has been, I ramble.
Today is exactly one month since Hurricane Sandy struck the New York Metropolitan Area, devastating many seaside communities along the New Jersey coastline and the South Shore of Long Island. There has been so much going on, that it's been hard for me to get all my thoughts and feelings together and write about it, until now. Now I can write about it, in a coherent, though somewhat rambling way.
For the two weeks following the storm, many of us here on Long Island, were struck with power outages. My house was without electricity and heat three times. On the Thursday and Friday nights after the second storm, things were truly primeval. I was lying under the covers, afraid to get up because the air in my room was so cold; like we'd gone back to the caves.
"Blanket warm! Not get up!"
But now the power has returned, and so has civilization; which includes TV News Reports. One thing they've reported is that New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo is "Outraged at LIPA" (Long Island Power Authority) because it took them so long to get everybody's power back on; and has ordered a thorough investigation of the Public Utility.
This makes me wonder if the man has any understanding of reality. Wherever I went, during the two weeks it took to restore everyone's power; I saw lines of utility trucks rushing off in all directions. They were not just LIPA trucks. There were trucks from all over the Country. One crew, which worked on my street, had come all the way from Wisconsin. None of the Utility crews were slacking off; so while we had to deal with very serious problems for much longer than we wished, I cannot blame the guys on the trucks, who were doing the actual work.
Whenever I walked past a work crew, I called out, "Thank you guys for what you're doing!"
Thanking them is what we should all be doing, including Governor Cuomo!
Speaking of saying "Thank You", I now ramble on to this year's Thanksgiving celebration.
I spent this year's Thanksgiving with my sister and brother in law, who live near Orient Point, in the Village of Orient, at the eastern end of Long Island's North Fork; where there was very little storm damage. My nephew, his daughter, his second wife and her two kids; my niece, her husband and their two daughters, were all staying with them; so there was no room for Uncle Bill, but my sister and brother-in-law rented a room for me in a hotel named the Greenporter/ https://greenporterhotel.com in the neighboring town of Greenport.
This was a very good place to stay, in an excellent location, right in the middle of downtown Greenport. They have a classy restaurant on the premises; at which I did not eat. I had my lunches and dinners at my sister's home. In my hotel room there were copies of the restaurant's menus. I looked at their breakfast menu. While it listed the usual item's you expect to see offered for breakfast, no prices were listed.
I remembered the saying "If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it."
I understand that's part of the game that people who buy luxury items play; but scrambled eggs, sausages, home fries, rye toast and coffee are not luxury items.
Fortunately, there is a convenience store directly across the street from the Hotel; where I got coffee and an apple danish, a little after 6 AM, both mornings that I was there. Just up the street and around the corner, there is a deli, where I later got myself a full breakfast, on Thanksgiving morning; when all the other businesses in town were closed. The next morning I was able to have my full breakfast at a luncheonette, which is just a 5 minute walk from the Hotel.
To continue the ramble, my sister had a total of 17 guests for Thanksgiving dinner, and more than enough for everybody to feast on; which is usual. Unfortunately something unusual did happen.
A little after noontime, on Thanksgiving Day, my sister accidentally tripped and fell in the bathroom, injuring her lip and front teeth, along with her leg; just two and a half hours before Thanksgiving dinner. Fortunately, the next day she went to a nearby emergency room, where her injuries were treated, and she was given a prescription. Things were nowhere near as bad as we'd feared. As a matter of fact, two days after that, she went with my three elementary school age grand-nieces into New York City, where they attended the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show, and back; a 12 hour journey!
So, in spite of all the serious problems, things turned out very well, indeed! There were also many more things than we can imagine, for which we should all be thankful!