Hurricane Sandy hit the northeastern states hard on Monday evening. Throughout the night you could hear the winds hollowing as climate conditions exacerbated. Rather than sleep on the second floor, my husband and I decided to camp out on the first floor and avoid any danger, should one of the trees in the yard hit our home.
As the hours progressed, the winds became stronger. Between wind pressure, lightening lit up the skies. Before each sudden rush of wind, I braced myself as I prayed for God’s mercy. For hours you could hear police sirens miles away as they responded to emergency calls.
Well unto the night, I finally dozed off. While asleep I heard a crashing noise. I jump up and ran for safety. The tree in our yard hit our home. The wind gust were up about 75 mph to 86 mph and it was too dangerous to go outside and assess the damage. So we waited out the storm.
Tuesday morning we praised God that we were alive and had weathered the hurricane conditions. As we left our home to gas up, many streets were blocked by fallen trees, electric poles and transformers. Hanging electrical wires were everywhere. After turning around and making several detours, we made our way to the highway. Trees had also fallen on highway as well. It was nothing I had seen before. You couldn”t see the hanging wires or fallen trees until you were up on them, having to slam down on your brakes. Signs on the highway were bent in half or hanging from it’s poles.
Traffic lights were out everywhere and more than 6,000,000 people were without electricity. We found a gas station miles away, but the network was down so you could not use our ATM card–only cash. As the day progressed, gas lines were for miles in some areas. The city was reporting cars waiting in line for at least 2-hours.
It was getting late and we headed back home to snug in for the night–candle light watch until morning.
It is Wednesday morning and still no electric… Thank God for iPads. Our office was closed–no electic so we headed for the hospital to camp out and charge our iPhones and iPad for the day. I was a amazed–a few people had the same idea. A hospital employee walked over to my husband and I and asked if we were okay, or if we needed shelter or food. I learned from my husband yesterday that because the hospital is an institution–that’s where you go if you need help. Smart man he is.
Although we are handling things pretty well, I will plan better next time. First, I will gas up my car the day before. I don’t think I will ever go electric for appliances. Gas is a commodity at this point. I can at least heat up water, cook on top of the stove and take a shower while I am waiting for power to be restored, which will be at least 10-days according to officials and Lipa the electic company.
Planning for future storms is no long an option for me, especially after reading what the experts have to say. According to reports, New York will be “highly vulnerable” when future storms hit, a professor from a New York Times article says. “Climate change will probably increase storm intensity and size simultaneously, resulting in a significant intensification of storm surges,” they wrote. Sandy had a diameter of some 900 miles, much larger than most storms.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted in 2007 that the global average sea level would rise between seven and 23 inches by the end of this century. More recent projections suggest that the melting of sea ice could mean a rise in excess of 30 inches. The New York State Sea Level Rise Task Force translated that into a local projection of 2 to 5 inches by the 2020s, and with rapid Arctic ice melt the rise could be as much as 5 to 10 inches over the next fifteen years. Combine that with a trend toward more intense storms and New York is “highly vulnerable,” professor Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University told CNN.
“(Superstorm) Sandy is a foretaste of things to come,” he predicted, “from the combination of bigger storms and higher sea levels, both of which contribute equally to the growing threat.”
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