Friday, November 2, 2012

How We Survived Hurricane Sandy

Reunited with her Uncle Tanner and her beloved tricycle (those are socks in Tanner's mouth!)
First, I want to thank everyone who sent e-mails, texts, calls, and tons of social media messages to check on us! We are OK and spending the weekend in Maryland with my parents. 

We got word of Sandy and wasn't sure if it would be serious especially after we went through Irene last year when we were in Harlem. We got through that with a little bit of leakage in our apartment. This time around we started hearing rumblings locally that it was going to be pretty serious so we hit up BJs last weekend to get supplies but flashlights were sold out so we decided our candles would do. 

Sunday we went to church in Manhattan then got word that public transportation was shutting down that night so we understood the seriousness of Sandy at that point and decided to head home and get ready. We cleaned up and made sure we had our candles and matches in place. Mr. Love Bird was supposed to be in Philly then DC all week for work and I was concerned about being alone with Nia, but we soon heard that he wouldn't have to leave as planned.

Monday was quiet but around 8p.m. the wind and rain really started picking up and we lost power at 9p.m. on the dot. We almost thought a switch was flipped maybe to keep everyone safe in the event of expected gas lines bursting to avoid fires. Who knows. The wind was howling all night and amazingly, Mr. Love Bird and Lil Love Bird slept peacefully while I kept peeking out the window to see the trees whipping back and forth. I just knew that a tree would come crashing down, but thankfully that didn't happen in our area. 

Tuesday morning the power was still out and we didn't have cell phone service. We're on the 3rd floor of a 3-family home and our downstairs neighbors were still there at that point and people were out and about the neighborhood. We heard sirens all day, but didn't have a battery powered radio to gather the extent of the damage. We were able to walk a block to get cell phone service so we quickly texted/called everyone to let them know we were ok. 

With the passing of Sandy a cold front came in and temperatures dropped drastically, but with the range still having gas we were able to cook hot meals and tea and with wearing layers it wasn't too bad. We were supposed to be in Maryland Thursday night anyway for a long weekend at my parents and with Uka's family for an event so we were starting to figure out if we were indeed going to go at this point. Still without communication and limited battery power on our cell phones we didn't know how bad the storm had been. From what we could see in our area despite the power and cell phone service being out it didn't appear to be that bad. 

We went to bed that night after playing rummy. Mr. Love Bird and I used to play all the time when dating and suddenly with no power and time on our hands we fell back into one of our favorite card games but this time we played by candlelight. 

Wednesday we were starting to get word from family how bad it was - I remembered that it had been advised to plug our cell phones into our laptops to pull juice off it and I'm so glad I thought to do that. We had made sure our laptops were charged before the storm so we were able to keep our battery going to the following day. We spoke to my parents early on Thursday and my dad offered to come get us but we weren't sure at first. After talking to our landlord who lives on the first floor and who had been away at a hotel with his wife he told us we wouldn't get power until maybe next Wednesday or Thursday. He also told us just how bad the area was. Lots of flooding, trees uprooted, gas leaks etc. My sister had also given us an update on lower Manhattan and it sounded awful but without the internet or TV we didn't see how bad it was. 

Thursday we decided it would be best to go so we packed up showered and got ready. A friend of ours' mother who lives in downtown Jersey City had power and let us come to her home while we waited my dad to come get us. Although there wasn't heat it was warmer than our apartment and we had power so we could charge our phones, call friends and family who had inquired on our well being. Mr. Love Bird's office was still closed so we packed enough clothing in the event that we couldn't go back til mid-next week and hopped in the car when my dad arrive and got to MD by midnight. 

We've been glued to the TV and our computers looking at all the damage and just in the midst of this post received the news that the marathon was canceled. I'm so thankful for this. With Mr. Love Bird's family in Queens because of the transportation challenges now it wasn't an option for us to go there or for them to come to us. I can't imagine how difficult it would have been on rescue and recovery efforts to have the marathon going on at the same time with those challenges. I believe this was the right decision. 

I'm looking forward to getting back next week and hopefully being able to vote and help with rescue efforts if I can. Mr. Love Bird and I had mail-in ballots. His arrived before we left but mine didn't. If anything I'm going to look into being able to vote here in MD as a resident in NJ if such a process exists. 

Were you in an area affected by Hurricane Sandy? If so, how is your family doing?