Growing up in Florida, I have been in a number of hurricanes. During the summer months it was second nature to us to prepare for any tropical occurance to head our way. It was one of the risks that we took to live in the beautiful sunshine state.
When we moved here over two years ago, I put the hurricane mindset away and prepared myself for the colder weather and possible blizzards that I would have to endure during those cold winter months. Hurricane season no longer had the same meaning to me as it did in Florida. Updates on tropical systems came from my parents who still live in Florida, not the local news station.
That was until last year when I was quickly reminded that New York City is not immune to tropical systems. Hurricane Irene threatened the city with her destructing winds and torrential rain. Thankfully much of the city faired without harm. This year we weren’t as lucky.
I’m sure many of you have seen the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy which blasted much of the tri-state area last night and in the early hours of today. Thankfully, our family made it through the storm with power and unharmed. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for many of my fellow city dwellers. Much of the city is without power, water, and public transportation to get to and from places. My sister, who works in a Midtown hotel, has been there since late Sunday night helping out the guests that are staying. Her apartment in lower Manhattan is without water and power. She will likely be at the hotel for days helping out those who need it. Her boyfriend, Chris, walked from Lower Manhattan to her Midtown hotel today because he had no other way to get there and needed a place to stay (the hotel is closer than my apartment.)
In all of the hurricanes that I endured in Florida, I have never seen or experienced anything like this. Much of the city will be without power for several days, possibly longer. Our subway system is down indefinitely until they repair damage done from the salt water. MacKay walked outside this morning to see the damage to our surrounding area and saw uprooted trees, water levels that are completely unimaginable, and a city that was completely barren.
We took a family walk early this afternoon to see just how much Sandy made her mark in our area. I was uplifted to see that others were out and doing the same. Not much was open, but it felt amazing to get outside after being stuck inside all day yesterday.
As we walked passed downed trees and debris left behind, we passed New Yorkers who saw the same ruins as we did. I met the eyes with many as we walked passed one another on the sidewalk. Nothing was said, but from the slight smile on our faces, no words were needed.
If there is anything that I have learned from living here for over two years, it’s that New Yorkers are incredibly resilient. We come together like no other city when times get tough. That is why I have fallen in love with this city.
We will get through this. Together, as one.
I continue to pray for all of those affected by Sandy. NYC friends, please let me know if you need anything. Our door is always open! Thank you for all of the text messages, emails, calls asking about us. I am truly grateful to have so many who care about my family.