In no particular order:
A guy I work with lives a block out of Zone A, so they didn’t evacuate. At one point that evening, he and his wife were watching television and they started hearing car alarms go off in the block behind the house. They went to the back window and saw the cars floating down the street. His wife then stepped outside the front of the house and came back saying that their house was on a little bit of a hill and was therefore okay, but the intersections on both sides of them were under four feet of water. They got away with basement flooding and electrical damage but were stranded overnight that first night.
Another friend, a very funny guy who was about ready to retire, didn’t get off so easily. They lived three doors from the water, they’d ridden out Hurricane Irene so they figured they’d ride out this one too. He said when the water in the living room reached his chest, he got nervous about hypothermia and went looking for a way out. He found his mattress – a latex foam rubber version like the one I have – floating in the bedroom. He climbed on without much hope and found it stayed afloat with him on it. He and his wife rode out the storm on their mattress, an arms-reach from the ceiling, for three hours until the water began receding. They’ve lost their house and two cars. Afterward, she’d gotten emotional and he said, “What did we have when we met?” “Nothing,” she replied. “So we’re starting over again,” he answered and she sniffed that now he’ll get that big screen TV. But retirement is out, he told me. Will anyone want to buy that piece of property now, so close to a suddenly-perilous shoreline?
Maybe the answer to climate change to is to make the polluters pay the cost of all the waterfront property that’s now going to be worthless – or soon will be. It’s just a thought… Of course, the kind of people who pollute will assume there’s always someone stupid enough to buy that waterfront property – and they’re willing to sell if you’re stupid enough to buy.
And then there was the customer in the store the other day. I asked him his cross-street for delivery and he answered, “You can’t miss me – I’m the only house still standing.”
I’ve seen help from abroad (when you’re from New York, everywhere else is abroad – to Smitty, everything above 42nd Street is upstate) – in addition to Con Ed, I’ve seen trucks from Green Mountain Power and Light (Vermont), Alcatel (Lucent, which used to be the fabled Bell Labs) and a host of others scurrying around Staten Island in twos and threes and convoys. I know Long Island is still a mess (a friend of mine out there just got power back yesterday) and apparently upstate (not Smitty upstate, real upstate) has some bad sections so I don’t understand how they’re allocating resources but there’s progress being made on Staten Island.
Not that it keeps people from kvetching but that’s our prerogative as New Yorkers.