A week before most news stations picked up on the story, my nephew, Steve Travis (my personal meteorologist) contacted us to let us know Long Island was expected to be hit big by a significant hurricane the day after Mike's and mine wedding anniversary (10/28. We were married 24 years) He was right....
This is a house two doors down from us and scenes like this took place all across Long Island, Queens, and New Jersey. I didn't sleep very well Monday night (10/19) as winds picked up to close to 90 mph. I admit it, I was scared. My brother went outside to smoke and we saw roof shingles fly off my house and heard our neighbors tree crack before a huge branch split and fell. I was so concerned about a big tree next door coming down on our house. We lost power at 3:15 p.m. that Monday. The next morning I was relieved to see that no trees on our property had come down, but after we walked the neighborhood, we were shocked to see what our town looked like. It was a true war zone. Roads were impassable with downed trees and wires. I'm not talking trees that were cracked (although that did happen in places), but entire trees, ripped from their roots, pulled up by winds with the grass around them looking like carpet. It was also dangerous as there were so many power lines lying all over. An estimated 950,000 people on Long Island were without power.
My brother left for work the next day and did not come back until yesterday. It was Courtney, Gizmo and myself - the 3 Musketeers - staying at home without power for 7 days.
The lowest it got in our house was 49 degrees and by Monday I was at my breaking point. Monday was 7 days without heat and while I was walking Gizmo by myself, I lost it. I began to cry and prayed to God that our power would be restored soon and our heat would come on. As I walked into the house, my prayers were answered and I cried like a baby. Our power came back on at 5:55 p.m. I know I am a strong person, but after one week of no heat, my body and mind were exhausted. From the very beginning of the storm, my thoughts went immediately to Mike. What would I have done if he were still at home with us? He needed power for his oxygen, nebulizer and processed food. There was a story just today in the newspaper of a man in a similar situation as Mike (he was a stroke victim). Even though he was on a priority list with the electric co., as of today, he and his family still had no power. What would we have done???
By Tuesday of this week, a good part of Long Island's power was finally restored. I believe 150,000 were still in the dark, but that was much better than 950,000. In my Town it was down to 700, then this happened on Wed....
There is a certain measure of guilt that stays with you when you know your friends are back in the dark and neighbors are back in their cold houses. The "experts" are saying there is a rise in acute traumatic stress syndrome (more temporary than Post Traumatic) and I believe I am suffering from it. My stomach has been uneasy for he last few days because we're being told that if you have power, you may lose it so they can restore power to those without. I turned the heat up to 78 in my house "just in case". When the lights flicker, my heart starts palpitating. I have yet to restock my fridge for fear of having to throw away more food if my power goes out again.
NY finally decided to ration gas with the odd/even program and the gas lines seem to have gotten much shorter. I only waited 50 mins for gas on Wed. and Courtney only waited 12 mins yesterday.
I hear about the concerts and fundraisers being held and wonder if the people that truly need the help will get it. I will NOT donate to the Red Cross because that money does NOT go to the families affected. It goes towards future emergencies. It did very little for Katrina victims as many houses down there were never rebuilt. I will donate on a local level to help insure that Long Islanders, and the towns that meant so much to us will be rebuilt.
God Bless all those who were affected by Sandy.