Saturday, November 03, 2012

After Hurricane Sandy..


Tuesday, Oct. 30th

Knowing that the morning high tide was supposed to be seven feet lower as the surge continued to decrease and that the wind was slowly dying down, I slept well for the first time in days. I didn’t stir until almost noon. Even then, I took my time with coffee and cooking. It was almost dark by the time I finally stepped off of the boat.

Marina Damage - after Hurricane Sandy

Following is an excerpt from an email I wrote to Maryanne:


I walked over to Hoboken tonight. It's pretty weird. None of that part of town or this part of Weehawken has power. A few buildings have generators running. The one across from the deli has every single light on above the first floor. It seems kind of obscene to me. Most of the others only seem to have power in the lobby, so people are clustered around in ad hoc communities looking like refugees. Every outlet has a cell phone charger. Some apartments have candles going or lanterns. Without TV, a lot of people seem to be walking around for entertainment.

I walked to the Hoboken Yacht Club. They did not fare too well. All of their docks are ruined. One is still draped over the tops of its pilings. All of the boats are surprisingly intact. Both of the derelict piers on this side of Taco Truck Pier and the waterway pier completely collapsed and went from being 8 feet above sea level to 1/2 submerged. At the mooring field in Weehawken Bay, only one boat was lost. It ended up on the path after taking out a lamppost. It's still attached to its mooring. I am so surprised the others made it, although there is some shredding of sails and covers.

The damage here at the marina is much worse than I thought. We were really lucky. Most of A dock came off of the pilings. It's still in place, but most of its rollers have been ripped off. The boat on the end sank. B, C, and D docks seem to be okay. F dock took a lot of damage on the end toward the entrance. The last three floats broke through the end plates on their end pilings and broke free. The boat on the end drifted into the next float. It pulled free and hit the next boat, etc. the boats on the end are big and steel. They seem fine. The fixed dock just outside it is basically gone.

E dock was basically okay. Every single one of the wooden pilings between docks (which we don't have) is bent 20 degrees to the south. The eastern half of the hammerhead by the fuel barge, where they tied up the River Princess, sank. I think it must have jammed on the top of the pilings and filled with water.

Missing you,

(And love)


Sent from my iPhone”

Post Sandy scenes from a walk south to Hoboken water front

It was strange. Most of the city south of midtown was black. There was destruction everywhere, yet Begonia and almost all of the other boats in the marina were fine. Our boats were all independent little islands. We had heat, food, power and water. We were very lucky to have made it through.

Wednesday, Oct 31st

I spent the whole day taking the bike completely apart, drying it, cleaning it, greasing it and then putting it back together again.

Maryanne had somehow managed to get the next to last seat on the first flight coming to Newark after the airport was reopened. All public transport, except the ferries was still suspended until further notice due to flooding and damage. She took a cab home. The guy was surprised she wanted him to leave her by a dark pier far from any houses or apartments. It was really good to have her home and be back together again.

Thursday, Nov 1st

The buses were running again between midtown and us. Maryanne went back to work. I took the bike out to see how everybody was fairing. It was amazing. Although it had only been three days and the power was still out in most places, workmen had already begun fixing paving stones and propping trees back up. Streets and paths had already been cleared of most of their rubble. People were airing out or throwing away ruined stuff from their lower floors.

Further to the north at the grocery store where we usually shop, the power had just come back on and they were doing a brisk business in everything that wasn’t refrigerated. They were lucky enough to be just above the high-water mark.

At the marina, part of C dock that was resting on top of its piling was fixed. The River Princess’ broken pilings were removed and the office was being cleared out.

That night after Maryanne came home and we had dinner, we went for a walk so she could see the damage for the first time. We took a few of our power strips to the buildings with generators running so they could increase their socket count for chargers. Most people we met seemed to be holding up okay. There’s so much destruction that people seem much better about waiting for their turn to get power or heat than you’d expect. They know it’s bad everywhere and it could be a lot worse for them. It could be for all of us, really.


Mommy Carla said...

I knew I could count on you to document this storm. Thank you for doing it. I am sitting here with my mouth agape, silently thinking you definitely need to start buying lottery tickets and don't stop until you win. It shouldn't be a long wait.
When I consider what could have happened to you, and did happen to so many others less fortunately, the tightening in my gut just gets worse.
So glad to know Maryanne got home safely (I didn't know) and that you are alright. For god sake, don't EVER DO THAT AGAIN, you hear me, young man?
Sending much love and appreciation.

Mommy Carla said...

does anyone else have as much trouble as I do with these damned "prove you're not a robot" words and letters? I can barely even SEE them.

kate said...

my god, the damage over at hoboken's waterfront is horrible. i can hardly believe it, those poor piers going every which way, and the mangling of everything. still grateful to know you guys are okay - and keeping good thoughts for all those who didn't come through as unscathed. i am awed by the power of mother nature but inspired by the many acts of kindness i keep reading about - including your helpful donation of power strips. i know tempers have worn thin here and there and can only imagine the nightmare that staten islanders and so many others are facing, but i hold fast to the belief that even those hit hardest will find the help and assistance they need - and deserve.

kate said...

p.s. carla, i had even worse trouble deciphering those letters! i easily tried 25 times before realizing i had to type in the number, too! DOH! but even so, those letters are very, very confusing.