Anyone who knows me knows that I live in New York and grew up in New Jersey so obviously I’ve got Sandy on my mind this week. I don’t generally write about current events. I have a hard enough time keeping the imaginary people in my head straight, but, well…I mean you’ve seen the news.
My hometown was declared a disaster area and the beach where my family goes during summer was obliterated. Nobody was hurt and I think only my sister in Hoboken is still without power out of all the people I know, and she and her family are in high spirits. So, all in all, I tend to think that I dodged a large number of bullets.
Still, I’m stressed, preoccupied, and have a heavy weight on my heart. This has been a rough week. It started with the usual pre-storm jokes. Many hurricanes have come through here but they’ve dissipated or turned out to sea or done whatever it is that hurricanes do that makes them manifest mainly as day long rain storms. I’ve lived through many of these things along with the press’s non-stop coverage and hype. Everyone here has. Generally these storms are non-events for most of the area. So on Monday there was a “Here we go again” sort of vibe as friends texted around.
Then we all learned a lot more about hurricanes than I ever wanted to know. Like how the southwestern part is the rainy part but the northeastern part is where the winds blow into land and create massive tidal surges. Which is weird. It rained here on my street, but that was basically it. The winds were bad for people living up in higher floors from what I heard, but I honestly experienced nothing but drizzle. Odd that so much disaster came out of so much calm.
I saw some photos Monday night and went to bed very worried and woke up feeling worse. Information was hard to get, and spotty, reports were all over the place, but more and more photos came in and clearly my island and my home were underwater. It was mind boggling. Many of the photos in here have been around, I’m sure you’ve seen most of them, but they punctuate things in a way that my words can not.
The human mind does not accept changes this massive very easily.
Take this picture. This is taken at the end of one of the two bridges leading onto the island where I spent my summer vacations.
There is supposed to be land at the end of the bridge. That photo came around along with a few others and my brother and I picked apart how they were obviously photoshopped fakes. They were not. The sea breached an entire three or four block area and swept it away.
I mentioned at one point how the roads were now beaches in most places. A friend, who I had already sent this photo to, finally asked, “Are the roads really that sandy?”
The brain won’t process so much change.
So I find myself stunned and trying to adjust, but also relieved.
Everyone I love is safe and I know that we’ll do what we do. We’ll assess and pitch in and rebuild and improve what we can for next time.
It’s not always easy to think about, but it’s a volatile world. Please remember to build your life on a solid foundation.