It’s all been rather dramatic here over the last couple of days, though as it turned out we picked an excellent part of Manhattan to live in and, as far as we were concerned, it was ultimately a bit of a non-event. Note to anyone considering moving here – check out the evacuation areas map first!
Sunday saw us out stocking up on non-perishable groceries, finding matches, candles and torches, filling up every available receptacle with water, charging laptop and phones, and baking cookies, so by the time we went to bed we were reasonably confident we were as ready as we could be.
Monday dawned greyly, with light rain and occasional gusts of wind, but it wasn’t until mid-afternoon that the wind really started to increase in strength. I filled up the bath and baked some pie, Tom got on with work from the kitchen table, and the day passed. Once darkness fell the lights flickered off-and-on several times, but we were amongst the lucky ones whose power stayed on.
Following the developing situation over the radio and online it was hard to believe we were in the same city as the one featuring on many of the news reports. Power was pre-emptively cut in most of Manhattan below 34th street, and some amazing photos soon appeared to illustrate this. Images of the rising floodwaters were similarly dramatic.
We stayed up until it was clear that the worst of the storm had passed over, whilst listening to reports of hospitals being evacuated, subway tunnels flooding, news reporters behaving dangerously, and stupid people who refused to obey the evacuation orders needing to be rescued.
Looking out of the windows this morning, there were a lot of fallen leaves along our street but nothing more serious. Walking around the neighbourhood we came across a number of fallen branches, several downed trees, a variety of damage to scaffolding and a handful of broken windows. The river was running very high, but back within its banks.
Quite a number of other people were out too, walking their dogs, looking at the damage, even jogging. Sheltering from a passing rainshower beneath the awning in front of a post block of apartments, we were amused to see a resident returning with the spoils of her outing – two takeaway coffees and a baguette. She was by no means the only one venturing out for breakfast though, and we passed several diners all doing a roaring trade.
Continued high winds, the rain and chilly temperatures drove us home again, and whilst I’d quite like to take a walk downtown I think it’s probably best to stay in for now. The weather is improving all the time, but warnings are still being broadcast about risks from falling branches etc, and there are still coastal flooding alerts in place. Besides which, it sounds as though it will take quite some time before the subway is back to normal, so we’ll probably be doing more walking than usual in the days to come.
I still can’t believe just how lightly we got off, especially when so many other people were properly suffering just a couple of miles away. Of course there’s a perverse part of me which wishes we’d had just a little bit more excitement, or at least been able to see more of it for ourselves, but really I’m just glad we stayed safe and warm.