Thanks to all those who have been in touch, expressing concern and inquiring how I’m weathering Hurricane Sandy. The short answer: very well.
For those who want more details, here they are:
We had been warned for days about the chances of major flooding and power outages. By Friday, the news was all about what was to come and I emailed my landlords to ask about how we could best protect my basement apartment from flooding. When I returned home from work, they invited me into their living room to show me their brand-new generator that has enough power to keep the two sump pumps and our two refrigerators running. I was so thankful!
I still figured it’d be good to make some preparations, so I cooked up some food so I wouldn’t have to live on peanut butter and cheese, since my stove and oven run on electricity. I took some bagels and berries out of the freezer to enjoy so I wouldn’t have to keep opening the freezer door during a power outage and shorten the life of the foods inside. (It’s a courtesy to only run generators during the day so as not to disturb neighbors at night.)
On Sunday, I cancelled out on a volunteer stint at an Arabian film festival, concerned about getting home later that night if the heavy rain and winds started.
Then I hunkered down with reading stacked up and TV shows ready to be viewed online until the power went off. Sunday, I enjoyed two episodes of my favorite show, The Good Wife. And last night I watched two episodes of Call the Midwife, a BBC series that I’ll continue to watch now.
Yesterday, I spent most of the morning and early afternoon on the computer, figuring I’d eek out as much time on it as I could before the power went off. (A sure thing, we all thought, since we’ve lost power before in lesser storms.)
By mid-afternoon yesterday, I had a bit of cabin fever and my neighbor, Pat, called me to ask about going out for a walk. She opened her invitation by stating that I’m the only one she could think of who would go out in this storm and had the rain gear to do it. That was a challenge I couldn’t refuse.
We only walked about 15 minutes, up our street and around the parking lot of the nearby hospital, to keep away from trees. I had on rain-proof pants and jacket but my feet were totally soaked when we got back. It was exhilerating being out with the winds whipping and crossing streets that were like shallow streams.
Earlier, I had told Ted he shouldn’t be going out in the middle of the storm. So when he called later and I didn’t lecture him when he told me about his adventure walking down to the swollen Sligo Creek, he was a bit surprised. We had a good laugh when I told him why: that I had gone out myself.
Early in the evening, we had a few flickers of power and my landlord, Brian, came down to hook up the extension cords and extend one outside a window, ready to be connected to the generator when needed.
Then we all just waited. I was sure that I wouldn’t get through much of Call the Midwife, since the wind was howling outside and trees were more than just swaying, a sure recipe for falling branches and cut power lines. But by 11 and after two episodes, I just decided to go to sleep.
I woke up several times during the night, each time turning on the light and experiencing relief when it actually went on. I awoke early in the morning, disturbed by the quiet. Again, the lights turned on, a realization that we had survived the storm intact — no water in my apartment and the power fully on.
The public transit system, schools, government offices, and many workplaces are closed today and people are advised to stay home since many roads are flooded. I suspect we’ll be pretty much back to normal tomorrow in my immediate area, since northern Virginia and the Baltimore area suffered more damages and power outages and, of course, the shoreline of Maryland and Delaware experienced severe destruction.
Let’s keep all the people along the coast, and in New York City, in prayer during these post-Sandy days.