How Hurricane Sandy affected my little world

1 Nov

Yesterday, we went down with other volunteers to help distribute water, candles and torches (flashlights) to residents in apartment buildings in the Lower East Side who have lost all water supply, electricity and heating.  Residents we met told us that the latest reports are that it might be up to ten days until they get water and power back! It was quite grim in the apartment buildings – obviously no lifts are working, so we had to go up pitch-black stairwells to reach the residents (flashlights were a life-saver).

One elderly man gave me a huge hug when I gave him a new flashlight and batteries – he was so grateful.

But delivering a few meagre bottles of drinking water and candles is obviously not enough to help these people – even though they all seemed very grateful (in fact, they told us that we were the first organisation who had come round to give them any assistance). It was especially worrying to see elderly people in this predicament.

For general water supplies, we met other residents who had gone down to the street and were filling up buckets at fire hydrants. Some would have to haul these buckets up ten or more flights of stairs to reach their apartments.

It really feels like Manhattan is a war-zone –  especially anywhere below 42nd St, as the power has gone in the whole lower part of the city, so we were driving through deserted streets with closed up shops – and no traffic lights working whatsoever —

Totally deserted streets in Tribeca area:

We also drove past the now infamous building in Chelsea, the facade of which was literally ripped off during Sandy’s passage through the city:

As for back up here in Riverdale, in the northern Bronx where we live, we are lucky to have power, but it was a nonetheless a bit shocking to walk the leafy streets near where we live the day after Sandy barrelled through the neighbourhood, uprooting huge trees in its path:

A power line and two trees come down right onto someone’s house:

Huge tree uprooted:


6 Responses to “How Hurricane Sandy affected my little world”

  1. alexei charkham November 2, 2012 at 12:42 #

    But what is the feminist/orthodox jewess viewpoint on the hurricane????

    • amhausman November 2, 2012 at 15:42 #

      Oh get off it, Alexei. I hope that was a freakin’ joke because the effects of the hurricane on my family and friends certainly is not and neither is this post.

      This was a great post. As someone with very elderly relatives in lower Manhattan (my great-grandmother is 100 as of April), it is nice to know that people are pitching in to help. My elderly relatives can’t climb 10 flights to get water. It’s maddening to be so far away in Los Angeles now that hey are living without water or power. But it helps knowing that as they have in times of crisis (9/11, the blackout, previous and latest hurricanes), New Yorkers go out of their way to help each other.

      • rebeccainspace November 3, 2012 at 19:03 #

        Aliza, don’t worry, this is just Alexei’s warped sense of humour – I can attest that he is a very compassionate and caring person in spite of the dodgy jokes 😉
        Thanks for your comments – It is crazy to see lower Manhattan turned into such a war-zone. I hope your relatives are doing ok.

      • rebeccainspace November 3, 2012 at 19:07 #

        PS – Alexei, I was going to say in response to your ‘joke’, that I think the fellows responsible for the ruling about women’s skirts needing to be four inches below the knees (earlier post of mine entitled ‘spiritual activist takes on the modesty police‘) might have a more interesting viewpoint on the hurricane than the orthodox feminists – they would probably be able to pinpoint the exact spiritual cause of it, and it would no doubt have something to do with women’s lax modesty issues…

  2. TEC November 3, 2012 at 15:42 #

    Hi Rebecca,
    Look after yourself too!

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