Hurricane Sandy One Year Later

Last year this time I had no electricity.  I was disconnected from family, friends and the entire world.  I was on the road maneuvering around downed trees and power lines, searching for non-perishable food to feed my parents and myself as well as gas to feed my vehicle. Anxiety was starting to settle in; my gas gauge was at a quarter of a tank and I had no idea when the gas trucks would arrive.  Darkness was descending and my Blackberry’s battery life was dwindling.  It had been a long time since I had been frightened on Halloween.  I felt as if I was starring in my own post-apocalyptic drama.

When Sandy hit the NYC-Metro area I, like many others, was ill-prepared.  I heard the warnings but I didn’t take them seriously.  I didn’t run out and stock up on canned goods, candles and water.  This is NYC and New Jersey I thought, we’ll be fine.  Around 8:30 that evening my home went dark.  From my windows I watched the transformers blow one by one, sparking electric flashes of blue light.  One by one I watched as the surrounding blocks and homes in my neighborhood lost the life source of the 21st century.  As I stared into the candlelight illuminating my bedroom, wondering what time it was, I was suddenly humbled by the tremendous power of Mother Nature.  Two days after Halloween, the lights in my house came back on and I was able to view the full devastation of what Sandy had left in her wake. I was thankful that Sandy only cost me a few days of inconvenience, but horrified and saddened to see and hear the stories of those who had lost everything.

As the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approached a feeling invaded the air, it was almost palpable.  A year later and many of us have had the opportunity to go back to normal.  For some the ghost of Sandy still lingers, still possessing a stranglehold on their lives.  Recovery is slow going but I stand firm in the belief that those who were severely affected by the storm will receive the resources necessary to rebuild.  One thing I know about this area is we may get knocked down, but we get back up better than before.

Photo: Getty