Sandy has come and gone, leaving the Upper East Side largely unaffected. Unfortunately, that is not the case elsewhere. The devastation in New Jersey and Staten Island is extensive. We have only minor inconveniences- no subways and buses, many of the businesses are closed.
Water we did not need.
It was strange walking around the city today. There was no public transit and much of the city was without electricity, so many people did not have to go to work. Without public transit, many people could not get to work. So, even in parts of the city with electricity, like our area, most businesses were closed. The restaurants that were open, were pretty crowded. Roosevelt Drive was closed to traffic, so people were walking on it. It was like walking on a freeway. Kind of spooky, like do I have to watch for cars or not.
There were some trees down in our area and a lot of branches. City crews were already out trying to clear them away. However, we were very lucky. The news reports of massive flooding on Staten Island and the Rockaways. Also, there was a major fire on the Rockaways. Over 40 homes were burnt as the high wind spread the fire. The fire department could not put the fires out because of the high winds. Contrary to what people might think, there was not a lot of rain associated with this hurricane. There were terrible winds and a major storm surge that caused most of the damage. Areas near the ocean were the most affected. Electricity south of 39th street is out and the tunnels for subway and cars are flooded. The city is at a standstill, yet the streets are full of people walking around and taking it in.
The East River is still riled up.
This is a crane that was not properly prepared for the storm. Normally, they are allowed to swing with the wind, so that they point with the least resistance to the wind. However, this one was locked in place which caused the arm of the crane to fold back over the top of the crane and hang by only cables from the opposite side. It cause several blocks of the city to be closed until it could be removed because of the danger of it falling.
This was one way that they tried to remove the trees. Two guys with a chain saw and a pickup could have done this in 5 minutes. I watched them get this far on one tree in about 10 minutes. It just goes to show the importance of having the correct tool.