Friday, November 16, 2012

No Power - No Peace

No Power - No Peace - Part 1
The First Night

Life in Darkened Downtown Manhattan
As A Result of Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy and her subsequent evolution into a monster Hurricane/Nor'easter storm may signal a meteorological paradigm shift of monumental significance.
Having said that what follows is a set of personal observations of effects of that shift on a small portion of New York City.

On Sunday November 28th 2012 the subways were closed 24 hours before the storm and it's tidal surge were to hit the New York - New Jersey area. This rare action was done as a preventive measure in case the worse should happen. At the time I thought this meant a minor inconvenience of a day or so. After all we have had hurricanes batter New York before and after a few days they were filed away as just another hurricane.

My first hint that I was not going have electricity was a Sunday night robo call from the utility Con Edison, known locally as Con-Ed. In that call they said they would make a preventive move and turn off my electric power for a short time at during the Sandy tidal surge. It was also announced that areas to shut were near me but not necessarily my neighborhood. 

Hurricane Sandy, with a cheerful and warm name, barged her way into the area bearing destructive gifts. We followed the storms progress on television. Sometime before 9 PM the lights briefly blinked. Occasionally I had seen this kind blinking when Con-Ed shifted power from section or another. 

Then my lights did something very peculiar. The lights went from normal brightness to a deep orange and then bounced back. I looked out the window and watched in horror as the lights in the office building across the street went out one by one. The street lamp went out. My lights did the orange dip again, went bright for a moment and then there was darkness. 

An odd view greeted me when I walked outside. It was a full moon and shown through the clouds with a diffuse lunar light.

The Candle Age came back to New York. 

At Home we brought out our ancient candle collection of whole and stubby candles.

Outside, New York City set up cars blocking the roads to traffic heading toward Battery Park. 

A very small number buildings had electricity. Either these buildings had their own generators or were part World Financial Center or Battery Park City complexes.

The water had reached its full height by the time these pictures were taken. This set is at Barkley Street and Greenwich Ave. 

At Park Place and Greenwich small groups of residents  had  gathered. As quickly as the tidal surge rose it began to fall but left flooded basements and tunnels in its wake.

The next segment is Part 2
Neighborly Chicken Soup.

No comments: