Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sandy on the ground.

I keep looking at this picture from yesterday of a
double rainbow touching down in lower Manhattan post-Sandy.
And thinking of the line from "O Love that will not let me go,"
... I trace the rainbow through the rain.
Inside in the dark, once the TV and internet are cut off and cellular service trickles to a stop, you just don't know how bad it is outside, without a battery operated radio. High up on the 13th Fl on 13th St, we thought it was a pre-emptive shutdown by ConEd. We knew nothing of the 14th St transistor explosion.

Public schools, NYSE, and mass transit shut down. With no traffic signals, travelling on 2 or 4 wheels is treacherous. Determined New Yorkers were marching across the bridges to get to work today. Roads are barely passable due to high traffic and they're highly dangerous.

Everything below 39th St lost power. Crossing that line while walking/hitchhiking the 9 miles back to Harlem yesterday was like going from night to day.

It is said that many needing rescue in Staten Island were able to reach family/friends/help by Twitter and text. It was not difficult to imagine as my cell signal was lost and the roaming capacities drained the battery (though I had two fully charged spares, a cleaned tub full of water, charged laptop/iPod, a fridge full of ice/food, non-perishables, candles, flash lights, batteries) of the indefinitely long silence/darkness that others may have to endure...

We were prepared. We had heeded the warnings over the weekend, and stood in the lines to get in the grocery stores, and stood in the lines to check out of the grocery stores. Trader Joe's was especially scary.

When the power went out, I had been pre-cooking more just-in-case bunker meals and watching TV. And when my cell signal faded I thought oh man, I can't let everyone know I'm okay--they only know what they're seeing on TV & Twitter. But it was far better than, oh no, I can't let anyone know I'm not okay.

Today as the temperature drops, I'm thinking of those people who are stuck and whose electronics have died... With no heat, power, water, supplies, or any way to charge their devices.

Also hoping against any more casualties from live wires as waters recede and the power gets turned back on...

Dad works at Inteliquent. The communications blackout helped me appreciate what he does--their NYC office at 75 Broad handles 150K concurrent calls per hour. Their battery will dry up in another hour or two, and they are working hard to get a 7-ton generator from Pennsylvania up and running before this happens. The three other major carrier buildings in NYC, at 60 Hudson, 32 Avenue of the Americas, and 111 8th Ave, are in the same boat. The fire department and FEMA alike are not helping--perhaps not understanding the need to keep phone networks and internet working in such emergencies. Their engineers reached the office around noon yesterday (and two stayed overnight to accept a 4am generator delivery) to run a 4-strand heavy gaurge wire for 200 feet or so from the 4th floor to a back alley generator. They're scrambling to get it done in the next two hours. Many communication gears around the city remain submerged and will probably be reconstructed on higher floors--no more basement servers.

Proud of you, Dad.

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