I started this post on Sunday night.. and continued it on Tuesday.
The past 48 hours have been absolutely crazy.
It is now Sunday night and I am exhausted. The alarm is going to go off at 6am tomorrow and I am going to want to turn it right off and go back to the sleep but that won’t be happening as we’ve got to get up and walk into work.
I don’t know where to start so let’s just say… I am one of those people that always have things ready for an emergency. We have spare low denomination cash, I always have canned food, batteries, flashlights, candles, battery operated radios. For me, this all started around the bird flu scare and I took emergency preparedness on as an interest. What this meant was that when the panic started on Wednesday, we really didn’t have to panic. We just had to get stuff in order.
What was occupying my every thought was that for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Emily was coming down from Albany to stay with us and we were going to be l-i-v-i-n’ and c-h-i-l-l-i-n’ on Governor’s Island for the Dave Matthews Band Caravan. With the hurricane on the forecast, what would happen?! Unfortunately, this ended up being a drawn out, three day saga of will-they-or-won’t-they cancel and it was so draining. We didn’t want Emily being stuck down here, I didn’t want to take a day off work if it was cancelled, we didn’t want to be out on a low lying island in the middle of a hurricane but we really wanted to see the band. I feel like I spent three days straight refreshing the DMB fan forums and everyone else was doing the same thing. There were people flying in from Europe, Chicago, Florida… everywhere. We all wanted to know what was happening and it wasn’t until Thursday at 6pm after Mayor Bloomberg’s press conference did they cancel the Saturday and Sunday shows. Argh.
So all we really had to worry about was getting some more money out of the ATM and then, getting some water. Bill had a great idea of instead of buying heavy bottles of water that we would have to carry, he would buy cheap large jugs and use them, as well as all of our huge stockpots and saucepans. He found six large pitchers for $2 each so that was great. He went to the ATM and on the Thursday night we got our usual Fresh Direct delivery with our usual shop as well as a few extras in case we were stuck inside.
On Friday, Emily and I got our pre-Dave mani and pedi and then spent the rest of our time glued to the now non-stop news reports on Irene. The news was getting worse and when they announced that trains would stop on Saturday at noon we considered skipping the concert and getting her straight back on the train. Then we decided that instead, we would go to the show and then on Saturday morning get up early, chuck on clothes and just run up to Grand Central Station and get her on a train. DONE! The concert was great and I’ll post more about that later.
I got to sleep at about 1.30am and after Bill made a delicious batch of French Toast for breakfast, we ended up leaving at about 8.30 for the Grand Central. We actually slept in because I set my iPhone alarm for the weekday alarm instead of weekend. I always do it and it is so annoying!
When we got onto the bus, they were free and they had buses to get people to storm shelters. The streets were so quiet it was really quite eerie. We ended up being the only people on the bus –
At Grand Central it was quite busy but Starbucks, Financier and a slew of other shops were closed. We got Emily on her train, turned around and got straight back on our train and headed back to Brooklyn. When we got our connecting bus, the first drops of rain were starting. We came home, I had a nap and then we got up to go to the Saturday Vigil Mass at Queen of All Saints as we knew we wouldn’t be able to get there in the morning. It had started raining heavily but not anything out of the ordinary for Summer here. I think everyone at Mass that night was praying that our beautiful church was left unharmed.
Our neighbors taped their windows, something I found out isn’t necessary anymore unless you have very old windows that don’t have the protective coating –
Our subway station was closed –
The street was quiet –
Like nearly everyone else on Saturday night we settled in for a comfort food dinner. Bill whipped up some yummy Boston baked beans and we had hot dogs while watching the live coverage of Irene moving up the coastline. Our channel of choice was Fox 5 – it was a treat to have Greg and Rosanna covering Irene as we are used to them only being on in the morning. And we all know how much of a fan of Greg I am…! 😉 At about midnight I hopped into bed to continue watching the live news. I still couldn’t get to sleep. The wind and rain was so noisy as it hit our windows. It was whirling and then would sound like little pellets hitting the window. At 2.15am there was a lull and in the peace of those ten or so minutes, I fell asleep.
I then woke up at 5.30am and checked my phone. I had slept through an hour long tornado warning and this scared me as at night time it is truly frightening not being able to see what is actually happening outside. I started watching the coverage again as I knew the issue would be the high tide at 8am. The rain was still beating down hard and I had no idea what outside may look like. But then, the sun started to rise and I could see – it looked like so far, our little neighborhood had be spared.
The next six hours would prove to be just sitting, waiting and watching. We waited with bated breath for what may happen on Long Beach, in Jersey and Battery Park. We counted our blessings that we were not as severely affected as had first been thought. Saying that, there is so much devastation. It is incomprehensible that whole towns have been wiped out in Upstate New York and roads have disappeared and houses are fully under water. This was every bit as devastating as was predicted… just not so much for us.
Bill went for a walk around the neighborhood to see if everything was ok and check on Queen of All Saints – we were happy to report there was not a bit of damage! The tornado last year did a lot more damage to the neighborhood on a whole and bought down more trees. Here are some photos he took –
We continued watching the non-stop coverage until 6pm. It was the weekend that wasn’t. It was stressful and the lack of sleep didn’t help! I loved that I got to watch non-stop news and basically stay in my jammies the whole time but I’ll be happy not to go through that anytime soon again.
It was later that I realized that in the past year we have been –
– hit by a tornado
– battered by a hurricane
– rocked by an earthquake
– shut in by a blizzard
– frozen by below zero temperatures
– dehydrated by a heat wave
It is never dull in this city!