Six years ago, Superstorm Sandy ripped through the NY/NJ area. I was living in NYC at the time, and we didn’t think it was going to make a huge impact. Especially after Irene came through the year before, and minimal damage took place. During the day, it was just rain, and we all commented that it was just another storm passing through the area.
And then, Monday night came, followed by a powerful high tide along the coastline. Many areas of the Jersey Shore were battered. Parts of Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island were crippled (There may have been damage in the Bronx as well, but it wasn’t reported widely). Lower Manhattan flooded, and suffered a terrible blackout that lasted for days. The subway system was shut down for at least two days.
I lived in uptown Manhattan at the time, and chose to stay during the storm while my roommate went to Long Island to be with family. I felt that since we weren’t asked to evacuate, we would be fine. That night, as the wind howled and lights flickered, I stayed by my laptop and talked to my college friends online, thankful that I had people to reach out to. The following morning, I was relieved that my power was still on.
Since most of NYC suffered blackouts and severe flooding, many of us were home for the rest of that week. I spent that time maintaining contact with my friends living in NJ, who were also handling blackouts and gas rationing in their neighborhoods. It was such a crazy time for everyone living in Sandy’s aftermath.
I would like to think that it brought people closer. Friends were reaching out to others, offering shelter while their home was out of power. Unfortunately, the situation caused tension with some of my friendships as well. It was truly a learning experience for me, and I saw how people can grow apart and come together through harrowing circumstances. I surely will never forget it.