It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve posted on the blog, two weeks since Hurricane Sandy devastated the part of New York City where I grew up – The Rockaway Peninsula. Like many others in the Rockaways, my family did not evacuate this time. Last year they took shelter in Brooklyn after heeding the warnings about Hurricane Irene, who didn’t do much damage to the boroughs, opting to spread her flooding elsewhere. But as we all know now, Sandy was no Irene.
After waiting it out for 5 days and hoping the electricity and heat would return, my family found a hotel in Manhattan to spend the first weekend—a welcome respite from the disorder and cold. But as the Sunday checkout was approaching, the worry about where they would go to be safe and warm returned. By Tuesday things were settled, my mother and sister had voted, and they found a place to say in Brooklyn for the immediate future.
The situation in the Rockaways is still this: no power, no heat, no subway service. And by the look of this photo of the Broad Channel station—the stop that connects the Rockaways to the rest of Queens—it doesn’t look like the situation will change any time soon.
I couldn’t do much from North Carolina, but I did manage to check my mother’s AOL account and respond to the people who were concerned about her. I kept my phone beside me at all times in case someone managed to send out a text update before battery life expired. I followed Bob Hardt’s blog on NY1.com, an account of the Rockaway’s slow recovery.
In the midst of this I did write poetry—started the November Poem a Day challenge in fact—but that was all the writing my mind could handle. This week at work, I started writing sections of a report, which forced my brain to fire up neurons in Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, and started me thinking I needed to get back to this blog. So here I am!