New York City Struggles to Stand After Sandy
One week after Hurricane Sandy raged against the Eastern Seaboard, New York City is still struggling with Sandy and to come to terms with the grand scale damage and loss. Sandy was declared one of the worst storms in American history leaving 50 dead and 40 thousand people without homes.
The super storm wreaked havoc across the Caribbean, causing catastrophic damage and a string of deaths before turning north to the USA. Despite the authorities’ best efforts, which included canceling flights, suspending subway transport and attempting large scale evacuations, no one was quite prepared for the Frankenstorm when she finally hit.
Sandy’s path of destruction swept across the East Coast bringing in gale force winds, heavy rains and flooding which resulted in New York being declared a state of emergency. As the storm hit there were jaw dropping reports of fifty foot waves smashing against the statue of liberty. The lights went out across lower Manhattan as the city that never sleeps plunged into a black out. What followed was nothing short of a Hollywood disaster movie as seawater seeped through the city streets.
Loudspeakers urged citizens to return to the safety of their homes as rescue workers floated rafts down Lower Manhattan. The usual hustle and bustle of Times Square lay dormant as 85 mile an hour winds tore through the deserted streets.
Sunday morning and reality came crashing down on the citizens of New York. Many were left stranded in the cold as temperatures plummeted. Scores had lost loved ones and thousands of homes had lost power. Yet the worst was over, with damage estimated at over 60 billion dollars it was time for the community to pull together and rebuild their lives.
On Thursday public transport began to help piece normality back together as the subway reopened for commuters. Those with power left notices outside their homes in New Jersey inviting strangers to come in and charge their cell phones. Soup kitchens and aid refuge popped up across the city as everyday people came together to bring a note of warmth to those whose lives had been sorely affected. Hundreds of everyday New Yorkers are pulling together as the days pass, donating tinned foods and even toilet paper to those who have lost everything. Relief funds pour in and even wealthy families from the Upper West have opened their homes to those without power.
Sandy was a stunning realization of the force of nature and the power of human kindness. The super storm left devastation in her wake and the city is still struggling to stand in light of the aftermath. Its early days but it seems getting to grips with the shock and horror may be eased by community spirit and the kindness of strangers.