After the Storm – updates and observations

Just collecting and updating everyone on what’s cooking in NYC after Hurricane Sandy. I’m sure there’s plenty of New Yorkers reading this, so I’ll do a little updating, and a little waxing contemplative, as I oft tend to do.

1. Subway is in progress to full-bore restoration. The R line is not running between Manhattan and Brooklyn until further notice. In other words, the tunnel between Whitehall and Court Streets is still underwater, or damaged badly enough to require extensive shutdown in order to fix. J and Z trains aren’t going between Manhattan and Brooklyn either. 1 train is not running between Rector Street and South Ferry, which effectively tells me that the Whitehall Street stationon the red line is still getting desalinized.

2. The Rockaways are not okay. While this goes without saying, all considering, there has been a concentrated relief effort there and in parts of Long Island. The subway situation there is, to say the least, foul, but the MTA has actually loaded cars onto flatbed trucks and got them running as a temporary shuttle. That’s the spirit, MTA. But my brother, who has been by the area because my grandmother’s nursing home is there, took the liberty of telling my mom that the real reason it’s inaccessible right now out of B’klyn is that the rail bridge at Broad Channel took a hell of a beating. For all I know (info update pending), it could’ve gotten torn off altogether.

3. Long Beach branch of the LIRR is reopened. Which is good if you want to go and help rebuild/clean up. Because Long Beach effectively got covered with water. Several people I know lost everything they had.

4. The gas situation is better in Brooklyn. Yes, we had a shortage, but as of right now, most of the local gas stations are operational again. Not sure about the prices, since I don’t own a vehicle, but right now, there are no gas lines. That is a relief to a mess of people. And seriously, if you need gas, are reading this, and have the capacity to come to Brooklyn, you can get gas here.

All the good news aside, I am still fairly haunted by what I’ve seen since the storm had passed. I don’t let things get to me, and usually I’m good in an emergency. But what undid me was seeing the pictures of Long Beach, covered in sand, flooded, and the boardwalk turned to little more than drenched firewood.

I’ve taken more than one photo on the boardwalk, awash in sunset fire. Hell, even in the dead of winter, I’d hop the train just to watch the sun on the water. While I knew that the storm would cause damage, seeing that much of it was, to say the least, unnerving. I know it’ll get rebuilt; it’s a beachside town that had seen a few storms, but never has it been this bad for them. Not even with Hurricane Hanna in 2010 (I was there for that storm…a drencher, but nothing like this) has it gotten to where there was sand in the streets from boardwalk to rail bridge. And that span, just to note, is little more than 15 blocks in length. You can literally walk across the city of Long Beach that quickly.

It’ll be okay. I know it will be; Long Beach people are strong, steady, and know the value of hard work. But it’ll take me a good while before I’m able to see the boardwalk as I had seen it pre-Sandy, and not the way it is right now.

Comparison’s sake: a photo from 2009 or so, well before my Professional Camera days, and…the “after” version.




2009; Long Beach boardwalk in the summer.



The same segment of boardwalk…after Sandy got through with it.