I stand corrected.
When I heard about ‘Frankenstorm’ last week, I was derisive: here come the Exploding Meteorologists, again, gushing about an approaching storm that would turn out to be underwhelming, just like Irene last year, Floyd in the 1990s, and at least one overhyped snowstorm every winter.
But this time it was real. To be sure, my little corner of the world was pretty much untouched: we lost cable TV and Internet overnight, but it was up and running again this morning. The lights stayed on, and in my travels today, the worst victims were temporary construction fences and a couple of uprooted trees. About half the restaurants in my neighborhood were open, doing a brisk business.
But much of the city was not so lucky. A transformer blew out in Manhattan last night, plunging 300,000 into darkness. Over 100 houses in the Rockaways burned down last night: the area had been evacuated, the fire whipped by the wind, and there was little the Fire Department could do about it. Parts of the subway system are still underwater, and while the politicians suggest that service might be restored in 3-4 days, in reality, they’ve only started to pump out the water. The evening news included an interview of New York Governor Cuomo on the World Trade Center PATH platform, with the water lapping in the tracks a few inches below the surface of the platforms.
Tomorrow I’ll go back to my office in Manhattan. It’s about a two-hour walk from my home, but the buses should be running tomorrow, so maybe that will help.