Monday, October 29, 2012

Living History - Hurricane Sandy

Right now, we here on Long Island are getting battered by Hurricane Sandy.  Residents of the barrier islands like Fire Island and Long Beach on the South shore were told to evacuate.  Watching on the news, most places on the South Shore and the East End have been flooded.

I'm fortunate to live near the midway point between the North and South shores, so I am not concerned with flooding.  What is causing devastation for those of us who live away from the coasts is the high wind speeds that are knocking down trees.  For me, it is an issue of special concern because we have a large tree in the middle of our back yard that has already lost many large branches that have struck our house and battered a section of the chain link fence between our yard and our neighbor to our immediate right.

I went outside a short while ago, first to inspect the exterior of the house and then to check out the immediate neighborhood.  Thus far, my house has suffered some minor damage, but nothing to get terrible upset about.  A falling branch took out a light bulb near our back door and dented a small portion of the gutter.  Our deck and behind our garage is littered with large branches.  On the front of the house, I espied a couple of missing roof tiles and a portion of the siding lining on the front of the house has gotten unattached and is swinging in the wind.  It wouldn't surprise me if the entire thing comes off before the night is over, unless the wind slackens.

The biggest concern is that the entire tree may come down.  When the wind blows especially hard, you can actually see the ground on one side rise up as the leaning of the tree to the other side creates an upward tug on the roots.  I can only hope that the tree either remains standing, or if it falls, that it will fall directly westward and miss both my home and my neighbor's home.

After surveying my house, I walked up and down my block in both directions.  Across the street, the homes are without power.  While the lights have flickered on and off at times here, we have been lucky that we have not lost power.  I am prepared for that contingency though, having an ample supply of glo sticks and flashlights.  One of my neighbors across the street, an elderly Italian man who lives alone, had a whole section of his siding torn off on the east side of his house.  I gave him one of my glo sticks.

Further down the block, a large tree in the front of one of the houses came down across the front lawn, though the house itself appears to have been mercifully spared..

And that's how things stand in my little section of the world tonight.  Depending on conditions tomorrow, I will see if I can take some pictures of the damage for a follow up post.

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