Monthly Archives: October 2012

Hurricane Sandy – 3 days later

After 3 days, we decided that going without power and running water was enough for us.

When Kris managed to get a text offering us an air mattress in Brooklyn, WE LEAPED AT THE CHANCE! We packed up a small bag pack with our clothes and halloween candy (JUDGE US NOT!) and walked 2.6 miles to Brooklyn heights.

Power is still out at our building and in lower Manhattan in general due to a blow out of the transformers in the power substation in the 14th street. Apparently we and a lot of buildings are on the same electrical grid. I’m not really sure when power is going to come back, but we’re going to stay here for 2 days and find another friend’s couch to sleep at during the weekend or go to a hotel. I generally don’t like to trouble people.

Apparently the battery park tunnel, steps from our place has been drained of the water and as I type they are draining water out of the subways. The recovery work in lower Manhattan is definitely going on steadily. Policemen, fire fighters and city workers have worked through the storm and we could definitely see them from our apartment.

We’re very fortunate to still have our home intact and a place to sit down and use the internet. I feel bad whining about the loss of power at home when I start to read about the people who have lost their homes, or worse people who have lost their lives or loved ones around the East Coast.

This entire experience has made me realized how fortunate I am for the last 29 years to live in a place that is so safe. Im glad all my family/friends/loved ones are all in safe old Singapore. I vow never to complain how its so un-exciting Singapore is anymore.

Thank you everyone for all the texts/sms/fb messages/calls to check if I’m okay. It really means a lot to me. Especially in a city where I feel like I have so little friends. I don’t mean to sound soapy but I really miss you guys.

Oh the bright side, I am currently now on the couch or wonderful Mr Matt Toback and Spring Toback, Kris’s friend from work. They have offered us a nice little air mattress on their hall and I have never been so grateful to be offered a place to sleep in. In addition they also have a 2 year old toddler called Roan who is absolutely the cutest and have introduced me to a TV program called ‘Curious George’. I also went around the neighbourhood today and experienced my first ever halloween. I didn’t do trick or treat because I was too old, but I saw so many cute little kids going around in their little costumes going ‘tweak or tweat’. Very cute, I wish little Isaiah could have been here, he would have been just opening his lil mouth wide and eyes super wide, gawking at everything and everybody!

I’m not sure what my plans are for the coming few days, everything sort of has to depend on whether we get power back home or not. I regret not doing three piles of laundry before the storm. I don’t have much clothes left and everything is sitting in a pile at home. I also do NOT want to think about my stinky toilet and rotting food in the fridge. I wonder how many days it takes for maggots to grow. OMG. STOP!!!!!

I’m heading to bed. Con Edison, please work faster! Thank you very much.


Experiencing Hurricane Sandy – 18 hours later

(Written 12.30pm Tuesday, 30th October 2012)

The storm really hit us last night around Monday, 29th 2012  6pm EST and it lasted till around 10pm EST.

This 4 hours was like NOTHING I have ever experienced in my entire life. My 53rd floor building started swaying from side to side and I was FREAKED OUT. I’m on the 51st floor and I could see NOTHING around me except for the torrential rain that was beating hard against the windows.Throughout the course of the 4 hours, lights started to go out around me and it was the first time I’ve seen lower Manhattan pitch black in some areas.  After a while, I decided enough was enough and closed the blinds because I could not see anything beyond the pounding sound on my window by the strong winds.

I know I had been advised to stay clear of the windows, but sitting down on my sway-ey couch and having NO IDEA of what happening around me was worse than the 0.0001% probability that something might come up through my window. Honestly, if the winds were that strong to lift stuff from the ground to the 51st floor window, it would have been the end of us anyways.

The whole of Monday night and Tuesday morning (Its 12pm EST 30th October 2012). Rain and wind was just continuing around where we are, but the intensity of it was variable.

At around 6pm on Monday night (+/-) power went out. That’s when shit hit the fence for me, a few hours prior my building was already creaking lots due to the strong winds but when it started to get dark and I had no power, no internet, no cell reception and no access to the news, shit started to get real for me.  We did have a transistor radio, but we only have 1 set of backup batteries, so my radio will last for as long as those batteries last.

On tues morning, Kris was getting a little stressed because he got texts from his office saying that his data centres are down and many people are trying to get to him. Problem is our cell service is so spotty that he can barely reply. My iphone is not working at all, I switched it on and masses of messages stream it but before I can get to read them, much less reply, the cell service goes out. So I’m pretty much given up on using the cell.

Gas is still running so I went to baked some cookies and took out some food from the fridge that is most perishable and we started with that. We had ice cream for breakfast and pre-cooked pasta I made yesterday for lunch and some cookies (pre made dough and all you have to do is pop them into the oven).

Downstairs in lower Manhattan the water is reclining and I heard from our door man (who have worked throughout the storm) that our basement is not flooded, which is a good thing. They came around to tell us that water will last as long as the water tanks above us don’t run out and passed around black trash bags as our trash rooms downstairs are all flooded.

From the radio, apparently the 14th street power station got blown up, other power stations got blown up, so I’m not sure when power is going to come right now. People outside of lower manhattan or people back home in Singapore probably has more information than me because we don’t have much access to whats going on around us besides the radio.

I have never been more aware of how reliant I am on the internet than now. Lower Manhattan is the most badly hit in terms of Manhattan, but in comparison to New Jersey  in which the brunt of the hurricane ravaged through, this is nothing.

The irony is a few hours before Hurricane Sandy hit us hard, we got my VISA approved and I was beyond myself in excitement.



Updates as of 5.21pm EST

I am now enjoying some ice cream while seeing the storm clouds approaching south east of NYC. You can see it here.

Here’s a picture taken from the same view at 5.11pm. (Its unclear because I have no desire to open my windows anymore. I can no longer see lady liberty, neither can I really see the Hudson river)

I had quite a scare just now when the building started to creak and kris informed me that its normal for buildings to wobble a lot. That certainty did not calm me down! In my schema of things, buildings are NOT SUPPOSED to shake. However, after a while you kind of get used to the creaks. That was around 2pm EST. An hour later we got an email from the building mgmt, assuring us that creaks were normal and that our building has withstood many hurricanes. That calmed me down a great deal.

ConEd (The PUB equivalent in Singapore) sent notice saying that power might be out in our building. We’re bracing ourselves for the ‘eye of the storm’ from 6pm to 8pm. I’m pretty confident now that things should be alright. Most to most, power and water goes out but we have lots of cell phones that are full charged and lots of food and water to last us the week.

Kris is of course, calm as a potato and has just been sitting down in the dining table working. All of Kris’s bosses! if you happen to see this post, I think he deserves a raise. :p

Again, everyone in the East Coast, please stay safe.

Here’s an amazing video of the coast guard rescuing some people in the middle of Hurricane Sandy. I salute these people!

God Speed.