When the storm began on Monday, October the 29th, I was sleeping soundlessly, relieved that school was cancelled, in my dorm room at the lower east side of Manhattan, not paying attention to how big and destructive this predicted storm could be. At around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, I was awaken by my parents’ nervous phone call asking if I would go home because they feared Manhattan would get hit really hard and I wouldn’t be able to get out when I actually needed to. Deciding that visiting home would be nice for a change, I agreed on it after receiving a text message saying classes would also be cancelled the next day as well, so my in the midst of the storm my parents drove out from Long Island to Manhattan.
Only after entering the car and heading home, I realized how serious this storm could be. The usually overcrowded, bumper-to-bumper packed Long Island Expressway was completely empty with the exception of a few others also on the road. The wind and light, but piercing rain smacked onto the car windows as we drove slowly and cautiously down the highway. But right before our exit, there was a SUV flipped over on the other side of the highway, with police cars, ambulance, and a fire truck circled around it, but thankfully no one seemed to be hurt in the accident. Immediately I realized how serious this storm was going to be.
The next morning after the storm had passed, I walked around my block to examine the damages that had been done during the night. Although a tree had fallen in our backyard, we were lucky enough it did not fall on top of our roof and cause any problems, and compared to the other trees that had fallen on our block, it was nothing. There were countless trees who had roots that looked like they were dragged out from beneath the ground laid across the streets tangled up in electrical wires and blocking streets and driveways. Trees that had leaves before the storm were standing leafless from the strength of the wind from the night before that ripped the leaves off of them.
And what may or may not seem like the worst was that we were without power and heat for two weeks. The electricity had been shut down before the height of the storm, but even days after the storm had passed, there was yet any electricity running through my neighborhood. Desperate to complete certain assignments in time, I decided to go to the stores nearby my area that were lucky enough to have power throughout the entire storm, however due to the enormous population of people who had also lost power, there were limits to how long you could stay in a store and charge your phone or laptop, so for the next few days I was store hopping trying to charge up my devices. But in the end, it taught me to value the technology I had as well as realize how much my life and everyday actions were revolved around my electronic devices rather than what is right there in front of me, my family. And from this week off I was able to catch up on family bonding time and just readjusting to the presence of my family after living away from home in my dorm for so long.