After preparing for the storm by shopping and doing laundry, I felt I was prepared for Hurricane Sandy. I had a bag packed with a flashlight, clothes, drinks and food in case I needed to be evacuated from my dorm. I heard that subways were shutting down at 7 PM Sunday night in preparation for Sandy, so once it hit seven, everything for me got tenser. It was already dark and windy, but the rain had not come yet.
We had heard earlier that day that we were not going to have class on Monday, so I was doing a little work to get ahead, but mostly procrastinating when the storm started to hit. Even through the music in my headphones, sixteen floors up from the ground and I could still hear the wind whipping outside and the rain falling hard. My windows were shaking and cold and I was afraid they would break. I moved my printer away from the window in case the worst happened.
Occasionally I walked away from my computer to the window to look outside. The streetlights were dim, but I could see the trees shaking and garbage blowing around. There were still leaves on the tree outside. There were no people and no cars going around, an odd moment for the streets of NYC. I heard terrible stories of how First Avenue was flooded, how bad downtown looked, and how downtown had lost power. I watched the storm for minutes at a time throughout the night, going back to my computer between intervals, until I went to bed.
The next morning I woke up and it was still dark and cloudy. The rain had stopped, but that tree from last night had no more leaves. I was surprised it was even standing. In the aftermath of the storm, I saw pictures of my high school, Stuyvesant, with water up to the wall I used to sit on. It was at least four feet off the ground too, not a short wall. Seeing the subways flooded and all the wreckage in Staten Island and Queens made me realize what a terrible disaster had occurred.
From the Upper East Side, I didn’t get to see first hand the true ruins of Sandy. Only in pictures could I see the boats washed ashore in Staten Island, or the houses blown away in Queens. The rest of the city wasn’t so lucky. My friend from Chinatown came up to my dorm just to use power to charge his phone and check his college applications. The trip that usually took him 40 minutes took him 3 hours. I was one of the lucky ones and don’t have first hand photos of destruction to show. I wasn’t too affected; I still have power and Internet. My family in Queens was lucky too and I’m thankful for that. But for my family and I, we know others were much less fortunate than us and we hope to help out the best we can.