Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Written by Nature, Tania, Video

I was very anxious this morning to walk around to assess the damages of hurricane Sandy. I began by walking through Jackson Heights and headed west toward Sunnyside. I had noticed quite a few broken ranches all over the place. There didn’t seem to be that many broken tree trucks or fallen trees. There were maybe 3 on my way west. I thought there would be a lot more considering I had found a tree down just one block away from my house last year (during Irene). A lot of car owners seemed to be lucky. There were many branches that fell just inches away from vehicles. This wasn’t the case in Sunnyside though.

Tania and I reached Sunnyside within 20 minutes and thought we would see quite a few fallen trees (since many of the trees there were very tall). Our first sight was a group of what I assume to be neighbors trying to swing a tree truck from an electrical line. What they were doing did not seem safe, but I talking them out of it did not cross my mind. We found quite a few fallen tree, but stumbled upon one whose roots had broken through the sidewalk. It was so talk that it reached from one side of the street all the way to the other. Upon arrival, we saw many pedestrians snapping pictures and gasping with amazement. Within 2 minutes or so, the NYPD had arrived on the scene and made sure the area was secure. Overhearing their conversation, I had noticed their concern for children climbing onto the trunk. We left Sunnyside and then made our way to Long Island City.

On our way there, we had noticed the broken construction crane all the way from Queens. I could not resist taking a picture of the scary scene. Luckily, the crane did not fall during the night since I’m sure many insurance companies already have their hands full. Along the way, I noticed many broken signs, awnings and even loose wiring. I must admit that the city seems to be recovering from the storm quickly (visually). I had seen quite a few sanitation trucks picking up debris from the floor. I also noticed a lot of superintendents cleaning up their building’s sidewalk. On the other hand, it seems as though the subway will be inoperable for the next few days. Also, several websites had gone down (, and even I’m not sure whether or not this was due to physical damage to the hardware or a large amount of visitors to the servers. Though we seem to be recovering (in Queens), I’m sure the storm had a greater impact on other portions of the city, which, probably aren’t as well off as we are. Take for example, lower Manhattan. It has been reported that a few days are required to restore power back to that region.

Once we got into Long Island City, I immediately wanted to head for the pier (after seeing pictures of it being flooded over night). Fortunately enough, the water level was back to normal. The overflowed current had swept back into the east river. We did notice debris on the grass from the night before. It seemed as though the water had washed up a couple dozen yard up the pier. Looking across to NYU’s Medical Center, we could see that it had a fallen crane of its own. Also, I had noticed the the FDR drive was vacant (due to previous flooding conditions).

We turned back, and headed towards a nearby cloud of steam from a couple streets nearby. When we arrived, we noticed two ConEdison workers waiting for it to clear to begin working. I decided to snap a couple of pictures with the possibility of one promoting their “On It” slogan. I liked the way that one turned out. The image captured the worker walking into the steam.

A nearby street had a construction site submerged in water. I can only imagine how it must feel returning to work and seeing that your progress has been halted with mud and gallons of water.

Took a while, but we made it home in one piece. Once again, I received an email stating that CUNY’s classes would be canceled for Wednesday as well. This time, I was rather concerned rather than enthused. I already feel that my classes are somewhat behind. I just hope that we can finish the semester in time. Thankfully, this storm did not hit during finals week. I’m sure NYC will recover quickly, but one thing’s for sure, nobody was expecting a storm as gruesome as this one.