Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dawn Has Broken

Dawn has broken and it is time for the greatest city in the world to assess the damage. Most of my information is coming from local news reports, Facebook and Twitter.

We are fine here in Ridgewood, Queens, but other parts of the city are not.  Our lights flickered last night but we never lost power, or cable, or internet, or cell service.  The worst of the wind seemed to be between 8-10 PM.  At 7:30 PM, JFK recorded sustained winds over 50 MPH with a gust of 90 MPH.  The wind started diminishing by 10-11 PM, but this morning we were still experiencing gusts of 40 MPH.  What rain we had was minimal.
Apparently Manhattan is isolated as all bridges and tunnels are closed, but recently re-opened to emergency personnel.  As soon as engineers check for structural damage on the bridges, they will re-open to the public, except those leading out to the Rockaways, which will remain closed. Six to seven subway tunnels under the East River are flooded and the subway will be down for a while.  I am, however, starting to see MTA buses, empty, passing by our house, but they will not be picking up passengers until after noon, operating on a Sunday schedule for free.

At least fifty homes in Breezy Point, Queens, at the eastern tip of the Rockaways, were destroyed last night or early this morning in a six alarm fire.  Photos of the fire while it was burning look like they are from a Western US wildfire.  Photos after the fire look like they are from a bombed out city from WW II.  Part of the Rockaways, NYC’s southern barrier island across Jamaica Bay from Coney Island, is still flooded as high tide has just passed.  Only emergency responders are being permitted to enter the area.

Lower Manhattan, below about 30th street, is without power and may be so for another day or two.

New York City schools are closed today and tomorrow.  JFK and LGA will open as soon as possible but both experienced flooded runways.

Winds at JFK are now 23 mph, gusting to 31. Last night around 7:30 PM they were clocked at sustained 52-53 mph with a recorded gust of 90 mph.
Walking our dog around our neighborhood in Ridgewood, Queens, we saw very little damage.   We saw many smaller branches, leaves, paper, plastic, and styrofoam strewn about, and a couple flower pots and newspaper stands knocked over, as these pictures indicate.

Later this afternoon, road conditions permitting, we will drive south to check on our sailboat in Mill Basin, but I fear the worst.  We saw a photo on NY1 TV of a flooded parking lot at Kings Plaza Mall, where we dock our sailboat.  The parking lot is at least 10-15 feet above the docks.  The dock float, but I doubt they float that high.

There was about two feet of water at the Sebago Canoe Club on Paerdegat Basin and we have been told that it appears all the kayaks are still on their rack, although the racks were moved by the floodwater.

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