Photos taken Tuesday, October 30, 2012. Resized and resampled to VGA; click any to enlarge.
The first hint that Sandy was something we’d never before experienced came when the morning light revealed this:
That’s something I was helping a neighbor lash down over and over again on Monday night. All of our efforts were ultimately futile.
That structure withstood other storms, even the powerful wind gusts that blow over the hills during the Fall and Winter.
This time, the wind was powerful enough to break welds:
We’ve since gotten it standing again, but it’s really a twisted wreck that will soon have to be trashed.
Walking around the area gave me some small hints of Sandy’s rage:
The thing is, that’s crap construction to begin with. Staten Island is filled with gobs of crap buildings put up quickly and cheaply using Mexican labor (the Mexicans I have nothing against; they are given crap to work with, they otherwise have fine skills) and sold for head-exploding prices. So I expected that crap to fall apart like that.
Right. That never happened here before with any storm.
Do you know the story of the blind men and the elephant? I was the blind man here. And this is the elephant’s tail:
That piece of pier lumber so far in from shore should have told me there was a really fucking huge elephant still to come. This too:
But I really was oblivious. I’d gone to sleep without electricity around 9PM the night before. Someone had emailed a neighbor prior to that, saying there was five feet of water on Avenue C and 14th Street in Manhattan, but I really didn’t think much of that. The all-news radio stations (on the hand-crank radio I was using) hadn’t mentioned anything that extreme. And the morning news reports still didn’t give me a good idea of what was to come on this island.
Was I in for some shocks!
These photos are from Zone A. I live in an area high enough that it wasn’t even given a Zone designation.
I was told by the guy at that building that four feet of water had come in during the night. I slept through all of it. All I heard was the wind. Not even things blowing around on the street. The usual Fall and Winter winds here send trash cans tumbling and windows shaking. Sandy didn’t even do that!
These photos are still a good several hundred feet from the shoreline:
The mud spatter here really doesn’t give any clue of the extent of the waves that came in. This is still all prelude and actually deceptive:
The general area looked like this on the 29th:
This is it on the 30th:
The entire run of chain link fence that went for blocks and blocks was gone.
No more fence:
And alllllll the way back there, several hundred feet away, is the shore.
And I was still clueless about what was to come.
This is where the shit began to get just a little real:
And I’ll break here for Part Two.