Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sandy-land on Long Island

Things are getting weird here.  Sure, everyone is friendly and helpful, and the stores are well stocked and taking credit cards, but some people are getting edgy. The weather is pretty calm, but it is getting chilly without the heat.  Trip gave us instructions on plugging the furnace into the generator just in case the temp drops more.  Thank God for unmiddleschooling.

Loooooong gas lines. Figured I'd fill up after picking Paul up at a friend's house.  When the station wanted cash only (now they tell  me--after 45 minutes in line!!), I fished through the car found a $5 bill, 6 quarters and a Kennedy half-dollar, and got my $7 worth at $3.99.  We all laughed (especially the cheery Turks who own the station).  Later, Don and Paul walked to the local station with gas cans for the generator.  We are also powering our liberal neighbors (we love you guys!!).  Whatever your politics, don't let anyone tell you that conservatives are selfish; it's one of those big lies that the media tosses around with the help of Hollywood.  Read Makers and Takers and hear the facts on giving back.

But life after Sandy is not all book recommendations and fun in the after-storm sun.  A guy who had his credit card denied at the station nearby drove his car into the crowd of gas-lugging pedestrians, then got out, screaming like a lunatic at everyone for being in his way, before he tried to run folks over again as he drove off...thank God no one was hurt. Scary.

A scruffy-looking guy walked into Mass with a gas can.  But everyone seems to be walking around with gas cans, or empty juice bottles or gallon milk jugs.  One guy didn't make the station, and was getting a scant gallon of gas in a jug to put in the car so he could keep his car in line for a fill-up.   Some neighborhoods have the National Guard checking I.D.s and keeping the peace. Housing Authority has a list of neighborhoods their agents should not go.  Not that bad here yet, but there are still no Long Island Power Authority trucks to be seen.

I drove past Cablevision's service office earlier today; their lot was full of parked service trucks.  Now, you may think that cable is a low priority in a storm, but many people have their phone service and internet through Cablevision.  If cable companies are in the telephone business, losing cable has become a lot more critical than missing ESPN, especially for the elderly.  Communications from gov't offices and agencies, like the one sent out about the water conservation order due to sewage treatment plant failure, are sitting in inboxes unread, and automatic emergency calls are locked in voicemail.  Does anyone own a regular radio anymore?

For those who think government would handle the clean-up any better, consider this situation I saw earlier today on the parkway.  Our parkways have huge swaths of grassy areas with trees.  Sometimes the trees fall.  During the storm, many trees fell, and some fell across the road.  The DOT comes and clears the road.  Frankly, until the whole place is back to normal, that's all they should be doing--clearing debris off the roads.  But today, well after the parkways have been cleared, but while other roads remain blocked, they were chipping.  Yes.  4 guys, a truck and a chipper, on a very big lawn, while trees are blocking access to homes and services on other main highways and side roads.  These guys were using equipment to chip some branches that had already been cleared from the road and that no longer presented a hazard.  That's big government's response.

Libby's friend Jen and her family lost everything in the storm...I guess we can't complain.