The Storm

We were so, so lucky. That’s what I’ve come out of the past couple of days thinking. Luckily we’re close enough to the middle of Brooklyn that we didn’t get any flooding, the wind was bad, but not so bad we lost any trees or had any serious apartment damage, and we didn’t even lose any power. Watching the news as I come out of my first hurricane, I just keep thinking about how lucky we are.

For me, it started Friday at work, when I overheard my coworkers talking about a hurricane headed our way. I’m working for a property insurance company, and Friday, it was like being in the headquarters of some sort of major operation. There were meetings all day, people were counting supplies, making sure we’d have enough for the rush of claims we’re expecting. I texted my roommate that we were expecting a “Frankenstorm,” and she thought I was joking. It was actually quite exciting. I love storms, and I’d never been in a hurricane before. And even better, I might get a day off work!

So we spent the weekend prepping for the storm, two Midwesterners waiting for their first hurricane. We bought bottled water and batteries, fielded regular phone calls from our mothers, and went out Saturday to celebrate an early Halloween. Sunday we turned on the news and hunkered down.

Monday morning, we were underwhelmed. “This is it?” We went out for a few minutes to take some pictures, so we could say we’d been out in the storm. But as the day went on, the wind got louder and louder. I was sure the tree across the street was going to fall over. The wind was actually pushing one of our windows out of its frame, we had to duct tape it in place (which made us feel better, even if it didn’t do much good). A wire tore lose from the wall outside and kept smacking against the window, scaring us every time. But that was the worst of it. Mostly, we just curled up on our couch with a bottle of wine, watched two seasons of Downton Abbey, and made fun of the crazy news casters.

We went out today to inspect the damage. There’s a tree pulled out of the ground across the street, and a sign hanging precariously on Courtelyou. But mostly, things seem normal. A lot of leaves and debris on the ground, but nothing crazy. I keep saying it, but we got so lucky. Seeing the devastation on the news has been unbelievable. I’ve been through bad weather before, tornadoes were frequent spring visitors in Cincinnati. And I’ve seen the terrible scenes from natural disasters on TV before. But now, it’s a natural disaster on a grand skill, and it’s close to home. It’s my new city’s streets that are flooded, my subway system that is shut down, my neighbors without power, or even worse without a place to go. Needless to say, I’ve never seen anything on this scale, I’ve never lived through anything like this. I mean, we got lucky, we just got wind, but thinking of what could have happened if the storm had a different path or if we’d decided on an apartment in a different neighborhood…it is a little frightening.

Anyway, I’m so grateful that we are safe, that we have power and food and water. And I’m thinking about and praying for all those who are less fortunate than us.

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