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I am so sick of looking at pictures from Sandy. As I said on Facebook last night, pretty much all I want to do is look at photos of cats in halloween costumes. But I keep coming back to the storm. So look at these or don’t. It’s really fine with me. I mostly wanted them all in one place, and I figure this place is as good as any.

Most interestingly I think is a photo I took that, at the time, I thought was a flash of lightning. But there really wasn’t any lightning or thunder at all during the storm. I realize now it was a photo I happened to snap in the exact moment that the con edison plant exploded on the east side of Manhattan. In my picture, you can see how bright the blast was, even all the way by us.


We were loathe to go to someplace like Costco in the heat of rabid storm prep. So we went to a beverage distributor that only had seltzer. C’est la vie!

Getting my shoes up off the floor before the storm.

Andrew at Valentino Pier. The pier is just in front of him. Usually the pier has long legs, but they’ve been disappeared by the tall water. The Statue of Liberty is in the distance.

The Statue of Liberty on the morning of Monday 10/29, about 12 hours before the storm surge flooded NYC.

I snapped this photo just as the waters were hurrying through the streets of Red Hook. At the time I thought it was lightning, but then I realized there *was* no lightning. No thunder, either. None whatsoever. I realized later that this was the moment the power station exploded on the east side of Manhattan. No one really paid the flash any attention in the moment. We were all otherwise concerned. We shortly had to run inside, as the water was rising very quickly.

The water rose and drove us indoors pretty quickly. This is the corner of Dwight Street and Verona Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Water rushed into our neighborhood from the East River in the storm surge caused by Hurricane Sandy. On the left, you can see the water gushing in. It kept coming from that direction, pushing in in waves and waves.

A similar view from the corner of Dwight Street and Verona Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn, from the front door of my building. Water rushed into our neighborhood from the East River in the storm surge caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Water rising up the front steps of our building as trees fell down in our park across the street.

My neighbors and I, who were told to evacuate but didn’t, sprang into action when we realized the water was coming up our street. We sand bagged all the important areas of the building. When we ran out of sand bags, residents – many of whom are artists – pulled out drop cloths, tarps, and other plastic sheeting; as well as bags of potting soil to stand in for sand bags.

Later, the lobby took on a little water, but not nearly as much as it would have if we hadn’t been there to secure it. You can see a small tree floating by out the door.

Water, as seen from the back entrance of my building.

This is the scene that really drove my adrenaline through the roof. It’s a shot out one of my windows. The bottom of the window is about 5 1/2 feet above ground, and the water was, as you can just barely see, rising just about to the threshold there.

Water out that same window. It was challenging to get a good shot through the gate. Water was higher on my side of the street, as it’s a bit angled, but you can see the car almost fully submerged across the street.

This was the highest the water got on our block. At this point, I felt a bit panicky. I started throwing things into a bag, thinking we’d need to flee. When it was over, I talked to the friends we were with, and I described the currents of adrenaline jolting through me at this moment. My friend’s response was, “We’re animals.” And we are. My fight instinct worked in overdrive as I attempted to heave 40 lb sand bags. Then my flight instinct kicked in, and there wasn’t a whole lot of “normal” happening in my head. It was about a 35 minute stretch, where I felt almost entirely feral.

And the following day, when the water had receded, we were left with rainbowed streets. Our dog’s feet smelled terrible from it. We washed him with dawn soap three times, like sea birds after an oil spill, but his feet still smell a bit three days later. Keeping my fingers crossed for some street sweeping sooner or later.