My family lives in northern Delaware and just across the state line in Chadds Ford, PA—in other words, right in the path of the eye of the storm. Yesterday I watched with growing concern as the frightening footage of flooding on the New Jersey shore started appearing online. Then around 2:00 p.m. my sister texted that her power went out.
I was confident my sister and BIL would be fine. They're prepared for a long siege of no power, flooding and roads blocked by downed trees. Both have been through hurricanes in the Caribbean and have a healthy respect for the forces of nature. My dad, not so much. Hell, who am I kidding? That old dude scoffed at every suggestion we made with the exception of putting water bottles in the freezer to keep the food cold longer. He laughed when I told him to fill their extra bath tub so they could flush if the water went off. Personally, I think this is critical to disaster planning--yo, flushing toilets when the water is off for a few days--but he chuckled and ignored my advice. I tried again with my mother. Maybe she did it, maybe she listened to the stubborn old dude and didn't. The situation was out of my hands. As my Southern in-laws say, "I gave them to God and figure he's gonna have to take it from here."
This morning I got a text from my sister—no power but otherwise good. I later talked to my dad who smugly told me they had a little rain but hadn’t even lost power. I’m glad they’re safe but a part of me wanted to scream at him that he was lucky not smart. Alas, at this point in our lives, pressing my point is futile.
I know Pat has family in New Jersey and hope they were lucky too. I've been through a couple dozen hurricanes, both here in Houston and during my years in St. Croix, and understand that the best preparation can be useless against a violent storm. My thoughts are with everyone who is facing days, weeks and months of recovery from the devastation nature inflicted on the east coast. I'm reminded that my power is limited and the cosmos is capable of wrecking havoc with our world. Weather can totally change the game, the stakes and the very existence of people, places and things. Sandy, Ike, Katrina—names we humans should remember when we get too cocky about our control of the planet. Sometimes nature bites back.
Where are you and how has Sandy affected you and your family?