Saturday, November 10, 2012
If you didn't already know it from my Sparkname...I am from LI , a.k.a. Long Island. (That's the fish shaped island sticking out into the ocean that's part of New York State).
2 weeks later, I am finally finding the time to write a blog and give everyone an update on the whole thing. What the media has been showing about Long Beach and the Rockaways is all true...I can only imagine how NJ is faring.
There are other parts of LI that are pretty bad too and some are just getting power back now...12 or so days later....and some still might not get power until Thanksgiving. The other side of the devastation is on a bell curve...all resulting mental anguish: some have to rebuild their entire homes and on the flip side, anyone with even an inch of water is battling mold and replacing sheetrock and bleaching wood, and needing to replace boilers and hot water heaters because they were ruined by salt water...and then there are the people who not only have their homes flooded but have boats floating in their front yards from 2 towns over ! No joke. ALL are trying to right themselves.
I can't even write about it in detail because it would become a book instead of a blog.
My house and family, and extended family too, fared very well with only power outages that extended about 6 to 7 full days. We all helped each other out: eating chili together, sharing freezer space, keeping the elders warm by the fireplace. Ahh, family togetherness at it's best, that does start getting old after about the 4th day....mainly for the people "without", but also for the people "with" because all we want for them is for things to get back to normal and for them to not hurt. But the people "with" totally understand the predicament and let's face it, it could have been a whole lot worse for everyone, including us...and we count our blessings time and time again...and then we help out some more.
Is there "survivor's guilt" going on all over Long Island? ....you bet.
There is this fog that everyone is in here. It's like we lost a week of our lives. Halloween? yeah, we did it - for the kids. Others postponed it and did it as a trunk and treat at the school parking lot...those who had enough gas to get there.
Did I even mention the gas shortage here? It was very "Mad Max" for a while. Desperate people trying to fill cans to fill generators. Cars needing to be pushed into the gas station after the car ran out of gas while waiting on a 3 hours line. Fist fights. Good times..good times.
Thank god things like this are getting better with even and odd gas days (i.e.. you go get gas on the even day of the month if your car license plate ends in an even number) and now that power is being restored more rapidly and that the gas is actually getting delivered to stations.
Back to the mental fog I mentioned before.
I am in the grocery store today and I see a few elderly people from the neighborhood. So I asked how they fared - the usual answer is power lost and fridges and freezer contents thrown out. But the answers today were followed by that they got very depressed about everything....from the lights going out, to depending on others, to seeing the aftermath, etc. etc.
It was something I wasn't expecting to hear from these people.
So I can only IMAGINE how the people without homes, electricity, etc. in the most devastated areas are feeling.
These thoughts have been mulling around in my head the last few days and then I happened to read in the local paper that post-traumatic stress was going to be very high in the next few months here...and in varying degrees.
No kidding. I see it and hear it when talking to the most upbeat of people. Heck, I feel it in myself!
I helped a newer friend of mine clean out her lower house level yesterday...and brought my radio, some hot chocolate and a smile. She thanked me just for being there to distract and listen and for my hugs and support. Sometimes just doing a little can mean the most to someone who is hurting.
So Sparkfriends...that is my quick update from Long Island. Help out any way you can....the entire NY, NJ, CT, PA and WV region was hit pretty bad and if you can reach out and donate anything to an organization to help...please do it.
In the meantime....keep on Sparking.