WASHINGTON – On this side of Hurricane Sandy, we were lucky. As the “perfect storm” approached the mid-Atlantic coast, most here were mindful of last summer’s derecho storm that knocked out power far and wide for days, bringing visits from sweaty friends not connected to municipal water lines for a shower and a cool drink.
This week, it was New York, New Jersey and Connecticut’s turn to feel the wrath of Ma Nature. While power outages were concentrated in the DC area near the Potomac River, and power was quickly restored to most customers, the inhabitants of the “Tri-State Area” continue to suffer. Reports Wednesday (Oct. 31) had thousands still trapped by flood waters in Hoboken, N.J., just across the Hudson River from New York City.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg personally reopened the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning, yet that symbolism doesn’t pump out the flooded subway, rail and other tunnels that connect the city with the mainland.
The biggest problem in the Big Apple, besides widespread power outages, is the continuing lack of subway service. New York’s subway system moves an estimated 2.5 million commuters each working day. Commuters had to find another way to get to work on Wednesday, if they couldn’t work from home. (We are still waiting to hear back from colleagues on Long Island, which was hit with some of the highest wind gusts after Hurricane Sandy made landfall late Monday afternoon.)
Junko Yoshida, our globe-trotting Asian correspondent found herself back at her Brooklyn residence when Hurricane Sandy struck. She decided to hoof it across the East River bridges into Manhattan on Wednesday to see how the recovery is going. While there, she did manage to get one cellphone call out, but the call was quickly dropped. Texting remains the only reliable form of communications.
As the storm hit, Twitter and its durable infrastructure proved invaluable in keeping those in the dark informed, as documented by David Carr of the New York Times.
Recovery is coming slowly to the New York area. The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority is talking about resuming limited subway service on Thursday. But as the frequency and severity of storms takes their toll on coastal cities, finding new ways to communicate only grows in importance.
Below is a snap shot of what Junko Yoshida saw during a tour of lower Manhattan two days after America’s largest city was struck by an historic “superstorm.”
View from the bridge: The sky over Manhattan finally began to clear on Wednesday (Oct. 31) when Junko Yoshida walked across the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn.