That F*%$king Sandy!


I am FINALLY able to go back online.  A tiny miracle amongst many that I have seen in the last three awful weeks here in NYC.  I have over 1000 messages to go through on Facebook, this blog, my email, and Goodreads so please have patience with me and I will get in touch with all of you!  xoxox
The majority of my messages are about what's been happening here with me and I promise to try to answer all the questions in this blog.  
Oct 29 the East Coast was introduced to a Bitch of a Storm named Sandy.  Before it even got here it was deemed a natural disaster, public schools were closed (which is a another miracle in NYC) and many towns along the shores were evacuated.  I live in NYC, the southern tip in a neighborhood named Howard Beach.  We were NOT evacuated.  We fucking should have been.  
I live in a ranch style house (one level) 7 blocks away from Crossbay Blvd and the Jamaica Bay which spills into the Atlantic Ocean.  My family (Dan my husband, my daughters Hailey 6 and Emily 2) got ready.  We got flashlights and candles, water and beer, food, etc.  Living with us is my mom in our basement apartment and one of my oldest friends from high school Phil (I've blogged about that slut before) who is staying with us while going through a rough breakup and well, I honestly have know idea what the hell is going on with him.  Anyway, we were ready.  Or so we thought. 
My kindle was packed with newly downloaded books and a full battery.  I though being stuck in the dark for a day or two would be kind of fun.  My husband and I even drove around in his JEEP (RIP EUGENE the Magical Jeep) and drove to the park to watch the waves and laugh.
I don't know if this video will work but I tried to upload it...

video

I. AM. STUPID!  
At 6:00 the Major (JACKHAT BLOOMBERG) came on TV and said that a storm surge was most likely going to happen between 6 and 8.   At 6:15 a fucking explosion echoed through the streets, and more followed.  Trees fell, taking down all the power lines and exploding all the transformers causing telephone poles to catch fire.  TOTAL DARKNESS.
So far, not so bad in my eyes.  We had flashlights.  This is NYC, power would be fixed in a few hours.  HELL NO.
No, no.  That's just when it started.  THE FUCKING WATER.  Like the idiots that we all are in my house, we are all sticking our heads out of the door watching the poles on fire and trying to snap pictures, we see the streets fill with water.  It came up from the sewers and in waves, YES WAVES, from the BLVD.  The neighbor's Mercedes on the corner starts floating away.  We tried to pull all our cars up onto our lawn to save our cars.  We thought it would pass and the water would go away.
Ha, the fucking water didn't go away.
It keeps coming and it's getting higher.  My mom is downstairs and she's screaming that water is erupting from her toilet and shower.  The guys try to plug it up and I tell her - take all your important papers (she keeps them in a tin) and get the fuck upstairs.  THANK GOD she did.
We hear screams from outside.  Our neighbor across the street is screaming for 911.  In his basement apartment is a man who is drowning.  The pressure from the water filled his apartment so fast he couldn't get out.  We call 911.  NOTHING.  NO ONE can get through to 911.  My husband (a NYC detective) swims, yes I said swims, across the street with Phil and the rescue begins.  It takes over an hour for them (and two other neighbors)to bash through the first floor of the neighbors house with a sledge hammer and pull the man out - the water was so high he had been breathing through a hose they stuck through a hole they made.  
Meanwhile, I am with my mother (61) and my two little girls.  I hear water.  I hear a lot of water.  I open my basement door and I see the fucking water.  It's pouring through my house and filling up my basement so fast that I don't know what the fuck to do.  The house is shaking and things are exploding around us.
I form a plan in my head that has to do with my attic, an axe and building some sort of a raft to save my kids.  For two hours the waters pour in, cars are floating away, my children's whole entire jungle gym gets swept up and moves across my backyard. 
My neighbor is saved.
The water recedes at 8, slowly.  
The storm leaves the area sometime the next morning.  My neighborhood is shattered.  People have drowned in their houses.  So many pets were lost.  Salt water and seaweed are all over and my basement is filled with the ocean.  My mother's entire apartment is filled with salt water and sewage.  We have no heat, no electric, nothing.  My boiler is floating, alongside my washer and dryer and the dry wall is turning into oatmeal.
But we were okay.  My family lost a basement, all my mother's things, my daughters playroom with all their toys, my cars, motorcycles, my fucking roof, my shed, the only thing that is good is the ground floor, which is cold and filled with the sounds of my mother crying, who has lost everything and is now homeless.  Oh, yeah and on Wednesday, Halloween, she was supposed to go in for a biopsy because they found something in her breast.  So yeah, it's bad.
We have no way of knowing anything because we have no radio.  Who the FUCK has a radio?  I listen to my iPOD!!!!
Our neighbor has a generator and lets us plug in, so we have a lamp.  We borrow his water pump and start the three day process of emptying our home.  My mother is beside herself and I won't let her see anything.  Everything is full of sewage.  My baby pictures. My mom's refrigerator is on IT'S BACK! All my laundry.  Her jewelry.  Papers.  My entire classroom of school supplies (I'm a NYC public school teacher on child care leave)  Her computer, all her clothes and shoes. Everything of my moms.  Everything.
There was not enough beer or wine in the house to deal with this.  And when you start your car your airbags explode in your face.  The only thing that works is our cell phones and my Facebook App.  
But my family is all safe.  And that's the only thing that matters to me.
Then we start the clean up.  
We didn't have hot water, electric, or heat for over two weeks.  Everyone starts to fucking smell.  We have to buy a new electric box, boiler, hot water heater and tried to run it off a generator we had shipped from Tenn.  Everyone is stealing gasoline from the dead cars to run the generators.  The gas tanks are filled with salt water too.
Our neighborhood has been cleaning and tearing out the sewage and garbage in their homes.  My daughter's school is closed, two blocks away, because the water spilled the oil tanks!  She needs to be bused to another neighborhood to go to a school where every single class in doubled.  She has 56 children in her classroom.  Her school will not be opened until sometime next year.  The cleaners there wear Haz-mat gear.  
Oh yeah and no one in my neighborhood had flood insurance.
This is what's left of my mother's apartment.  The walls crumbled until my foundation could be seen and we were told everything had to be ripped out.  This is, of course after all her furniture and walls and everything had been taken out and picked up by the amazing NYC sanitation dept.




This is a video of the Surfside Hotel approx 9 blocks away from me...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYgg9nI0-Hg
Rockaway and Belle Harbor is where Grace and Lea grew up
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/cb-ckHF2aZZhaW6/sandy_reporter_wipes_out_in_surge_on_tape/

But my heart goes out to my Breezy Point friends.  My Long Beach friends. You have lost your entire neighborhoods...burned to the ground or swept out to sea.  I love you all and I have a first floor, I have three bedrooms and we're all squashed but any of you are welcomed in my home and we'll squash you in with us.  We still have plenty of Halloween candy to eat (even though I've eaten over half myself).  Don't judge, my fat ass is what kept me warm for two weeks.

As for everyone who has been asking me about Shane's POV.  I haven't been able to write anything.  I'm sorry.  I haven't even gone through my files to see if they were damaged and honestly I am too scared to right now.  I know I was up to 60,000 words and was half way through, hopefully everything will be okay with that.  I'm sorry to say that it isn't a priority to me right now.  I know I will be printing books on Createspace soon, I was in the middle of uploading all the info when the storm hit, so there's that.
Being connected with Facebook was the only way I got in touch with family and friends during this time.  I know I did a lot of venting in my statuses so I hope you forgive me for whining so much.  But I truly found hope in so many people who either started fund raisers for me, or sent me warm blankets or sent me daily pictures of my favorite guys just to make me smile.  I absolutely love you all.  

Some good news.
FEMA is pretty awesome and they are helping us with about half the damages.
My mom's biopsy was negative. Although she still needs surgery on Monday to remove a papaloma (I have no clue what the fuck it's called)  all I know is that it's not cancer.
I got my cable on today, so tonight I will be watching three weeks worth of JAX, then Tate.  AND finally I can use my kindle and all the ebooks I downloaded but couldn't read.
And we are all okay.  
Love to you all,
Chris

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