In my 17 years as a New Yorker, I don't think I've ever been frightened by a weather phenomenon... until Monday night. While the rain in Brooklyn Heights was tepid, at best, the wind gusts that blew down Montague Street in front of my apartment building felt like they were going to shake down this 150-year-old building... as I envisioned trees being uprooted and flying up the street like a scene from The Wizard of Oz.
I was one of the lucky ones. Last night in the 9 o'clock hour, a Con Ed transformer exploded in Lower Manhattan. I was actually on the phone right when it happened with Ayhan—who lives next door to a power plant on Avenue C—and he said it looked like the world had caught on fire.
At that moment, power went out in the majority of Downtown New York, with 300,000+ residents still without electricity as of Tuesday morning for god knows how long.
As the wind whipped in Brooklyn Heights, the lights continued to flicker, but while I lost cable and Internet overnight, thankfully, my power remained.
This morning I was up at 5:30 a.m. and out the door at the crack of 6 to survey damage in the nabe. Looking across the Brooklyn Heights Promenade pre-dawn and seeing total darkness—except for lights surround the WTC (ironic, indeed)—was eerie as hell.
I walked from one end to the other of Montague Street in the Heights, and was relieved to see that the damage was minimal: The worst was a lighted TD Bank sign that blew down. Leaves are everywhere, the sidewalks are sopping wet and newspaper boxes were blown about like cardboard... but otherwise no downed trees or major catastrophes.
Throughout the tree-lined neighborhood, there are reports of downed limbs and a few trees—including a major limb right in front of the Hotel St. George entrance to the subway—but all in all, I think this neighborhood made it through the rain... Today, Abby & Spencer and I are just trying to stay warm... and be thankful for our good fortune... lights, heat, food... and life. *