Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Superstorm Sandy: Just when you think it's done, here come the blackouts.

On Monday evening, Superstorm Sandy touched down in New York City.  Fifteen minutes later, I heard a huge thunderous boom.  It sounded as if it came from behind the building in which I live.
The explosion was so loud that this native New Yorker who never gets spooked was suddenly experiencing a little discomfort so I pulled my blinds down.
In my corner of Brooklyn, between the hours of 6:45 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., we experienced blackouts, failed cable and telephone service every twenty minutes, more or less.  Each failure lasted about 5 to 10 minutes, the most.  During this time, one could hear sirens from EMS, FDNY and NYPD blaring in the background along with loudspeakers.
By 9:30 p.m., I was totally fed up with having the repeated rebooting of my cable boxes, etc. and decided to call it a night.  I woke up about 2:30 a.m. only to find that the power failures and sirens were still going on; and the loudspeakers were still blaring all around me.
Around mid-day, the madness finally began to subside and I along with my neighbors began to relax and count our blessings...until shortly before 9 p.m. last night (Tuesday) when we experienced another power outage.
Brooklyn Blackout Flatbush and Midwood Tuesday night 001 (paulbayda)
Brooklyn Blackout Flatbush and Midwood Tuesday night 001 (paulbayda)
Unfortunately for me, or not, the power went out as I was charging my cellphone.  Having only two bars, I attempted to call my daughter-in-law to make sure they everything was fine where they were only to realize that cellphone service was out as well.
With the exception of the recognizing police and fire department vehicles because of their flashing lights, Brooklyn was totally dark. 
Brooklyn Blackout Flatbush and Midwood Tuesday night 002. John Anderson.
Brooklyn Blackout Flatbush and Midwood Tuesday night 002. John Anderson.
A dead laptop battery, no electricity, no cable, no phone service I quickly realized just how spoiled we have become and dependent upon modern technology.  It was at this point, that I put the batteries in my flashlights, lit a candle, relaxed, said a prayer and then meditated after which I simply went with the flow.
We remained in the dark until about 12:15, 12:30 a.m., after which I learned that Con Ed cut the power "on approximately 160,000 customers....
While I acknowledge that Con Ed is doing one heck of a job, I am realistic.   Regardless of how hard Andrew Cuomo and Barack Obama attempts to push Con Ed's hand to get the job done in a timely fashion (a) Con Ed works at its own pace, (b)  the employees of Con Ed are unionized (you know what that means).  There is no emergency on the planet that would force them to give up their coffee breaks, lunch hours, days off and overtime; and (c) when it is all said and done (satisfactorily or not), Con Ed like the public unions are going to demand one hell of a hike from its consumers.  
Of course, all of the parties mentioned above would say to concerned New Yorkers, "Don't worry about that now.  We will cross that bridge that when we get to it."  My response is that I have no doubt we will.
Back to the subject at hand, regardless of how many blackouts that most New Yorkers are praying that they will not have to endure, we are taking it in stride because we know that this morning there are many others who are not as fortunate as we are.  
Thus, while praying for those who did not fare as well, we praise God, thank him and count our blessings.

All posts cross-posted on PUMABydesign001's Blog