Hurricane Sandy Open Thread

Were you impacted by Hurricane Sandy? If so, how did you fare?

Longtime commenter Janis Gore suggested starting a forum wherein OTB readers can let everyone know how they fared in Hurricane Sandy. It’s a good idea. Consider it implemented.

Thankfully, the storm largely bypassed the DC area. We had a couple of momentary power losses yesterday, along with a lot of rain and wind, but no damage. Indeed, a freak, unforecast storm that came through on June 30 did much more damage in my neighborhood than did Sandy. Additionally, since the Federal government wisely shut its doors yesterday and today out of an abundance of caution, and since the Atlantic Council follows OPM’s lead, I’ve been able to hunker down here and work from home.

My mother-in-law’s Connecticut home, which is within a stone’s throw of Long Island Sound, didn’t fare so well. We don’t yet know the extent of the damage, but it could be a total loss. Thankfully, she’s living up here now and my brother-in-law Steven, who lives in the house, heeded the evacuation order well ahead of time and is safe.

How about the rest of you?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Janis Gore says:

    It’s about f*****g time!

  2. CSK says:

    Western New England came through pretty well. There are still a lot of people without power, and there was a lot of tree damage, but no one was killed or seriously injured. No floods in my area. The Connecticut River, last night, was backing up into itself because it couldn’t empty into Long island Sound. There was considerable damage along south coastal Mass. and coastal Connecticut.

  3. mattb says:

    I’m fine, by the time it hit western NY things had calmed down.

    However, things are pretty bad for my mother and brothers on Long Island. The family house is on a canal off the Great South bay and was hit by a ~11 to 14 foot tide. By of 10pm last night the Great South Bay had poured into the house. The water was at least 2 feet deep and fish were literally swimming through the first floor of the house. By 1am the tide had gone out enough to let the waters start to reside. Today’s tide will be far higher than normal, but shouldn’t reach the house.

    As with your Mother-In-Law’s house James, the first floor of our home is a total loss (especially given that this is saltwater and muck).

    My middle brother, who commutes into his job at major broadcast news outlet in NYC, had been trapped in the City since Sunday. He was put up in a hotel within blocks of that swinging crane and wasn’t sure if he’d even be let back into the hotel room last night.

    My family has lived for generations in the NYC and Long Island area. There has never been anything comparable to this. We’ve known flooding, but never anything like this.

  4. DC Loser says:

    From my perch in western Fairfax County, VA, Sandy actually wasn’t as bad as it was billed. I saw worst wind and rain during Tropical Storm Isabel in 2003. I think the derecho in June actually helped as it weaned a lot of the weak trees and we didn’t have as many tress down yesterday. I just saw some fallen branches in my back yard, and we lost power for about 3 hours due to a downed tree outside of our development. The creek behind my house is roaring, but the water is staying close to the bank, not anywhere near as bad as when Irene came by last year.

  5. SKI says:

    Checking in from Annapolis. Lost power last night around 7:30, no word on when we might get it back.

    In-laws in north-west NJ lost 4 trees but only damage was to the fence, not the house. They are without power as well.

  6. Modulo Myself says:

    I rode out the storm in Brooklyn and am one of the lucky ones with power. Last night, I moved everything away from the windows, made dinner, drank most of a bottle of a Chinon, texted friends who were stuck in various apartments, read Flaubert as the lights flickered, lost internet at 8:30, and then watched Aliens on my computer before going to sleep.

    Now I’m basically looking at a week off of work. The city is a giant mess and Jersey and Long Island must be even worse.

  7. DC Loser says:

    I called my mother in Manhattan, who is staying with my sister. Apparently they are one of the lucky ones below 40th Street who haven’t lost power.

  8. Franklin says:

    You may not realize this, but we have wind and hail even in SE Michigan. Enough to make some schools close for the day. I’d hate to be where the real action was.

  9. Mikey says:

    @mattb: Man, I’m sorry to hear about your family’s house. That sounds absolutely devastating.

  10. Stonetools says:

    All OK in northern Virginia. My brother had a tree go down in his Long Island home.

  11. mattb says:

    Thanks. A lot was lost, including a number of “memory” items. But so far everyone is safe which is the most important thing.

    What worries me is not so much the flooding or the water damage, but the season. A regular hurricane hits late summer. So heat isn’t a problem. What is going to make this really dangerous is that a cold spell is coming. No one has heat or power, everyone is moving around in cold water and muck for a while.

    I’ll most likely head down in a few days to help with the clean up.

  12. Janis Gore says:

    Suggested? Isn’t that cute?

  13. Like James and the others here in Northern Virginia, I made it through relatively unscathed. Lots of wind and rain but no damage that I can see around here. Internet went down late last night but it was back up when I woke up this morning.

    My Dad in Central Jersey had a rougher time of it. The town he’s in, which is pretty far from the shore, took some serious pounding apparently and he’s among the million or so in New Jersey without power, hopefully not for too long.

  14. Janis Gore says:

    I’ve suffered damage from hurricanes, too. A lot of heartbreaking stuff goes on. On with it, others.

  15. KRM says:

    Cold and soggy in Richmond, but we feel fortunate. Brothers and sisters up in NJ, NY & CT not so much. So far the count is three cars crushed by trees, 1 boat sunk and another missing. Nobody’s got juice, and probably won’t for a long time. Brooklyn is a fricken’ disaster. Childhood memories of summers with my tribe at Breezy Point gone up in flames. Like I said, we’re feeling fortunate. Time to lend a hand.

  16. SKI says:

    @SKI: And with that, our power is back. Yay reverse jinx!

  17. Rob in CT says:

    Things are okish here in central CT. The coast got hit hard. My area (~20 miles East of Hartford) lost power around dinnertime last night. The area went out all in one shot, it seems. Everyone I’ve talked to who lives nearby lost power at the same time. That gives me some hope that it will come back up fairly quickly. Driving to work this morning, there wasn’t the sort of crazy devastation I remember from Irene and the October snowstorm last year. Either way, I’ve got a generator now, so I’ve got heat, hot water, fridge/freezer, microwave and lights. I joked that after I bought it we wouldn’t lose power for another 20 years. Evidently not.

    We lost 1 tree, but it fell away from the house (if it had fallen towards the house, I don’t think it would’ve hit the house itself. It could’ve reached the deck). It might be that Irene and the October snowstorm last year took out the weaker trees.

    My parents lost power as well and I figure they may be looking at longer w/o power, since they are closer to the coast. Their town is 100% out and the surrounding towns are in similar shape.

    Sorry to hear about your family’s house, Mattb.

    I have some family that was staying on Long Island and they lucked out – they didn’t even lose power. I can’t remember the name of the town, now, but the way it was told to me they are surrounded by hard-hit areas.

  18. Dave Anderson says:

    Pittsburgh just had a nasty rain storm with severe winds. Branches, and medium size limbs were down on the drive to the park and ride this morning, but no trees. The rain was heavy, steady but not overwhelming in the city itself. Intermittent power outages in other neighborhoods…

    Have to second what MattB said — the big concern is the cold, it is raw outside, and for people without power, they’ll be in shelters/alternative housing far longer than they would have thought.

  19. anjin-San says:

    I’ve been flooded before, cleanup is a bitch even if you don’t have structural damage.

  20. Geek, Esq. says:

    All is well here in central Brooklyn (we’re 200 feet above sea level). Never lost power, but not able to go to work in Manhattan until next week due to subway tunnel flooding.

  21. Mikey says:

    @mattb: I’m glad your family members are OK.

    Yeah, the cold will cause problems. People will get sick, cleanup will be more difficult, it’s just a horrendous mess.

    I have two uncles and a bunch of cousins in Brooklyn and Staten Island I haven’t heard from yet, but based on reports from those areas I think they are quite likely OK. Friends who live in the city have already “statused” on Facebook and they’re fine.

    Sadly, there were some deaths (33 last I saw) but it looks like most of the damage from this is to things rather than people. Expensive and inconvenient, yes, but much less deadly than it could have been.

  22. Dave Schuler says:

    Other than having my blog brought to its knees briefly by people desperate for information about the Chicago lakeside flood warnings, I, personally, have not been affected by the storm.

    We have friends in Vermont and New Jersey not so fortunate. They report that their area of New Jersey is without power. Wind and driving rain in Vermont are severe enough to be pouring through closed windows.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Lots of sunshine, temps in the mid 50’s, what’s the big deal?

    Seriously, you guys take care. Just because the storm is past does not mean the danger is over. Trees and limbs are weakened, power lines are down but not dead, and the worst part of a flood is the pestilence that arises from flood waters mixing with sewer water.

    Remember, cleanliness is next to godliness, and if not you could end up a little closer to your God than you may wish..

  24. jan says:


    “A lot was lost, including a number of “memory” items. But so far everyone is safe which is the most important thing.”

    Next to one’s family and friend’s safety and well being is the loss of personal items — photos, childhood mementos, hand-me-downs from other generations and the like. Much empathy sent to your family. I hope they will be able to recoup/salvage more than what may appear in the initial survey of damage at morning’s light.

  25. Rob in CT says:

    General thought: bravo to the forecasters/modelers, and the various local/state/federal authorities who decided not to mess around. People had days to prepare. I did much of the prep on Friday, and finished things off on Sunday morning. By Sunday evening, we were as ready as we could be.

    None of what has happened has been a surprise. That’s big. It doesn’t prevent all harm, but it sure helps.

  26. I’m okay here in SE Pennsylvania. The storm shifted to the south at the last momment and also passed quicker than expected, so we were spared the worst of it. Although my workplace is among those without power, so I will be at home until that situation is resolved.

    I myself only had mommentary power interruptions (although it helps that I’m only a mile or two from a powerplant, so there’s not a lot that can go wrong between the source and my home). The wind got up to 50mph at times though, so I’m glad things didn’t get any closer than they did.

  27. mattb says:

    Thanks @jan, I appreciate the condolences.

    Unfortunately the conditions make it unlikely a lot of the photos will be recovered. Likewise there was some home movies that were lost. Still time will tell.

  28. Moosebreath says:

    We’re fine here in Philly’s suburbs. My parents (in another part of Philly’s suburbs) are without power for an indefinite time (their area was very hard hit with lots of trees down). Only damage was blowing off of a shutter, and when compared to being flooded out of our house twice, we’ll take it.

  29. Kylopod says:

    For a little over a year I’ve been living in Washington Heights, apparently one of the more hurricane-resistant sections of Manhattan. (There’s a reason it’s called the “Heights,” I guess.) It barely affected me at all. No flooding, no power outages, no broken windows. Walking outside today, the only evidence I saw that this was anything more than a typical rainstorm was some tree branches on the sidewalk.

  30. Janis Gore says:

    Okay, everybody think. Are we missing anyone here that you can remember?

  31. Rob in CT says:

    Well, I’d say Hey Norm but he hasn’t been around here in a long time, so it’s not like he up and disappeared once Sandy hit.

    I know there is another CT poster, but I can’t remember his handle off the top of my head.

  32. Janis Gore says:

    Maybe they’ll check in.

  33. Janis Gore says:

    We even felt the effects of the storm here. We had two very chilly days with a moist cutting wind, and night temperatures in the mid to low 30’s.

    Today, Wednesday, it’s 75 degrees and sunny outside. This is directly across the river from Natchez, MS.

  34. mattb says:

    @Janis Gore:

    Okay, everybody think. Are we missing anyone here that you can remember?

    Unfortunately, the nature of this storm is that anyone who was affected is probably (a) not able to post due to loss of power and (b) probably not even remotely worried about the internet.

    At some point — unrelated to this — it would be fun to do a “pin map” where regular posters pin the general location they are posting from. It would also be helpful in times like this.

  35. Janis Gore says:

    That’s all true. But y’all could probably think of people I can’t because I don’t post all that frequently here.