Over Veteran's Day weekend I went to NY. I realize that my timing is impeccable since the region was just hit by a major storm. [I won't call Sandy major since she was only a category 1, but the meeting of storms was major.] My family has weathered several hurricanes, including one that made landfall during my sister's wedding -- luckily we were far enough inland to just get a lot of rain. We were evacuated for Gilbert, who then turned and hit Mexico; we survived Hugo; we moved just before Andrew. A tree fell in my backyard due to Hurricane Ernesto -- he was only a category one, so you might not remember him, but ironically this was the first time I had actually experienced personal damage from a hurricane. My family has, thankfully, never experienced any hardship from these storms. Sure, we lost electricity, I got to miss about 2 weeks of my sophomore year of high school for Hugo, several days of freshman year for Gilbert, but that was all. No major financial loss, no loss of life. We are very, very, very lucky.
Unfortunately, we know these storms are only going to get worse as the sea temperatures rise. I often speak poetically about how beautiful the eye of the storm is, but frankly, I'd be happy to never have the opportunity to see one again. The damage done is incredible. We traveled to Charleston a few times after Hugo to rebuild and the scene made me cry. I'm not talking about the obnoxious giant mansions people build on the beach (I won't go into my frustration regarding where we choose to build), I'm talking about extremely modest houses that were swept away. People who could not afford to replace their mailbox, much less their entire house.
New York, New Jersey, and other surrounding states, felt this pain at the end of October. It used to be if you reached October you could breathe a sigh of relief that you survived another year without major hurricane damage. Not anymore.
But I have to say, Manhattan didn't look too bad. I wasn't in NY to visit hurricane damage, so I didn't actually go all the way to Battery Park, but I did visit the High Line. The High Line is a raised rail-trail. It is on the West Side, so it weathered quite well. A couple of elevators were out, but a local told me that wasn't storm related.
Of course, Manhattan was not the hardest hit area. We should remember that recovery doesn't happen in a day. People will be cleaning up and rebuilding for months to years. Some areas may never recover. I recommend donating to the Red Cross or you could pay your full tax load (no deductions, no tax havens) because every person I over-heard talking about rebuilding was talking about FEMA.
And now that I've depressed you, some photos for your visual enjoyment...