Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Recovery From The Big Storm

The last 96 hours will go down for me as one big blur.  Everything happening without time to take a single breath.  Having to continue on with care for the children, and working to put food on the table, in spite of the horrific storm that was called Sandy.

Prior to the arrival of the storm, we had prepared our house for as best as we could.  Last year’s Irene dumped a lot of rain on us, and we figured that was what would happen again.  We had flashlights, lots of dry firewood, coolers with ice, clean clothing, and plans on how to deal with the kids.  Then Monday night, around 9:30pm in the heat of the storm, the power went out.

Our story for the next two days in this area  is probably very similar to so many others.  But for those in our lives, miles away, in New Jersey and New York, especially close friends of mine in Manhattan, once again they are faced with a monumental recovery effort.  The Jersey Shore must rebuild.  Manhattan needs to get its tranportation back up and running.  A neighborhood in Queens must console each other with the loss of an entire neighborhood up in flames.

There will be plenty of rhetoric about climate change.  There will be accusations of taking advantage of tragedy for political gains.  And I am sure that there will even be zealots who will claim to cry out in God’s name, that somehow we are being punished.  The fact is, none of that stuff matters at this very moment.  With a lot of us having power restored, we can now see a lot of the devastation left behind. 

For the most part, the majority of us are now in clean up mode.  Many will be rebuilding.  Others will just sit and wonder “where do we go from here?”

Just before the power was restored in my home, a stranger, who happened to be a friend of one of my Facebook friends, reached out to me yesterday to offer to help me drain my flooded basement, as he had a generator.  I gladly accepted his offer, connected everything, and then shared a couple of beers while we watched the water pour out of the hose.

Bryan took time away from his wife and children to help out a total stranger.  Having the water drained made a difference as the water was just an inch away from my furnace box and the electricals of my washer and dryer.  In spite of the safety of the stagnant rising water, I walked through to unplug everything just in case the power came on so nothing would short out.  About two hours after he left, our power came back on.

It turns out, this could have made all the difference in the world as water had returned to my basement prior to the electric being turned on, which clearly would have destroyed my furnace making a bad situation even worse.  Instead, the power came on, the sump had an easier job to do, and tonight I got started on clean-up instead of dial-up (to the insurance company).

This was an awesome gesture, and will not be forgotten.  It is also a good news story in an awful time period.  In time, after the media is done sensationalizing Hurricane Sandy, there will be much better stories such as random acts of kindness or miracles.  Perhaps a baby will have been born during the storm, pets being rescued and reunited with their owners.  It is only a matter of time.  Snookie will finally have to get a real job.  Good news will come.

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