Tuesday, October 30, 2012

east harlem. morning after hurricane sandy.

this man and the cabbie below are pointing to the water level in their cars last night.  they both watched in shock from nearby buildings as the storm surge swept the street.

these men were cleaning up the driftwood and flotsam  on 1st ave in the 90s  among which was the new yorker poster.

1st ave was under at least 3 or 4 feet of water during the flood and apparently few people had expected or prepared.   hundreds, or thousands of cars were swamped on the streets and in parking lots.  i overheard one man describe looking out his window to see 3 cars floating in the street below.  "look," he said, gesturing at a small lot and a dozen soggy vehicles, "it's a b m w!"

fdr drive was closed. police were occasionally discouraging pedestrians but more often ignoring them. eerie... post apocalyptic.

this car was half on the sidewalk, where it appeared to have floated, with widows open.  there was a baby seat in the back.  it was full of storm debris and water. 

the open widows made me feel like it'd been left in a hurry.

i  was trying to imagine what happened, when three nurses came out of the hospital on the same block.
"oh... that's the car...!" one of them said to the others.

i asked. they said they'd watched from the windows as people in the car tried to drive it out as the water level climbed.  it was too late. they were overwhelmed and stranded, but an ambulance crew, presumably aware because of other people watching in the building, made it through the rising waters and rescued them.

it was clear there were many even more frightening stories.  this car was also flooded.
but, at least, there was a belated offer of help!

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