[Note: I’m going to do something new today and keep a “running” blog of my take on Hurricane Sandy from Brooklyn, NYC, so come back from updates.]
8 p.m. — A tree next door fell down in the high winds. A police car is on the scene but no injuries to report and there appears to be little damage except to the tree. This is in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Meanwhile, my daughter in Battery Park City is reporting she just lost power.
7 p.m. — NYC is in the dark as of now but it’s not because of the power. It is nighttime after all. There have been reports of flickering internet service and lights in Brooklyn but everything is still working fine here.
There are some downed trees in Park Slope as well as Forest Hills and I’m sure in other parts of the city. But the big story is the dangling crane on W. 57th Street, just a few blocks from the CBS News broadcast center. It was being used to build a 90-story skyscraper, the tallest residence in NYC when it is finished. Maybe Mother Nature did not like that.
In any case, the crane is a huge hazard and not much can be done while it’s dark outside and the winds are howling. We’ll see about the morning. In other news, CBS News has announced a special at 10 p.m. tonight on Hurricane Sandy. My colleagues are working on it but, living in Brooklyn, I cannot get to Manhattan with the subways shut down and all the tunnels and bridges closed. I’ll watch it like everyone else. What is amazing are the large numbers of restaurants open in Park Slope. I guess it pays to hire locals who can walk to work.
1:30 p.m. — I know trees are coming down in Forest Hills and there’s flooding in Red Hook and all over Jersey, things are fairly quiet in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The wind comes and goes, hard but not crazy, and there is a constant light rain but that’s about it. I guess I should be thankful and I am. The peak here is supposed to be 6 p.m. and so we wait but not much to worry about thus far, at least here.
11 a.m. –– Thar she blows! The wind is picking up even though we’re 8 hours away from the worst according to forecasts. This photo of a downed tree was taken by my sister Karen who lives in Forest Hills, Queens. Kind of early in the storm for this kind of damage so I’m thinking this tree was compromised anyway. I went into my backyard to tie off some rose bushes and kept an eye on the tree overhead. It was blowing but nothing came down and hopefully the roses will live to see another day. They’ve been up for 100 years now…and I’m not kidding. My house was built in 1897!
More to come…..
8:30 a.m. –The major effects of Hurricane Sandy are expected to hit around 6 p.m. NYC time so this morning I awoke to the sound of wind that is loud but nothing compared to what is coming. I always feel that these types of storms hit the people living in the suburbs much worse than we New Yorkers because they have overhead power lines and some outlying roads (especially in New Jersey) are prone to flooding from days of heavy rain. This will likely be much worse.
The biggest surprise of the morning is that both the newspapers I have home-delivered were on my doorstep when I woke up around 8 a.m. I was not expecting either The Daily News or the NY Times but there they were. Bravo to the home delivery men! The News (see photo) as usual has the more dramatic front page. I went outside to pick up the papers and the wind is blowing but not too bad and it’s sprinkling.
I saw a crawl on the television news that elevators, hot water and heat had been shut off by the city in housing projects in Zone A which is the mandatory evacuation zone. That seems unnecessarily cruel to me. Lots of those people probably want to stay. My daughter lives in Zone A in a private development and, while they did turn off her elevator service (she lives on the 14th floor), they have not cut off heat and hot water.
Finally, an anchorman on NY 1 was doing a standup on Coney Island in full rain gear commenting on how no one was outside and a guy jogged by him without a shirt on! Perfect! That’s New York.
That’s the 8:30 a.m. report…..more later.