Manhattan After the Hurricane

My office downtown is dark with no phone service or water, but I am thankful because my home is intact and we have electricity. Not so for many people whose lives have been upended by this historic, devastating storm.

I took my camera out in the storm’s aftermath to see joggers on a closed FDR Drive and downed trees all over the City. I stopped by my hospital and we are up and running on emergency power, but up the road Bellevue and NYU Medical Center are evacuated. I can’t imagine the terror on the floors when the lights went out and the ventilators and life support machines stopped.

I took a cab downtown in the evening and found the streets eerily dark, with black hulking buildings lining the streets while cop cars screamed up and down with flashing lights. The view from Brooklyn was amazing, with most of lower Manhattan showing none of the usual twinkling lights.

I ran into a colleague who lives in an upscale part of the West Village, who has to walk down 22 flights to get to the hospital where he works. My favorite Korean grocery store is selling unrefrigerated items by candle-light. Downtown where most restaurants and supermarkets are closed, there are long lines to street vendors selling shish kebab.

My heart goes out to all the people whose suffering is hard to imagine – people who lost everything including property and loved ones.  I lived here during the days after 9/11 and saw the City bounce back. I am sure this will happen again but the road will not be easy.

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ADDENDUM:  Thankfully the power, phone, and water came back in my office building this weekend.  It was actually nice not having email for a few days.  My office blackout was a minor inconvenience compared to so many others who were affected by this storm, and my heart goes out to them. 

Related posts:

A Glimpse of Manhattan after 9/11
The Meatpacking District in Black & White
Incident on the Brooklyn Bridge

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Comments(2)

  • debby fortier
    November 6, 2012, 12:45 am  Reply

    Your photos are really worth looking at. Thank you. I am so so saddened by this. 2012 was, as I recall, the year that there’s really no turning back, even it we make a great effort to stop warming up our planet, our beautiful earth. I am deeply saddened.

  • Cliff Feiner
    November 5, 2012, 4:19 pm  Reply

    Thanks for sharing. Devastation very bad on Long Island; I have two friends on the South Shore (Merrick and Amityville) whose cars/boilers/basement appliances are ruined and still do not have electricity. I don’t have power or heat myself but am not complaining especially after working in a medical needs homeless shelter at York College this past weekend.

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Dr. Jeffrey M. Levine has authored numerous articles on topics related to healthcare of the elderly. These include medical history, prevention and treatment of chronic wounds such as pressure ulcers, elder neglect and abuse, and physical restraints. He has also edited a book on legal and regulatory aspects of nursing homes.