Saturday, November 3, 2012

When mother nature gets furious !

Last week has been quite eventful and silent at the same time. There were predictions about an enormous hurricane hitting the east coast of the country. News channels and authorities were beginning to send out cautionary messages and the word of the town was Sandy now. Sandy is what the hurricane was named this time - again a feminine one...don't we have women out there in weather stations to prevent such nomenclature ? Anyway, preparations were catching pace by saturday evening. Grocery stores soon had people lining up to stock food and water in case things do get bad.

Loud wind gusts striking against my room windows woke me up around dawn on Sunday morning. It sounded like those ghostly winds typical of horror movies. I somehow managed to shield myself with layers of blanket and pillows and went back to sleep unaware that this would be the sound I would've to sleep to for the next couple of days. Wind speeds only got worse by the end of the day and stories of what to expect were all over the place. Evacuations had begun on lower grounds and 'do not come to work' emails were floating around. Mayor, Governor and even the President addressed the public urging them to follow instructions and take it seriously. It was expected to be the most devastating storm of the century.

Monday morning was full of anxiety and excitement for the worst was yet to come. My eyes were glued to the rising water level in the river that runs by my apartment building. Weather channels were giving minute by minute update of the location and intensity of Sandy as it made its way towards us. The sky was dark and the rain and waters looked angry. Power outage and communication loss were being anticipated and feared.

The day was passing by real slow until we approached the dreaded hour. Winds were going insane and rain water swept along. Soon, the news flashed that Sandy had made landfall and whoosh cable and internet went off. I stood by the window and saw water gushing up from the river. Within the next few minutes it was atleast a foot above the ground. It was also a full moon night so soon the high tide came in as well. Water rose a few more feet and then I saw something I had thought only happens in movies. A rescue boat appeared from somewhere and suddenly it felt like Venice where it is common to see boats instead of cars on the road. The only difference was it was just not a normal sight. The increasing flooding sent shivers down my spine - lots of thoughts crossed my brain. Although I was way above the ground but humans have a strange thought process. The only bright side was that all of this lasted only a short while. The waters receded soon and the gusts eventually slowed down. Life came to a standstill and darkness spread all around. It felt calm after a day of too much action and apprehension.

Next morning brought in newer challenges - no power and no connectivity days were ahead of us. Almost a week has gone by and there are still people who are living in the dark and those who have suffered property losses. A few unfortunate have even lost their loved ones. Millions of lives get affected by nature's single act of fury. I'm not sure if it is just how the universe works but this experience would not be forgotten in this lifetime.