I’m still very much freaked out by the pictures I see coming into our newsroom and on the Internet of the devastation Sandy has left in its wake and I am thanking God for sparing me. It’s hard to remain “stoic” during all of this when it’s in your own back yard.
I didn’t sleep so well again last night. Went to bed with a splitting headache. I think I worked with a clenched jaw most of the day and night.
My coworkers are getting tired. The party-like atmosphere at work is rapidly changing as fatigue is setting in. Many have suffered damage to their property and have issues with transportation and child care. Our crews are stretched to the max, working very long hours. Those of us inside the Broadcast Center are being treated well, we have hot meals and the camaraderie of each other. The crews out in the field are working under lesser conditions in devastated areas but they’re hanging in and doing great work for us.
I talked to my uncle Tim tonight and learned he and his family are hanging in there, out in Rockaway Beach. I tried all day yesterday to get through to him. Cellular service in the region is spotty as many of the cell towers were either taken out by Sandy or are working on generator power.
When I called Tim, I left a message only to learn later he’s out of battery power. When I called Ivy, I was given the message that “circuits are overloaded, please try again later.” I waited to hear from Tim and he did call me to let me know the family is intact, there’s no heat or electricity, but that they have gas for cooking and running water. I worry about them because the forecast calls for temps tonight in the 30s and 40s. But they’re stuck because the bridges into and out of Rockaway are closed and the trains are not running. Tim assures me they are okay and hanging in. I’ve updated his Facebook page because a lot of people are worried.
I wonder about my friend, photographer Joel Graham, who nobody’s heard from since before the storm. He’s an excellent photographer and I’m hoping he’s out snapping pictures. He lives on Staten Island and is likely without electricity. But it’s worrisome not to know how he’s doing, especially since he’s sort of a “McGyver” photographer — if you google some of his work you’ll know why I call him this.
I feel as if I’m living “A Tale of Two Cities.” On the one hand, there are parts of Manhattan, like where I live in Hell’s Kitchen, where you’d never know anything ever happened. Then just blocks south it’s as if the Apocalypse struck. It’s a heartbreaking juxtaposition and hard for one to put their arms around.
Part of my job at work today was just finding out stuff to help out my coworkers. I learned where some showers are in the building; I let them know. I was keeping an eye out for the commuters, letting them know any info I could regarding getting into work, then back home, besides producing generic live shots with Vinita Nair in lower Manhattan and Wendy Gillette in Atlantic City.
I’ve been watching news coverage as much as I can, absolutely fascinated and awed by what I’m seeing. The magnitude of the devastation. The magnificent coverage. And again, I know I am one of the lucky ones.
I don’t forget that for a minute.