October 29, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Liveblog

Well guys, it’s been quite a hurricane. And there’s nowhere that we’d have rather spent it than with you. No, really. We mean it. Thank you for sharing your photographs, your stories, and your time with us. I know we always say this, but we should get together more often, you know? Why wait until the apocalypse to catch up? Anyway. Until the next event in which we all could use a little humor and comfort, we bid you adieu. This is Thought Catalog, signing off.

11:46 AM, October 30, 2013 (one year later), Williamsburg It’s been a year since Sandy hit the Eastern coast of the United States, but there are still plenty of volunteer opportunities to be had. From our friends at Brokelyn:

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 11.46.05 AM

(Brandon)

STICKY: If you want to help:

8:15PM, Wednesday, Midtown, Manhattan 

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42nd Street & Third Ave. Traffic at stand-still. Many people are walking in an aimless manner that seems funny. Looked out window at one point & saw “PFIZER WORLD HEADQUARTERS.” Someone said “what do they make.” Someone else said “what we’re all on now probably.” I’m in a car trying to get to Newark airport. Below ~38th Street there’s no traffic lights or electricity (except this) but still many cars. Currently at a gas station on 36th Street that seems to be out of gas. They said to go to 45th Street for gas. (Tao)

7:56PM, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Saw this ~5 blocks from Graham L train station. It was the only destruction I saw while walking from the Bedford L train station to past the Graham L train station. But I was looking at my iPhone ~80% of the time. Only noticed this tree because Katie almost walked into it while looking at, I think, her iPhone. (Tao)

7:19PM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn Just got back from Manhattan. Got there at around 3PM, rode over the Williamsburg Bridge on my bike. Just got back. I took photos which will be below, and a I wrote a bunch of notes on my iPhone that I wanted to post here.

Ultimately as far as I know things are completely fine in Williamsburg. Alphabet City and parts of LES, from what I saw, were out of power, and almost completely devoid of mobile service, so are much worse off than Brooklyn, which is not fine. If you live in Manhattan and don’t already know, Williamsburg has power and cell service for the most part, so if you have friends, walk over the bridge and stay here. I’m here, you can email me.

I was in Alphabet City/ LES for about 3 hours, and I wrote a bunch of stuff in my notepad app. Here follows the photos I took and the corresponding notes. Nothing insane, but, my experience nonetheless. Before my notes, though, I want to say that there are much more important things, like aid to people who are in serious danger, than this update.

1. Lots of people going to bodegas that are blacked out and I think paying cash for food and water. Bodega doors open and owners standing at the doorways confirming they are open and selling food.

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2. People seem OK. Not in distress. Half the people I have seen are obviously ‘storm tourists’ with cameras out and around their necks (in Alphabet City).

3. No cell service but trying to find Tao’s apartment and maybe just wait outside to see if they come out. Know that Tao’s apartment is in Murray Hill and that it’s maybe on 29th St.

4. Bodega owner selling cups of coffee outside for a dollar. Obviously this coffee maker thing is not powered. Blacked out store.

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5. Community garden on Avenue B and East 7th completely messed up.

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6. Walking through Alphabet City, feel mostly emotional and sad. Think most people do, storm tourists included. Mood is weirdly subdued and excited at the same time, and makes me feel emotional for humanity in a way that feels good but also sad. Not sure how else to describe it.

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7. Was thinking about interviewing people on the street asking how they were affected by the storm but I feel very quiet and emotional here, like I want to be alone with this feeling. I don’t want this to sound self-obsessed but maybe it is. My mission now is to find Tao’s apartment.

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8. 1st Ave and St. Marks: Places are open, just without power and only taking cash. Candle-lit. Romantic and emotional. People walking around seeking out cash only places to spend their money, maybe just out of camaraderie (I have that feeling) and finding them. And going in. People in high spirits. I feel good about reality right now. One shitty thing is that I can’t get hold of Ryan O’Connell and haven’t heard fro him for over 24 hours. Been trying to get in touch with him because I want to see him but can’t make calls here.

9. Walking down E. 7th with my bike back toward Williamsburg Bridge and eyed an old man on a stoop. After I passed him he yelled “You gotta ride the bike!” I smiled and didn’t know what to say, because the reason I’m not riding is that I’ve had a flask with me this whole time, and I replied “It’s too dangerous!” (Brandon)

6:45PM, Whippany, NJ Tree uprooted under my shed, so now the shed is at a 20 degree angle sticking up in the air. After spending a few hours deliberating how to get it down, I said ‘screw it’, stuffed a pair of striped socks, put them in some red(ish) sneakers, and stuck it underneath with a broomstick and a hat. Best Halloween decorations on the street.

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Sandy, the New Wicked Witch of the East. (Reader submission — Laura)

6:18PM, Williamsburg, Brooklyn My roommate has played the same song 50,000 times in the past 24 hours. I was thinking about punching her in the face, so I left the apartment. Wow! So many people on the sidewalk! Ran into my coworker Lauren and her boyfriend “just going for a walk.” Everyone seemed to be doing the same thing. The Blue Stove is open and running out of pie. I don’t know about your neighborhood, but mine is patronizing its bakeries, bars, and burger joints like no one has eaten in two days. Maybe they haven’t? More likely, they’re all just trying to get away from roommates like mine. (Reader submission: Kat)

5:45PM, Murray Hill, Manhattan Slept ~6AM to ~2PM without being woken by storm. From ~2PM until now it has been peaceful outside with occasional “drizzling” rain & little-to-no wind. There was no electricity or hot water in my apartment on 29th Street & 3rd Avenue. Was told to go above 50th Street in Manhattan for electricity. The only 2 things of destruction I saw around 29th Street was that someone had spraypainted “robocop” on the side of a building & a restaurant’s “header”/sign was tilted from its top right corner being disconnected. In taxi to Williamsburg the TV said there were “21 Sandy-related deaths.” One of the news items on the scrolling “ticker” thing was something about Jewel having 5 Halloween costumes for someone named “Sade,” I think. The video part of the TV repeatedly showed commercials for a fashion designer’s collaboration with Target, I think. When it finally showed news it showed [something not about the hurricane, I don’t remember what]. In Williamsburg things seem normal currently. I’m in a Mexican restaurant in the billiards room. There is a TV showing Mayor Bloomberg giving an “Update On Storm Aftermath.” Standing next to Mayor Bloomberg is a woman doing sign language in what I’m discerning as an unnecessarily exaggerated manner. Have thought variations of “never believe the media” ~100 times in past ~20 hours. (Tao)

5:15PM, Greenwich, CT

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Power won’t be back in the area for days, in large part due to the countless trees that took down lines. Many trees had their leaves ripped off, so the hills look like winter came months early, a far cry from the pretty fall colors that existed only two days ago. (Ella Ceron)

4:02PM, S. Williamsburg, Brooklyn I am happy to report that Ryan O’Connell has been located and is OK, although his cellphone service just returned moments ago. He evacuated the East Village last night after losing electricity, went uptown to find a hotel with some friends (this was a no-go) and now he’s migrated to Williamsburg where it’s safe and there’s internet. (Stephanie)

3:55PM, N. Williamsburg, Brooklyn Standing on the stoop in front of my apartment just now enjoying views of the debris on my street as a stranger approached, asking if we would be interested in buying “some really good blow.” The drug dealers are apparently a little more brazen following the apocalypse. (Reader submission — Rion Harmon)

3:37PM, Internet For some comic relief, head to The Awl where Choire Sicha teaches us how to survive getting trapped in your apartment with the people you love/ hate/ may reenact The Shining with if this self-induced house arrest thing lasts another 24 hours. A sampling below. (Stephanie)

But for most of us, no one’s going anywhere anytime soon. And that is… stressful. (Not stressful like your building being surrounded by water and actual howling winds! But stressful like “Maybe I will divorce you or maybe I will kill my roommates, time will tell.”)

3:20, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn Aside from a brief downpour this morning, it’s just been dry, windy, and bleak-looking here on the south side. I’m alone, drinking wine and feeling lucky and scared — I went to a small college in Westchester so lots of my friends are from the tri-state area and since lots of people have MIA electricity, it’s impossible to know if everyone I care about is OK.

This tweet and photo from Daily News Court Reporter Oren Yaniv got to me:

I’ve walked on that boardwalk, but more importantly, I have friends who grew up on it. Lots of people who are dear to me over in Point Pleasant, NJ, too. Would love some reader submissions from Jersey and affected areas in Queens (and outside of New York, as well). How are y’all doing? (Stephanie)

3:10PM, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Gawker decided to ditch being a technology company, and just use Tumblr. Now they can focus all their efforts on quality editorial. Goodbye Budapest team. Heh, real story here bout’ the outages across the web from Sandy. (Paul)

3:06PM, Manhattan

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Here is the panoramic view we had of Manhattan from the Williamsburg waterfront last night when Chris and I ventured out into the storm around 11:30pm. This doesn’t even begin to capture the awe you experience being there to see it in person. I will never forget that feeling. If you’re feeling adventurous this evening I recommend seeing this view while there is still the chance. Hope everyone without power in Manhattan is staying strong. [Reader submission -- Rion Harmon]

2:49PM, Everywhere

Red Cross

Red Cross is looking for blood and platelet donations to help victims of the hurricane, you can make an appointment to donate here. (Stephanie)

2:26PM, Columbus Circle, NYC

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Those who lost power have flocked to Columbus Circle to take advantage of their power outlets and wireless internet. (Reader submission — Molly Oswaks)

2:08PM, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Here’s the latest from ConEd, friends. (Stephanie)

2:04PM, DUMBO, Brooklyn

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The first picture is a restaurant that was absolutely trashed by the hurricane. The entire DUMBO waterfront is completely disheveled. (Reader submission — Lily McFarland)

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Water moves. It’s dynamic and fast. Above photo documents the change over the last 24 hours of water levels in the East River at the Williamsburg waterfront. First photo was taken around 6pm yesterday; second 1:00am today; third around 12:00pm today. This did not do much to this area, but Gothamist shows Greenpoint got surged, all that water was gone by 3:00am though. (Paul)

1:36PM, N. Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Billboard at Manhattan Ave. and BQE blown off. (Brandon)

1:35PM, Columbus Circle, Manhattan Post-apocalyptic chaos at Subway. Line nearly out the door of customers desperate to “eat fresh.” Guy in front of me is trying to commandeer another customer’s sandwich due to an unsatisfactory amount of bacon on his own. Credit card machines appear to be out and with no sign, people feel justified in leaving whatever scraps of cash they have and making a run for it. Send help. (Reader submission — Zena Wozniak)

1:33PM, Manhattan

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Here is a photo of that crane that fell on 57th street. Just taken by a TC reader a couple mintes ago. Dangerous… (Paul)

1:25PM, Boston, MA This live blog has been the only thing in the last probably three years that has made me think the internet is a good thing, and not just a means to give me anxiety via over exposure to all stimulus that is usually reserved for “real life.” Reading the live blog was initially fun and aligned itself with the spirit in my dorm room of “we’re getting out of class so this is kind of a good thing, let’s use it as an excuse to have sleepovers,” but as things progressed the blog quickly made me feel genuine human emotions that are usually reserved for when someone I know and love are in a bad situation and are unable to text me about it. My feelings towards New York are the obvious worry and concern, but selfishly and inhumanely I also feel a strange sort of envy like I want to be there for the sheer experience, to try to gain some sort of insight into myself and human growth, and because it feels like New York will come out if this much, much stronger than they were before. To me, it also feels kind of like when you’re watching a television show and you think “I wish my life was exciting enough to warrant a half hour of compelling storytelling each week.” I’m not proud of any of these feelings. I feel compelled to pray, something I have felt only once before in my life. (Reader submission — Evan Gott)

1:23PM, Queens I created a CouchSurfing group to connect those with safe, warm, electrified places to shower, sleep, or charge a cellphone, with those who had to evacuate or otherwise need a place to stay. You can post your CouchSurfing profile in the group if you’ve got a place to offer! http://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=58410 (Reader submission — Alyssa D’Anna)

1:23PM South Williamsburg, Brooklyn Ryan O’Connell, an East Village resident, cannot be reached for comment or… anything else. Hon? Are ya there babe? Are you feeling what I’m feeling? (Stephanie)

New York City Rainbow (Source: Noah Kalina)

The photographer Noah Kalina just posted the image of this rainbow over Manhattan right now. Nature’s repise.  (Paul)

1:13PM

Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Source: jaimelapinta

Williamsburg, Brooklyn is absolutely fine. Nothing is going on here. People are just drinking beers in bars and talking about things. Or looking for some destruction porn where they can find it (and there ain’t much). New Jersey, however, is gone, particularly the Jersey Shore. West Virginia is pummeled in 30+ inches of snow. Power outages are everywhere. (Paul)

12:57PM, N. Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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More siding ripped off another building at 8th and Driggs. (Brandon)

12:54PM, Bushwick, Brooklyn Feels very strange to think I’m in the city I’m seeing in the news. My neighborhood has come out of this with relatively benign damage compared to pretty much everywhere else in the city. Feel extremely guilty having made such public light of the situation. Hope everybody is doing well. (Reader submission — Ed Halliday)

12:48PM, North Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Lots of sightseers at East River Park. (Brandon)

12:45PM, North Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Siding ripped off apartment building on Wythe and around N. 9th. (Brandon)

12:30PM, Williamsburg Waterfront, Brooklyn

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Pit stop to the Williamsburg waterfront before heading to Manhattan. Here’s a metaphor for our current state of public transportation today and for the foreseeable future. Sandy could even spare the signage. (Reader submission — Rion Harmon)

12:19PM, Williamsburg, Brooklyn In my hurricane gear. About to go over Williamsburg bridge to assess damage. (Brandon)

12:08PM, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

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A large sign for White Castle in Clinton Hill I have long considered the ugliest landmark in the neighborhood has been decimated. There are shards of plastic strewn about the parking lot. (Reader submission — Adam Humphreys)

12:08PM, Bedstuy, Brooklyn

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Saw fifteen to twenty fallen trees on a 30 minute walk around my neighborhood. Expressed solidarity and grattitude to city workers who were feeding fallen branches into this wood chipper by via a thumbs up and head nod tht was returned by a small bow of the head. Thought it would be very moral and community (something) if I could help in any way, then was sort of pleased that I lived in New York and there were other people who would do this stuff so that I and others could get back to fueling the local economy in our own lil ways. Lauren home from work again, her meatpacking district office is without power. (Reader submission — Adam Humphreys)

11:51AM, N. Williamsburg, Brooklyn The Bagelsmith on Bedford Avenue is taking the aftermath so seriously that they are rationing bagels to 2 per person.

Lots of debris around. Bedford Avenue has light foot traffic. More updates as we make our way into Manhattan. (Reader submission – Rion Harmon)

11:45AM, N. Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Fallen lights at Mccarren. Police van idling right next to it, making sure people don’t get to close to it I guess. (Brandon)

11:43AM, N. Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Urban Rustic windows taped. Closed. Union and N. 12th. (Brandon)

11:40AM, N. Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Construction barriers down. Corner of Union and Withers. Jimmy’s Diner is open. (Brandon)

11:33AM, Bushwick, Brooklyn I want to put things in perspective for people that clearly don’t understand the severity of the storm and it’s damage. I woke up this morning to numerous people from the south posting on facebook about how it was just a big thunderstorm and we should calm down. As a Florida native, I can understand where they’re coming from (even though it’s from an ignorant place). Florida has experienced much bigger storms and multiple ones per hurricane season. But the difference is, is Florida is prepared for storms. The building codes are set to protect against category 5 hurricanes. There’s constant construction that tears down older high rises and smaller homes to replace them with safer structures. The buildings in New York are older and less stable. The apartment buildings don’t get torn down as frequently to be rebuilt. I realized that people keep forgetting this is a natural disaster. Some how the word disaster is lost on them. Someone that I went to college with posted that this was karma for the northeast. I don’t even know how that makes sense in her mind? Millions of people are without power and the amount of damage is incredible. I imagine we won’t be getting to work for a few days since our main forms of transportation are destroyed right now. Luckily my building just swayed in the wind for about 12 hours and we were safe, but people lost their lives and homes. If people haven’t looked at pictures of the damage they have no idea what we’re truly experiencing. (Reader submission — Nicole)

11:27AM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Ventured out to assess the damage. Found an open deli and picked up an egg sandwich and some coffee and walked to the waterfront to check out the flooding. Instead of flooding, I found two guys fishing in the East River. This is actually normal; those guys are there almost every time I come down here. Normally there’s a sign that says “if you are pregnant or under the age of 15 do not eat fish from this water.” Looks like the sign is down. (Reader submission — Kat)

11:18AM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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View up Graham Avenue, close to the BQE. Rainy but nothing extreme. (Brandon)

11:13AM, Suburbia Liveleak has provided us with a video of some trees straight up toppling over, one after another. (We can’t embed it here, for some reason.) It’s hard to tell where exactly this is taking place, but it’s clear that it’s Sandy’s doing. I have no words for this other than ‘apocalyptic.’ Jesus. (Stephanie)

11:03AM, Cumberland, Maryland People have been freaking out since Friday (or before). Store shelves are bare. Had to get some cheese for cheese steak subs last night (pregaming the hurricane) almost died by being run over by crazed shoppers. Preparation for the hurricane: wine, cheese steak subs, curly fries, fiesta dip, enchilada doritos, spicy fries, strawberry newtons, raspberry cookies, jalapeno pringles, strawberry sunny D, RC Cola, beer and vodka.

Sunday: A slight mist set in during the night
Monday: Rain all day, disappointing though. Windy but again disappointing… Seen way worse during other ‘normal’ storms. Rain stopped around midnight. Power was flickering but stayed on
Tuesday: Woke up to no rain just severe wind. Power still working. Started raining again around 10 a.m. That has since turned to snow. Blizzard warning in effect for this area until 8 a.m. tomorrow. #snowicane

Updates with pictures later. (Reader submission)

11:01AM, Alphabet City, NYC

This NY Daily News video of Avenue C last night pre-blackout is disheartening but real evidence of what we’re dealing with here. (Stephanie)

10:50AM, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn

It appears Gawker is still down. It’s been 12 hours, which is a little scary. Lower Manhattan? Hon? Are you guys OK out there? What’s your electricity situation like? (Stephanie)

10:47AM, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn

NYC Councilmember Brad Lander is looking for volunteers in the Park Slope area, if anyone’s looking to get their philanthropy on in a safe place. (Stephanie)

10:35AM, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Gothamist is reporting that it may take ConEd up to a week to restore electricity to over 650K homes in New York City and Westchester.

I checked in on a friend in Breezy Point who reports having lost both his car and his bedroom to the hurricane. Feeling pretty concerned about friends out in the Rockaways right now.

It’s just begun to pour here. (Stephanie)

10:28AM, Columbus, Ohio Dark and quiet, winds are a joke at 30 mph. It snowed for an hour this morning and people here have the nerve to complain and act like we actually got hit by this hurricane, I could punch them. Family in NJ lost power last night, its been nearly 15 hours for them, and friends in the city went out with ConEd. Pictures of Breezy Point and flooded streets are freaking me out. Cleveland has shut down schools but Columbus as a whole is chugging along fine. Can’t stop pestering friends to make sure they’re ok, but being far away is making me more anxious for everyone over there. A tree fell and killed a couple a town over from my house with their two kids in the back seat. Can’t even begin to absorb all of this, just anxious as hell. (Reader submission — Emmily Chang)

10:18AM, Ann Arbor, Michigan As a Florida native, being in Michigan for a hurricane (and feeling it!) is weird. Winds were pretty bad last night, and the rain from it also caused a bit of snow. Walking to class this morning I got hit by hail, definitely a first. It’s crazy to think that a hurricane is causing such insane weather in the Midwest as well. (Reader submission — Angela Lagano)

10:13AM, East Williamsburg, NY I’m going out and taking some pics of the damage if there is any in my area. Chelsea and Steph will be running the liveblog while I’m out. (Brandon)

10:10AM, Armonk, NY Woke up to trees falling all over each other on the property, but none near the house itself. The barn I was so worried about stood, though the horses seem spooked. (Even writing this, I’m like WTF is my life, because by all accounts, I should still be in my old walk up right next to the Hudson river, without power, without an ability to write this.) Back home in Greenwich, CT, a tree fell down in the middle of the street, a lot of the valley roads are closed, and there’s no power. With a generator here, we only lost power for a few minutes. We won’t be able to go home for a few days, as our block is usually one of the last to regain power. A few huge houses in Greenwich burned, and even if they were multi-million dollar properties, and even if those residents have the means to rebuild them, the fact of the matter is that people’s homes still burned. I received an email from my gym stating that there’s no power there, either, and that I’m free to use another club nearby if I want to.

Somehow, even though I was carefree and went to the gym yesterday, it now seems so trite.

It’s easy to say now that I might think twice about #firstworldproblems, when everything is so fresh and new and we haven’t yet forgotten how we’ve felt about the city. I feel guilty now that i was able to leave on Sunday, that I had a job that actually required that I be removed from the city. And it’s scary to check in with friends as much as I can — to text and Facebook and tweet and email and try to find out who’s okay and to what extent they are. A lot of my messages have no response. A lot of people still don’t have power.

And all we can do is wait until everyone else confirms or denies the wild rumors that are running rampant. It’s the wanting to know and the worrying that is the worst of our damage, and I have to remember how lucky I am for that. (Ella Ceron)

10:03AM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn This pic just came through my feed.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Breezy point in the Rockaways. All ruins. Click for larger picture. (Brandon)

10:02AM, Dupont Circle, Washington DC It’s cold and grey in DC this morning. Also eerily quiet, almost like the city is afraid to wake up and look outside. Honestly, we were extremely lucky. Now, thing we have to fear is the Potomac flooding over the next few days. The only damage I see is the construction site right outside my window, which is down a fence line and their crap is everywhere. I guess living in downtown DC has its advantages: I never lost power. But that didn’t keep me from lighting the candles and imbibing along with everyone else. I’m worried about my friend from the city who fled to NJ to ride it out with her man, and I’m also weirdly worried about my ex in CT who lost power. The metro, federal and local government, and all the universities are still closed here. For now I’m just going to focus on staying warm and enjoying day two of my “hurrication.” Time for some Irish coffee and being thankful. Stay safe and warm! (Reader submission — Rachel)

9:57AM, Florida People in my office are making crass comments about how they wish the hurricane had hit Florida instead. They are bitching about how we still have to be at work. How it’s unfair that we are fielding calls for our New York office. How people are overreacting. Told one girl to shut the fuck up. Not sure if that will get me fired. Just saw a photo of Breezy Point and went to cry in the hallway. My sister is currently on the Upper West Side. As of 5 am, she still had power. So thankful she made it through unscathed. Thoughts and prayers to everyone who wasn’t as lucky. (Reader submission — Brianna)

9:50AM, Boone, NC Class officially got canceled this morning which is quite theevent since in the case of snow, they rarely ever do that. Winds are supposed to reach up to 80 mph by tomorrow, crazy since on Thursday it was in the 60′s. We’re expecting up to 10″ of snow by the end of this week thanks to Sandy.

The picture is the view from my dorm bed. (Reader submission — Natalie Heise)

9:42AM, Murray Hill, Manhattan

Here is what it’s like ascending 4 floors of stairs in a blacked-out building with 3 friends & 2 iPhones. (Tao)

9:25AM, Marquette, Michigan

Sitting in class looking through the live blog, can’t believe how quickly the hurricane escalated. Woke up this morning and it’s really windy. My school even sent out a warning to stay away from Lake Superior today. Apparently the waves are massive. On the satellite I noticed Detroit was going to get some winds from the hurricane though I think some of those winds made it to the Upper Peninsula. Obviously we’re not experiencing a hurricane, but i find it pretty amazing that these winds could be from Sandy. Caused me to whip out the winter jacket. Good luck you guys, stay safe! (Reader submission — Natalie)

9:10AM Richmond, Virginia Basically nothing happened where I am. I didn’t lose power, the wind never seemed to blow that fast, the McDonald’s by me stayed busy. It was just a sucky day all day. I still tore through my disaster food, though. Got really sad and nervous when I heard Christine Quinn say on MSNBC that that the Hudson River had come over 23rd Street towards 10th Avenue. I don’t think anything like that has ever happened in the city. Got another email from the Yale Alert IN ALL CAPS telling people not to go anywhere. Was texting a lot of people and my best girlfriend texted me a pic of her tits because I asked to see them. (Madison)

9:04AM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn “MTA ‘Has Never Faced A Disaster’ Like Sandy.”

Seven subway tunnels under the East River flooded Monday night as an unprecedented 13-foot storm surge cascaded water into lower Manhattan.

Metro-North lost power from 59th Street to Croton-Harmon on the Hudson Line and to New Haven on the New Haven Line, Lhota said

The Long Island Rail Road had to evacuate its West Side Yards and suffered flooding in one East River tunnel.

Gushing water flooded the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel ”from end to end,” Lhota said. The Queens Midtown Tunnel was also flooded and closed.

Six bus garages were disabled by rising water.

More here. (Brandon)

8:56AM, New York, NY

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“Subways and Metro North are Down. No trains from Queens or Brooklyn to the city!!! Damage is here, and Obama has declared NY, Jersey and Long Island in disaster state of emergency.” (Reader submission — Cynthia Reyes)

8:43AM, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn

I woke up to a barrage of text messages re: my safety, which felt nice. I am safe. The sky looks nice today, but the weather report still looks ominous. Weather.com says it’ll start raining in the next hour. I feel like a tree branch flying off of a tree and knocking someone unconscious is one of those things people think will never happen to them, that I think could legitimately happen to me. Will stay indoors all day again today, think it’s easier for me than for other people. My brother (who lives in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn) and sister (in Peekskill, I think) are both without power. I took a picture of the sky because I can see blue in it and it seems misleading. (Stephanie)

8:42AM Hanover, NH People in Starbucks are pretending they understand what happened down in NY because a tree fell in their backyard and their lights flickered sporadically from the winds. As a native Long Islander with friends and family flooded out of their houses I am on the verge of strangling the next person that complains… Or worse says they saw the news this morning and tries to equate it to that time Irene came up here and flooded the JCPenney. (Reader submission — R. Wieczkowski)

8:35AM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Just woke up. Our guy on the liveblog accidentally made this post “private” before he went to sleep, so it disappeared for about 6 hours. Apologies. Just checking news now and it looks like it’s not really over. Wind gusts can get up to 80 miles per hour today. People still without power. Windows can be dislodged from skyscrapers. Authorities are telling people to avoid walking under large trees. Weather.com has a coastal flood warning for Brooklyn. More info soon. Again, sorry this post went down. Send me updates of where you are, and pics of damage around you. (Brandon)