Hurricane Sandy Liveblog

11:42PM, Cambridge, Ontario I just went out for a smoke break and to take a picture. The wind is still going strong and the rain seems to be picking up a bit. It’s hard to tell from the picture but the rain is going sideways with the wind and trees and signs shaking in the wind. (Reader submission — Dylan Allen-Dexter)

11:35PM, Crown Heights, Brooklyn Hearing news of power outages at hospitals confirms the uncomfortable and inconvenient feeling that has been rising in my gut since 4PM, when I went out on my roof for fun, got locked out and had to break back in with a trowel. This is nothing to make jokes about anymore. We probably need to dial back the blithe. I don’t know. It feels weird. Then again, isn’t this always the story of writing from privilege? I have power, for now. I have Internet. I just took a Sandy joke out of a column I’m writing for tomorrow. (Jason Oberholzer) (Cosigning this — Brandon)

11:31PM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn Not entirely clear on the state of the storm right now. As I said before, it looks to have died down (the wind) significantly. Am a few drinks deep, I admit. Not really abreast on the full extent of damage in Alphabet City, LES, and the other areas of Manhattan that have flooded. Getting more subs from around Toronto. Will go outside for a minute and assess more I guess. (Brandon)

11:21PM, Los Angeles

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Cat is showing unprecedented concern for old friends in NYC. Earlier she was licking her genitals. Later there will be sympathetic panic eating and drinking of wine. Stay safe, NY! (Brian Donovan)

11:18PM, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada We’re getting hit wind some wind and rain right now, though more wind than anything. Its mostly just drizzling but the winds are starting to get a little crazy. I just checked the weather network and it said the wind gusts are getting up to 71km/h (44 m/h) right now. The peak of the storm isn’t suppose to hit here until tomorrow. I’ll continue to post updates as the storm makes its way up here to Canada. (Reader submission — Dylan)

11:13PM, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn After seeing the sky light blue while transformers blew up and seeing picture after picture of the flooding all over the city, I’m feeling super fortunate at this moment. Granted, this is after a few beers and Family Guy episodes later. Anyhow, the wind is still whipping and it’s eerie to see NYC half lit.

I’m pretty thankful that I have power & internet…. (Reader submission — Lauren B)

11:03PM, Upper East Side, Manhattan

Power up here on 66th and Madison is still going strong. Had to drain the bathtub of water (we filled it last night as part of our disaster preparedness plan) to take a shower earlier this evening. Have been drinking wine and eating provisions (smoked turkey breast, cheddar cheese slices, almond butter, and like that) and scanning Twitter for pictures of Sandy’s progress. The building on 14th Street whose facade was torn off is particularly alarming. As are all the cars floating about the streets like so many sailboats in a pond.

Apparently, the backup generator at NYU Hospital has failed. I keep reading that, but nothing of what kind of measures are being take to resolve the issue nor what it means for the patients. Seems bad.

I’m concerned about when I’ll be able to return to my apartment in Williamsburg, and how. I have low hopes of the L train being brought to working order before Wednesday… at the very earliest. And I miss my cat. Friends elsewhere in Williamsburg seem to have made it through the worst of it and are now drinking in a warm bar somewhere and swapping Sandy stories. Gonna pop some Melatonins and put a movie on. Nighty night. (Molly Oswaks)

10:50PM Vietnam/Brooklyn:

This is New York City right now
This is Vietnam right now

What’s going on in Vietnam right now? That photo was shot ten minutes ago in Vietnam. It’s sunny and nice there, and the beaches are doing what they’re supposed to do: Looking beautiful, not horrific. Photo sent to me just now by email from a friend on vacation there. Come home, your city is in trouble bro; oh wait you can’t all the airports are closed. (Paul)

10:48PM, Chicago

I live in Chicago and my friend Jon lives in North Williamsburg, right on the waterfront. I sent him a text to make sure he was okay and this is what I got back… (Reader submission — Stacey Andeen)

10:42PM, Murray Hill, Manhattan

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Nuthouse (24-hour hardware store) in Murray Hill is open. I asked when they will close & they said “we don’t,” implying that they’ll be open all night, it seems. I recommend the store. It’s 2 floors. (Tao)

10:40PM, Toronto Unconfirmed: “A woman in her 50s was struck and killed by a flying piece of debris from a broken Staples sign in Toronto, ON. The accident occurred at the corner of Keele St. and St. Clair Ave.” (Reader submission — Alexandra Vaiay)

10:31PM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn I’m not hearing as much intense wind as before. Either it’s dying down or it’s just temporary, but it’s definitely calmer. Just realized that I’m listening to Chopin’s “Raindrop Prelude,” and I want to feel sort of serendipitiously twee about it, or something. On the other hand, there are 10 people who have reportedly died as the result of the storm. The message here is that I’m in my room, in my bed. I’m here. (Brandon)

10:28PM, Connecticut Reading through the blog now, it’s amazing to see how the dynamic has changed over the last several hours. Submissions were filled with pictures of wine and freshly-cooked food (which looked delicious and I was practically drooling over) with jokes of “Come and get us, Sandy”. Now that the storm is, as of now, bearing down on the Northeast, it’s not so funny anymore.

As for where I am exactly, it’s very windy, a bit rainy, and I still have power for now. New Jersey, NYC and other places in the area are not so lucky right now.

Just on the other side of my town, there are power outages and at least one house fire due to the severity of the storm.

I’m definitely bored, but bored is fine. Bored is safe, and that’s how I want to stay. (Reader submission — Maddy)

10:18PM, Brooklyn

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I got scared with the Flushing death(very sad abt the news), so I wanted to make sure my friends out there were not under trees. They sent me this from this afternoon and said it’s calmer now.

We have power here in Broadway and street is calm. Just some cockroaches coming to high floors, but this could just be the city. (Reader submission — Mar)

10:10PM, Murray Hill, Manhattan

Murray Hill view uptown. No electricity. No traffic lights. Decent amount of people wandering aimlessly. Cabs moving slowly. Medium winds. No looting. No rain. Very calm. Without artificial light there is an evenness of darkness that makes everything almost more visible than in daytime and in a haunted, natural-seeming way. It looks like I’m in nature sort of… the sky looks backlit, peaceful. The silhouettes of people around me look “beautiful,” I feel. The slightest differences in darkness are lucidly apparent. (Tao)

10:07PM, Crown Heights, Brooklyn Power is still on here in Crown Heights. Friends from around the corner are visiting. Liquor is being consumed. Cigarettes are being smoked. Wind is blowing hard against the windows, but at least the A/C is out. Friend lives across the street from the 8th ave building destruction, but everyone seems to be okay. Kittens are running around, looking for cuddles. Just heard the trains may be shut down all week because of water damage. I am not a reliable source, but we can all hope we get time off from school and work. Nothing more to report from my part of BK. (Reader submission — M King)

10:01PM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn

This is, apparently, a video of the ConEd explosion at 14th and FDR. Begins around 0:15. (Brandon)

9:54PM, North Williamsburg, Brooklyn This is the worst of it. Going end soon. CBS New York City saying most of this bad stuff is happening because of the wind. The wind is so intense and pushing all the water onto the land. Further, showing us this graph above saying Battery Park is under 14 inches of water right now and by 12pm tomorrow should be at 7 inches. Let it end soon! (Paul)

9:47PM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Got another one of these alarming emergency sounding alerts on my phone. DO NOT GO OUTSIDE. (Brandon)

9:35PM, North Williamsburg, Brooklyn There are reports the subway tunnels are flooded with seawater. Photo above was sent to Fox by Twitter and looks real. JFK is supposedly underwater. Waves are going completely over the FDR, according to eyewitnesses. This is serious. Newscasters saying this is the biggest thing to happen to NYC “since 9/11.” (Paul)

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9:30PM, Chelsea, Manhattan I live in Chelsea and we seem to be the only building in our general vicinity that still has power. (Knock on wood.) This is the view from our apartment of Manhattan below 26th street (facing S/SW). (Reader submission — Elisabeth Bromberg)

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9:24PM, North Williamsburg, Brooklyn View from my window, Upper East Side still seems illuminated, but a lot darkness. Reporters from Manhattan are saying there are tons of strange smells on Manhattan, oil in the air. This is going be an expensive recovery. (Paul)

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9:20PM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn Some Twitter users are saying that this pic is of a transformer exploding on 14th Street. (Brandon)


9:12PM, North Williamsburg, Brooklyn From my apartment in Brooklyn, Manhattan looks so eerie. Lower Manhattan is completely blacked out. It’s just darkness (and presumably black water on the ground). Midtown is hardly illuminated and the upper east side is unusually dark. Almost seems Manhattan has no power at all, and what we do see is being run by generators. But friends on the Upper East Side say they still have power. CBS is saying we are the peak right now. The high tide cycle is over and it should be getting better soon. (Paul)

9:00PM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn Gawker seems down. Can’t get to it. Also, blackout in the Village:


Also, this is scary, but here’s a screenshot from my Facebook news feed. Big explosion followed by massive Manhattan blackout, is what this Facebook friend is hearing.

Aaaand — another crazy Instagram. Blackout city. (Brandon)


8:55PM, North Williamsburg Fox News is reporting the next 60-90 minutes to be the worst. Say main threat is the flooding (from storm surges) on the Jersey Shore and Lower Manhattan. NBC says the guy who died was 29, he was in his bed (in Flushing) and tree fell on him, gone. Many houses are flooding in Staten Island. (Paul)

8:40PM, Murray Hill, Manhattan Power has gone off at 229 East 29th Street at Tao’s apartment. Went out without warning, without Con Ed warning. (Mallory Whitten)

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8:48PM, North Williamsburg, Brooklyn It’s getting intense outside as well as here on the liveblog, so who else is prepared for books when the power goes out? CAUSE I AM.

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8:47PM, West Virginia Five inches of heavy snow, and a transformer already blew and the trees are snapping. Winds haven’t even hit here yet, but will around midnight with 50 mph gusts. Two feet of snow expected tonight, nearly another two feet tomorrow, and more all week. We might actually freeze after all. Several locals dead in car crashes. (Reader submission — Jolene)

8:42PM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn Just got this notification on my iPhone, alerting me with a ring tone that was actually just a loud emergency-type beeping. It’s very windy here but not seeing much other action, really. (Brandon)

8:41PM, North Williamsburg, Brooklyn CBS New York is reporting that Battery Park is now 6.7 ft underwater. The record is 10.02 ft in 1960. Looks like it might hit 14ft tonight. Only time will tell. (Paul)

8:39PM, North Williamsburg, Brooklyn Some perspective — comparing the size of Irene with Sandy. (Reader submission — Rion Harmon)

8:23PM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn Some EXTREME wind bursts coming in now where I’m at (around Graham and the BQE). Twitter’s saying Sandy just hit Atlantic City. New York Daily news says the water is “at least three feet deep” outside of 4 New York Plaza. Might be a long night. (Brandon)

8:22PM North Williamsburg, Brooklyn Someone died in Queens, a tree fell on him. That is what the TV is saying, and even if didn’t happen: it still happened because the media says it happened. Battery Park is surging. There are waves in the park. Waves in the park! How long until Manhattan is completely under water? Twenty years? Fifty years? 900 years? Nature owns. We are its particles. You are not in control. Back to me, me, me: at the Williamsburg waterfront, I was standing by the East River and the wind was so intense, and the night was so dark, that it feel morally wrong to be out there. And when the wind really, really picked up we tried to run away from the East River but the resistance from the wind was so strong that it was almost pointless; so we ducked into a nook and waited for it to die down and then made a run for it. The rain pellets hit my face, it hurt, needed goggles. When I was back to safety I felt bored, and cracked open a beer. A surge. (Paul)

8:10PM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn Jesus, man. Lower East Side and Alphabet City are fucked. Cars floating. Pics below with credits. (Brandon)

I Fucking Love This Planet

8:07PM, Washington DC This blog is STILL happening? I’m sorry for mine own personal live-blog lacuna, but I’ve had a pretty busy day down here. And by pretty busy day, I mean I watched four episodes of Homeland in bed. (I’m midway through Season 1 and if any on you spoil anything for me, you will feel a wrath that Sandy could never muster.) I also took a brief nap, had a bath, AND took 20-30 minutes trying to master the dance that Francis Starlite unleashes at the 1:50 mark of this video.

In other quick hit DC news, DC Metro and Metrobus are closed for tomorrow. The viral photo you all saw of the Marines guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is now known to be fake, but they posted some real ones on Facebook. The government closed down for tomorrow, too. I’d go outside and take some photos but I just had my bath and, to be totally frank, I don’t want to. (Nate)

8:05PM, Upper East Side, Manhattan Checking in from the UES circa 91st St. Just did a candle inventory after realizing that we only had one small flashlight between the roommate and I. Read we should put them in pots for fire safety reasons, who knows. Police have set up orange cone barricades to stop traffic from passing 91st St; in true entitled New Yorker fashion, cars are just plowing them over anyway. Cheers. (Reader submission — Alexandra Hilton)

8:03PM, Paris, France Facebook news feed inundated with French people in broken-yet-peppered-with-internet-slang English posting photoshopped pictures of the storm over Manhattan and wishing well to their friends on the East Coast. Feel that correcting their grammatical errors at this juncture would be poor form. (Chelsea)

7:57PM, Newark, DE Another day of class got cancelled. The lights flickered for the first time so we pooled all the possible light sources in the apartment and here’s what we came up with: 24 candles, 1 flashlight, 2 glow necklaces, and 1 flashing St. Patty’s day relic. Other stats: 24 cupcakes have been made, 13 left. 2 cans of queso and chili eaten. 2 boxes of wine opened. 1 exam cancelled, 2 still on. 3 leaks in the ceiling. 1 adventure to 7-Eleven. 9 friends invited over. 1 Samara Halloween wig thrown out the window because we’ll be too scared of it when the power goes out. 2 sets of parents back home without power. Enough pictures posted to Facebook to make to make us a little freaked out/regretting that fact that we bought ice cream over more flashlights. (Reader submission — Carolyn Mazzei)

7:53PM, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Email sent to me at 5PM but wasn’t able to get to it because of having received so many emails, but wanted to post it because it’s interesting — Brandon) While strolling through what may be the battlegrounds of the coming apocalypse, my roommates and I came across a motorcycle that had tipped over, perhaps due to the high winds and general rainy day malaise. Attempts to cover the fallen stallion were foiled by extreme winds.

On another, more important note, do NOT tape your windows. This will not prevent your window from shattering into a zillion shards and impaling you. (Reader submission — Leslie Lasiter)

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7:44PM, Cleveland, OH It’s been raining nonstop since Friday but now shit is getting wild here, too. My office lost power around 5:30 so I went down to the lake to check out the action. The photo doesn’t do it justice but it’s not every day you see 15-20ft swells on Lake Erie. The wind is at least a steady 40mph if not more. And just to get the full effect of the storm, I’m currently listening to the Cloud Atlas soundtrack.

ALSO, both of my parents are stranded abroad (mom in Italy, dad in Brazil) since all flights into CLE have been cancelled, so now I’m left to ride this storm out alone with only my schnauzer and maybe a bottle of whiskey. (Reader submission — Leah Blowes)

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7:36PM, Murray Hill, Manhattan Thought Hurricane Sandy was “Hurricane Sandeep” from ~8PM last night until ~5PM today. (Reader submission — Jordan Castro)

7:34PM, Toronto: As of right now its cold, and raining, with heavy winds. But we’re supposed to be expecting the worst of it over night tonight, and tomorrow. This morning, flights out of Pearson Airport were cancelled, and Southern Ontario is expecting 50 mm of rain, and a range between 60km/h-100km/h winds; the weather network has issued a wind warning. Picture is from 5:40 PM. (Reader submission — Brittani Bracken)

7:19PM, East Williamsburg to North Williamsburg Waterfront So far this storm is annoying me very much. I don’t like these new impositions on my will and I need exercise. I am feeling more like a “caged animal” than usual. Also I’ve decided that if money gave us the power to control the weather, at, say, $10M-per-day for full weather control, I would be much more interested in making lots of money.

I live in East Williamsburg and I went to the North Williamsburg Waterfront. I wore a khakis, a cable-knit cashmere sweater I stole from my dad, an orange windbreaker-type jacket, and nike high-tops. I brought keys, an Opinel 8″ steel-oxide pocketknife, my iPhone sealed inside a plastic ziplock bag, and a fifth of Knob Creek bourbon.

Bringing along [unnamed friend], I walked the ~1.3 miles from where we were/are to the waterfront. On N8th and Driggs we found a toppled Harley Davidson motorcycle of the smaller type of Harley Davidson motorcycles. I righted the motorcycle. I tried to put it on it’s center-stand, but it was slippery and heavy so I settled for putting it on it’s kick-stand. Gasoline leaked on my khakis.

At the waterfront the river was flooding the docks, such that the promenade between the East River Ferry Ticket Machine and the [at higher elevation, but about 20 yards offshore] East River Ferry Dock was completely flooded/impassable. The other nice dock/promenade in front of those fancy condo towers at N6th had waves washing over it and we could not walk there.

There were about 10 people there, and cops trying to hustle us away [see photo]. The wind was enough that you could lean against it. The rain was driven sidewise and it stung the face. There was significant small debris (sticks, crap formerly attached to people’s houses) flying around.

Berry and N8th had an open bar. Neither I nor [unnamed companion] had our wallets. But we did have a fifth of bourbon, so we went in and asked if we could hang out/dry off and have some glasses with ice for our whiskey [also explaining $$ situation to madame-the-barkeep]. She said no. I said something about solidarity and be cool. We left.

We passed the formerly-tipped motorcycle and I decided it was actually better for the motorcycle to have been let down gently, onto its side, rather than crashing over again from wind. I took it off it’s kick-stand and gently laid it down on it’s side. This motorcycle probably weighed about 400 pounds. We drank almost all of the whiskey. (Alex)


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