I didn’t get nervous until the sky lit up.

That’s what I saw last night the second before the power went out. The sky lit up with a bright blue flash to the east. I was in my kitchen, wondering if I had enough pots filled with water and trying not to freak out about the scary wind gusts hitting my windows, when the sky lit up in a way I’d never seen before. Kind of like a cross between lightning and an enormous searchlight. That’s when I got really scared. Because what was that? The zombie apocalypse? An alien abduction? Terrifying, yo.

The first blue flash wasn’t when the power went out. The lights were flickering and the wind was scary, so I went online for live coverage. I was looking out of my window wall. Which by the way? Is awesome to have every single day there’s not a hurricane. But when 70 mph wind gusts are slamming against those windows, you want to run and hide. It was weird because I was having an eerie feeling the power might go out after all. Con Edison had already turned out power in the evacuated Zone A (the southern tip of Manhattan and areas right near the rivers) and warned us that they would be turning out sections of lower Manhattan if flooding was imminent. Flooding can cause salt water to come in contact with the underground electrical grid, which can cause large-scale power outages.

So there I was at my window wall, looking south over 18th Street. Another blue flash lit up the eastern sky. And the power went out a second later. I can’t tell you how cool it was to see all the city lights and illuminated windows in my view go dark instantaneously. If I knew everything in my refrigerator would soon be rotting, I probably would have thought it was less cool.

In my panicked estimation, there were three possibilities for the outage. 1. The zombie apocalypse. 2. An alien abduction. 3. Con Ed turned out the power like they said they would. But no. That blue flash I saw was an explosion at the Con Ed substation.

How did I find out about the explosion? By venturing into the dark hallway of my floor with a flashlight to knock on my friend Jayne’s door. She was all hooked up with an emergency radio. They were saying that the power should be on by tomorrow.

Lower Manhattan blackout during Hurricane Sandy

Well, tomorrow is today. I am writing this from my friends’ place on the Upper West Side. Lower Manhattan is entirely dark. There’s no electricity at all. The subways aren’t working. My building has no running water. No heat. I did not open my refrigerator once, but am still worried about all the food I’ll have to throw out. Including several bags of Trader Joe’s Tofu Edamame Nuggets (aka my new addiction) in the freezer. Really? Could we at least spare the nuggets? You know it’s bad when the nuggets don’t make it. So I packed some stuff and hiked up to 76th Street, stopping briefly to gawk at that dangling crane.

The living is pretty sweet here on the Upper West. There are lights. There is Internet. I won’t have to read by flashlight like I did last night. There’s running water and heat. You can even flush the toilet without having to manually refill the tank! I might stay forever, Tim and Nick. Just so you guys know. Thanks for being a ray of light in the dark.

17 thoughts on “dark

    • Did you hear about the apartment building on 14th & 8th? The entire wall blew off. You could see right into the apartments and everything. Emergency crew were already stationed there before it happened, so whoever was home must have seen the walls ripping apart. Way more scary for them!

  1. i’m totally praying for my friends out in the east coast. i’m so relieved to hear that you’re doing chill, though.
    stay safe, susane!
    hannah xx

  2. Sad about the nuggets, but did you save the quorn? (On the coast of Maine, I lost power for 16 hours. I don’t dare to open my fridge)

    • I was just telling my friend Tim about the Quorn. Sadly, it all has to go. I’m planning to go back to my place tomorrow to empty the fridge before it starts smelling. Food safety guidelines say that most frozen foods without power for 24 hours (or 48 hours if they’re tightly packed) are toast. Everything in my refrigerator has to be thrown out. Except maybe for the butter.

      You are doing much better than I am! Your frozen food should be fine. Here’s that guide about the rest: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/pdf/severe_storms_and_hurricanes_guide.pdf

    • Thanks! As sad as the loss of nuggets is, it’s nothing compared to the enormous losses so many people experienced. That perspective is what I will have in mind as I throw out everything in my refrigerator tomorrow…

  3. Pingback: non-coincidence | Susane Colasanti – Blog


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