Aug 26, 2011

Irenageddon 2011



I have lived through plenty of hurricanes growing up in Florida. I have had school canceled, I have had my house flood, I have been forced to participate in mandatory evacuations,I have lived with no power for days, etc. However, I have never seen people react to hurricane quite like I saw today in Manhattan. There is a frenzied feeling in the air and you can see people terrified about Irene. You can hear the chatter in the subways, the phone conversations as you stand in the checkout line, and the warnings in the papers. New York City is not nearly as prepared for a storm like this as Florida.

I went to Trader Joe's to pick up some hurricane staples and had to wait 15 minutes outside the store to even be let inside. (The picture to the right is of the Trader Joe's in Brooklyn, but it was similar on the UWS) I should have taken that as a warning, but I really wanted my Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Carmel Sea Salt candy bar, because lets face it if I have no power, I will need some chocolate. So I waited, then I entered the store and there were no carts, again a warning, but I grabbed a basket and continued shopping. What I experienced was not really shopping, there were so many people in the store that we sort of moved in a line and randomly grabbed an item, but if you passed the item, too bad because the line was moving forward. There was no stopping to read packages or see prices. I made it to an opening and grabbed some trail mix, then I headed downstairs towards the canned food.

The bakery was empty, I mean empty, no bread, no rolls, no cookies, no anything.

The canned food shelves were almost empty. There were some sardines, but I would need to be starving to buy those. There were no cans of tuna, no jars of spaghetti, and the soup shelves had the worst flavors left. The water shelves were bare as well because brushing my teeth with sparkling water is just not how I roll.

I was in awe. I mean I know a lot of people live in this city, but seriously, no food left.

I grabbed a few items like crackers and peanut butter and bananas and made my way to the checkout line. I continued to walk and walk and walk towards what seemed like a never ending line. I am pretty sure I looped the second floor of the Trader Joe's 3 times until I came to the end of the line. I waited 45 minutes to check out and then I still had to go to another store to buy water and tuna fish.

I hope this storm actually hits New York because if I waited in line 45 minutes for a candy bar, I am going to be angry. When I said I hope it hits New York, I mean that in the nicest way possible. I would like for New York to get some rain, some wind, possibly lose a little bit of power, but I would hate for anyone to get hurt, buildings to be damages or for the transportation system to be shut down for a long period of time. I just remember how frustrating it would be in Florida when you boarded up your house, got sandbags, prepared to be powerless for a week and then the hurricane changed it's mind and headed East.

In other hurricane related news, I live in an evacuation zone, but they have not decided to evacuate my zone (Zone B) yet. This morning Mayor Bloomberg instituted the first ever mandatory evacuation in New York City. 250,000 residents in evacuation zone A were told to leave their homes by 5:00pm tonight. I hope that I don't have to evacuate. I really don't want to sleep on an air mattress in a strange place, the air mattress in my room is plenty unusual enough. They also plan to shut down the bridges, subways, and buses around noon tomorrow if the winds get as high as expected. Let's just say that I am prepared with a pile of books, a charged Ipod, and my computer until it dies.

If the storm is awesome and my computer is charged, I will update throughout the storm. If it is boring, then I will hopefully have something to share un-storm related.

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