When Sandy hit, she was loud — really loud.
“It was very eerie,” Kirstin Clausen said, as her cellphone reception intermittently broke up on Wednesday (Oct. 31).
The executive director of the Britannia Mine Museum arrived in New York City last Friday (Oct. 26) to take in the shows. But by Sunday (Oct. 28), everything was closed. Clausen was about to witness the worst storm surge to rip through the U.S. East Coast in almost 200 years.
“There was no traffic noise,” she recalled. “Just lots of sirens.”
By late Monday (Oct. 29), lower Manhattan's streets were under water and gusts of up to 150 kilometres per hour whipped through the streets. East coast electric companies reported more than 8.1 million homes and business were without power. Transit was closed, the subways weren't running and airports sat at a standstill.
“You would not have wanted to have been outside in it,” Clausen said, noting that if a person wasn't holding onto something, the person's legs would have been swept from beneath them.
After the post-tropical storm had passed, on Tuesday (Oct. 30) Clausen explored the damage. The area in which she was staying had power, but trees were downed throughout the neighbourhood.
Many other parts of the city weren't so lucky. Power outages were still affecting some areas. New Yorkers gathered at hotels and markets with electricity to charge their cellphones and other gadgets, Clausen said. People are helping one another get though the event; however, there is an undercurrent of frustration, she added.
“People are definitely feeling it,” Clausen said.
Clausen hoped to fly home today (Nov. 1), but wasn't sure if the airport would be reopened. By Wednesday, flights had started arriving at Newark and JFK airports. Officials warned delays are anticipated after more than 18,000 flights across the storm zone were cancelled.