Saturday, November 3, 2012

The week Hurricane Sandy came to my home town.

Hello everyone,

I haven't posted for a week, which is the longest I've gone without polish on my nails since I started blogging. I've spent the last week dealing with anxiety, fear and utter disbelief. And deep deep sorrow.

I live in Staten Island, one of the hardest hit areas from Hurricane Sandy. The days leading up to the storm were filled with preparation and anxiety. We cleaned the basement which we needed for shelter, we shopped for last minute items, I did laundry and dishes, and anything else I could think of to make our lives comfortable once we lost power. And then shopped again. The warnings were dire and I have three and half year old twin boys. Once you have kids...your life is no longer your own. Before I had them, I would have been nervous about the storm and the almost certain period of blackout with a lot less anxiety. But when you have those little lives depending on you, it does change everything. So we did storm prep right.

The day of the storm, we just tried to keep things as normal as possible with the boys. I didn't let them nap that day because their bedrooms are directly under a (huge) tree falling zone. The wind kept getting stronger and stronger, by dinner it was so fierce it started knocking down branches onto our roof. We packed up some comfort items and headed to the basement for the duration of the storm. We live on a hill and not in an evacuation zone, so I wasn't worried about flooding...just trees falling on us, of which we have many. My boys were super excited to be allowed to go downstairs..it's not usually child proofed down there. They had a great time, until it was time to go to bed. I explained to them because of the very windy storm, we needed to sleep downstairs. My Julius cried for 40 minutes that he wanted to go back to his own bed. They sleep in their own rooms, with night lights and sound machines. So we brought those downstairs with us. And then the power went out. And the wind outside was whipping furiously.  My Benett hears and wakes from every little sound! It.was.a.long.scary.night!!

We didn't have power, internet or phone/cell service but we emerged safe with miraculously no damage to the house. Those hours and days without cell/internet and TV...all we could do was listen to the news on our battery operated radio. And we knew it was bad out there!!! I stayed inside with my boys for the rest of week. Shock and fear kept me from venturing out. I was also afraid of using up any gas given how it was not (still isn't!) easily (or not at all) replenishable. 

I went down towards the Eastern end of SI today to check on my old landlords and bring supplies to the beach area that I used to live right next to. I saw horrors and sadness that I have only seen previously from disaster footage on TV. I've always viewed that with a detached sad numbness. You know? But this was so real, so close, my home!! I couldn't deny the pain. I saw a woman who looked to be at the end of her rope. Obviously had been crying. Her little girl stood in their doorway. I asked if she needed help. I ended up bringing food to her and her family and gave her an ear to talk to. They were knee deep in ruined sludge from the ground floor of their home. I walked a little farther and saw foundations of houses that no longer existed. I saw houses gutted entirely of their contents. I saw houses in the middle of the reeds, some, blocks away from their foundation. I will never look at the ocean the same way..and I will never be jealous of someone's beach front property again either.

This FB page shows so many haunting images. https://www.facebook.com/HurricaneSandySI I was at some of those locations today.  If you want to help there are many ways listed here.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading my story. Hope you and your loved ones are safe, warm and dry. I'm so so very grateful for those things. I intend to continue to help my community as best I can but I'm also ready to bounce back and start blogging again. Look for some (hopefully) awesome nail art and swatches coming up real soon.

<3
~victoria

50 comments:

  1. I'm glad to hear that you and your family are safe. The damage caused by Sandy was truly devastating, and I can only imagine what these families are going through right now. Like you said, it's easy to be detached when all you see is footage on TV. All I can say is my heart truly goes out to you and others affected by the storm.

    Fitzy

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  2. Victoria- I am so glad you and your family are okay. I couldn't imagine being in that situation. I've seen pictures upon pictures and have watched the news as I have family in that area as well. Please if you need to reach out to anyone, you have a listening ear right here. Can't wait to see some more great things from you<3

    -Sammi

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  3. I'm so thankful that your family was protected and kept safe. I can't imagine what that must have been like. :/

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  4. I'm very glad to hear you and your family were safe throughout the storm. I can only imagine what it was like... :( Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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  5. I'm so glad you were smart and cautious and were able to stay safe. My "son" in Haiti, who was living in a tarp with his 5 and 1 year old daughters, lost everything...All their clothes, food, everything. He has no job, no way besides the little I can send him to survive. Can you imagine going through that storm under a tarp? I can't. I am so glad you are safe, I love your blog, it is one of the best, don't worry about it ...its only nail polish!

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  6. I, too, am very glad to hear you and your family survived the storm. Bless you for your kind heart and giving nature.

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  7. I'm glad to hear you've all made it through it!

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  8. Thank you for sharing your story Victoria. I've already expressed to you how happy I am that you and your family survived. I hope and pray that the victims of Sandy are helped ASAP.

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  9. I'm thankful you and your family are safe. It really touches my heart that you are doing your part to reach out and help. Let me tell you, sometimes even just offering an open ear makes a world of difference to people in those situations. You all will continue to be in my thoughts.

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  10. I am so glad to hear that you and your family are safe! I can't imagine how hard this is to go through. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and everyone that has been effected by this storm! xx

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  11. I am so glad that you are safe. The damge is horrendous, and I hope that all those affected stay strong. <3

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  12. So glad to hear you're all safe and well hun. Can't even imagine what that must be like to go through, will keep you in my thoughts & prayers. Take care sweety

    Aysh xoxo

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  13. Thank God you and your family are safe. Sending you thoughts and prayers

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  14. I am so thankful you and your family made it through safely. I know I really don't know you outside the digital nail polish world, but know that me and my husband have been thinking of you guys a lot. Sending love your way, Victoria!!!

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  15. You and everyone else hit by the storm are in my thoughts and prayers. Glad to hear that you and your boys (and your house) were safe. Just know that when it seems there are an insurmountable amount of families to reach out to, you probably made a huge difference in someone's life yesterday.

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  16. I'm so glad you're safe. My love to you and your family, and everyone else affected by this awful disaster.

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  17. Thank you, Victoria, for sharing. I know this is a post you never dreamed you'd write for your nail polish blog. We are thinking and praying for you and everyone else whose lives were impacted by the storm. It sure puts everything in perspective.

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  18. I'm in Northern NJ and like you, fared well after the storm. Other than the gas situation, we somehow came out unscathed and only lost power for less than a day, but seeing the images on TV, reading what my friends are reporting, and reading posts like yours hits a spot only last hit by 9/11. It's that sadness and pain I felt that day along with knowing that despite the tragedy, we WILL, as a group of people. make it through once again. It's our way.

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  19. So glad to hear you are safe. I can't even imagine. You and your community are in my thoughts.

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  20. I know I'm just getting to know you, but I'm so glad to hear that you and your family made it through the storm. Thank you for going and being an ear for someone else who needed it. I imagine she is very grateful to you for being there for her. I will continue to keep you, your family, and everyone who went through the storm on the East Coast (my Dad and step family live in Connecticut) in my thoughts and prayers. Huggles Victoria.

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  21. Glad to know you & yours are safe & sound!

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  22. Hi darling, this post really hits hard, and I'm so glad you're safe. I'm not even in an evacuation zone but we've got tons of trees down (in Long Island) and still no power. My family ended up relocating ourselves for the week but I'm so thankful that we made it through the storm safely. I've been praying for everybody and volunteering as much as I can D: Though slowly, I'm sure NY will get through it.

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  23. Im so happy you and your family are safe! Living on the west coast my whole life, I could never imagine what it would be like to deal with the natural disasters you just experienced! (we just get earthquakes and massive fires) My heart goes out to everyone who had to deal with Sandy. You are such an awesome person for helping others out! hope everyone over in SI can get their lives back to normal as much as they can and I hope you can to lovey! stay safe! xoxoxox <3

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  24. Thankful that you and your beautiful family are safe! It's definitely hard to go through something like that, especially with little loves like yours! Stay safe and God bless!

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  25. I'm so glad that you and your family are safe! Living in south Florida I've been through some pretty horrible hurricanes over the years and know the fear and anxiety that you were going through. Stay safe and keep your head up you are a wonderful person for helping your community!

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  26. I'm relieved to hear you and your loved ones are safe and sound.

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  27. It is good to hear that you and your family is safe and sound after what I'm sure was a scary and unpredictable few days. I can't imagine seeing the devastation of such a storm and my heart goes out to you and everyone affected by the storm.

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  28. I'm so glad you're all safe! You're in my thoughts <3

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  29. Thank you for sharing your story! Happy to hear that you and your family are okay! Stay safe!

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  30. So glad to know you made it out safely. I'm so thankful that my area wasn't hit as hard by the hurricane. My heart breaks looking at the images and thinking about the people still w/o power and other supplies.

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  31. So good to hear you all made it safely through the storm! Something I can't even fathom, the stories and pictures are heart wrenching. I pray supplies become available to those in need quickly!

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  32. I am glad you're all physically okay. Now onto the mental part... that will be harder to bear. But you'll all make it through :)

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  33. I'm glad you and your family are okay. I live very close to where the eye of Sandy hit, but that ended up being an unexpected blessing. We lost power, and my in-laws returned home to 2 feet of water damage to their home. However, it's the pictures from further north that are so devastating. Driving to a wedding in Queens, we saw lines of hundreds of people waiting for gas. They first few days it wasn't cold, but I imagine those without power and small children are having a very tough time of it now. My heart really goes out to those families.

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  34. I am a fellow Staten Islander and have enjoyed your blog... I am glad you and your family are made it safely... my family was lucky as well and made it through the storm with little damage to our property ... the devastation that some of my neighbors and friends have suffered has been truly unbelievable. You are 100% right when you say you can watch it on TV with that detached feeling but how this is just so much more when you drive through the streets. I grew up here on Staten Island and except for a brief stint in college when I moved away I have always lived here. I know our Island is strong and the people here are resilient and it will take time but everyone will rebuild and come together as a community.

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  35. so glad that you and your family are safe! and thankyou for the story; here in the UK it's hard to imagine what it must be like, the pictures and video footage on tv seem like something unimaginable from a film. my thoughts are with you and everyone else who has been affected x

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  36. Glad you finally posted and to hear you are safe with no damage to your house and all family are safe. It just befuddles my mind that no one did a fly over to look at all the boroughs when they knew there was outage of power and communications were down. I still cannot wrap myself around how come no one seemed to know there was such devastation in SI until early Thurs AM. I have donated to the Red Cross now 2X and plan to do more. I cannot help but think we will see a lot more big fund raisers soon. The short one NBC did Friday night was not nearly enough. I have a close high school and college friend who lives now in the old family home in Weehawken. He sent me photos out his front door of Sinatra Park that was under water..lost contact with him until Wen then heard he was OK but a ton of water damage in the house. Another friend who lives in Chelsey went to stay in Queens and is still in Queens as of yesterday but I heard power was back on to lower Manhattan yesterday (in most buildings) - so hope she got home by now.

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  37. I'm glad to hear that you and your family are safe!

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  38. Victoria, I'm so glad that you and your family are safe!!! I am heartbroken to hear the damage and loss. :( You take care of yourself and do what you need to do, whether that is taking a break here or not. I hope that there can be healing and restoration in your town soon. Take care.

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  39. Very glad that you and yours made it through safe and sound. But I know from personal experience that you'll be feeling the emotional effects of this for quite some time. (((hugs))) Hope you heal quickly, my friend. <3

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  40. I'm glad to hear you are safe hope everything will go back to normal for all of you soon

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  41. Victoria, I am so so happy to hear that you and your family are safe. Those who did not fare as well are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  42. Victoria I am so glad that you and your family are safe! Is it moments like these that make us thankful for the basics: health, safety, food and shelter. These are often the very things that we take for granted and assume will always be there. Bless you for helping those you can and I pray that things will get better for those hardest hit by the storm.

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  43. Very glad you and yours are safe. Living on the opposite coast, it can be hard to really truly understand what everyone over there is going through... I am sending good thoughts for the recovery process.

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  44. Victoria, the news over here in the UK was showing SI and calling it NY's forgotten borough. The images and people's stories are heartbreaking. I can't imagine how scary it must have been but my prayers are with you and your neighbours for things to get better. Good for you for going out to help, you made a real difference.

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  45. I'm so sorry to hear how much heartache and fear you've had to go through. You're so lucky your family and home escaped OK, but I can't imagine having to see your neighbors and community struggle through something like that. <3

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  46. I am just glad that you and your family are safe. Please take good care.

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  47. I am glad that you and your family safe. I live in Bayridge, BK and we were very fortunate that nothing major happened. I have gone to Far Rockaway and Staten Island and it is so sad to see such devastation. I know that we all pull together and come out even stronger

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I read and appreciate each and every comment!! Thank you so much <3