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Friday, November 2, 2012

Sandy, and Beyond


Power came back to my part of Connecticut last night.

The four-day loss of electricity was nothing compared to the heart-rending losses suffered by millions caught in the huge path of storm Sandy. Lyn and I  marveled at our good fortune, noting no property damage, just downed branches here and there, along with the usual spoiled food that must be thrown away.

The words and images about this catastrophe remind us again that awesome storms are great levelers: in some ways, the rich and influential are rendered as helpless as the poor and those of meager influence. Too, the non-stop reports illustrate how difficult it is to tell such a huge story, to show the scope of colossal destruction, misery – and fear about the future. The best that can be done by news media and by officials is reporting on and responding to pieces of this massive event; the whole of it is too much to digest. Where we go from here is daunting to contemplate.

But a storm like Sandy makes it impossible to ignore future possibilities. So, belatedly, planners talk of futuristic-looking sea walls to protect coastlines and updated electrical grids to avoid massive outages. Moreover, officials are daring to speak of climate change and its connection to record-setting temperatures and increasingly powerful storms. This offers a glimmer of hope that humans aren't totally bent on hastening our demise.

Meanwhile, illustrating the unusual nature of weather these days, two oddities occurred: in a brief appearance several days ago, light glowed in a color we’d never seen around here: a yellow ochre, like looking through mustard.

Then, the day after, the blue sky, the white clouds and the sunrays lined up as if to punctuate the aftermath of Sandy – and forecast the next big storm:

Early morning, western sky.

28 comments:

  1. I knew you must be out, and the C L & P map showed power outages all over your town. Glad you are back and had little damage. Your surreal picture of post-storm light says it all -- beautiful but unsettling.

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    1. Good to be back Laurrie. Glad you are, too. Thanks, and all best.

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  2. I had no idea you were without power! I'm so glad it's back on!! That sky is beautiful but as Laurrie said, very unsettling. Control is only an illusion when dealing with nature.

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    1. Thanks, Tammy. Yep, the joke is that *clouds* knock out the power in country Connecticut. So, yes, control? Fuggedaboutit.

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  3. Lee, I am so glad you escaped major damage. Watching the news is certainly heartwrenching these days. So much suffering and loss and yet amazing stories of survival as well.
    That picture is beautiful.

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    1. Hello, Peggy, and thank you for writing. I'm certainly grateful for my good fortune – and hope you and yours were unharmed down your way. Glad you like the picture. All best.

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  4. I am glad to hear your account of the storm in your area. I was worried when I didn't see a post from you for the week. I was hopeful that it was only a power outage. As annoying as that can be it is the least of the worries to some people.

    That odd color of sky is frightening. We don't deal with coastal storms here of course but tornadoes are a yearly threat. The sky turns an unusual color of green when the winds gather the clouds to push through. I have learned to dread that light pouring over the area.

    Your picture seems to have captured the front coming in. Eerie.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. No power, no worry, compared to so many. As for the sky, it's apparently unusual everywhere when storms are near. Just different unusual. And, yes, eerie.

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  5. So glad you made it through, Lee. This storm gave me plenty of "pondering time" too, when I wasn't running around trying to find a wifi connection so I could file.....
    I noticed the sky, too. Before, it was strange-looking, with unusual clouds and those rainbow things popping up everywhere. Afterward it looked scrubbed clean and very beautiful.

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    1. Ahhh, the ol' wifi hunt. Glad you found what you needed and that you got through the storm, too. Storm skies are two-edged, aren't they: beautiful but laden with danger.

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  6. I'm happy to hear you are well and yes, I believe we are all about to have a lot more in common with regard to global warming :( Let's hope we can all pull together and help each other out the way we should. That is a very cool sky/cloud shot!

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    1. Thanks, Rosemary. It really is amazing how people seem to relish being helpful to one another. Let's hope this sense of community brought by tragedy sticks around after the storms have gone. 'Preciate your appreciation of the eerie sky shot.

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  7. It is good to hear all is well, Lee. These storms can really destroy so much of the lives of so many people.

    Odd, isn't it, how weather conditions during storms can give the most unusual glow to surroundings. Amazingly then, the photographs magnify and intensify the colors of the landscape.

    I like your rendition of what you saw, weather wise.

    It is heartening to hear the good stories of people helping others now in in the S East tornados that destroyed the northern half of my state (and much of others) in April 2011.

    The best to you!

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    1. Many thanks, Barbara. You're a talented shooter, and I don't know if this is your experience, but for me, photography freezes views that my eyes can hardly believe, allowing me to look later and confirm that those moments were real. Cheers!

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  8. Glad you emerged relatively unscathed, Lee. Lately I've been doing much thinking about what steps I can take to improve my chances of weathering these severe storms that seem to be becoming increasingly more common. Last year after the snow storm I lost power for six days. After four nights I was fortunately able to move in with someone who had gotten their power back, and we had it at work, but I wonder what I would have done if it had gone on longer?

    It's all daunting to contemplate indeed.

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    1. Good to hear from you, Sue. Those are big thoughts, and I share them. Gas (propane) fireplaces and cooktop certainly make life more bearable during these power losses. I'd love to have backup electricity, but I don't want to spring for solar panels, and I don't like gasoline generators.

      Let's hope we have a while to continue our contemplation before the next big outage.

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    2. I feel exactly the same way about solar panels and gas generators. The permanent auto generators (like Generac) are big bucks and seem like over kill but who knows?

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    3. Neither of us knows. We reserve the right to revise our opinions and buy the things to avoid going back to pre-electric times every time a storm strikes. Some choices, eh.

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  9. That golden light in the late afternoon sky was amazing ... we noticed it here also. Very eerie but engaging at the same time. We feel very fortunate for similar reasons. No damage outside of a few small trees snapped at the edge of the woods and the slight inconvenience of no power for a few days. Like so many, my heart aches for those who lost homes and loved ones. As a former Jersey shore girl I have a hint of understanding of how devastating it is to have so much personal history and memories washed away. My Jersey friends are speechless and numb.

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    1. Hey, Joene, I'm glad you came through OK. I understand how you feel seeing what happened to the Jersey Shore. I feel some sense of loss when I see images of Manhattan, where I lived while attending graduate school eons ago.

      On the light, I love seeing it, even though it usually seems to be connected with stormy weather.

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  10. So glad you both made it through safely, and have power again now, Lee. I wish we could turn back time, and Sandy would just veer back out to sea.

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    1. Thanks, Beth. A time machine would be marvelous, indeed.

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  11. Lee,

    I am happy to know that you and Lyn came through the storm relatively unscathed!

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    1. Aaron, I thank you for that and hope all's well with you. Cheers!

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  12. Lee, Glad you made it through the storm with no major damage. We were very lucky that we never lost power. Lovely morning after photo. The scope of the damage is just being realized by most of the country. I can't imagine having no water, being cold for a week, or wearing the same clothes because people's clothes were flooded and muddied and laundry can't be done. And now another storm. These weather events are becoming increasingly more common, and now attention is finally being paid to these events.

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    1. Thanks, Lana; it's good to be among the fortunate ones escaping the storm's serious damage. Here's hoping officials have the will to learn from this experience and seek ways to cope in the future.

      I hope life is going well for you.

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  13. I am glad you made it through the storm with only the loss of some food items. We have a much gentler reminder of global warming here. The days are unusually mild. We are into November and we have had but one frost. Don't get me wrong here-moderate temperatures are nice, but they feel odd, like something is seriously amiss.

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer. I feel the same way about the unusually moderate temperatures; they remind me of last winter that wasn't. All best.

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