My granddaughters - crafts by headlamp after the power went out on Long Island
For Days they had been predicting the storm of the century. Of course, they've said that before so maybe some folks could be excused for taking the warnings with a grain of salt. But this time they were right. Hurricane Sandy, which barely kicked up a fuss here on the northeast coast of Florida, plodded doggedly northward to meet a nor'easter and a high pressure front that wouldn't let it go "out to sea" as so many tropical storms do. Instead, she barreled into the mid-Atlantic coast, destroying the New Jersey coast, whipping up a devastating fire in New York that took over 100 homes, flooding areas that had never been flooded, driving sand several feet deep into streets, basements and fields a long way from the beaches, flooded the New York subway system and tunnels going into and out of the city, took homes off foundations and left them in the middle of streets and left millions of people without power and thousands without homes. The Associated Press reported that at it's peak, Superstorm Sandy had a diameter of 1,000 miles; killed more than 100 people in 10 states; cancelled almost 20,000 flights; left more than 12 inches of rain in Easton, Md.; covered Gatlinburg, Tenn. with 34 inches of snow; and left in its wake an estimated $20 billion in property losses, placing the storm among the most expensive natural disasters in U.S. history. And if that weren't enough, a Nor'easter is now headed their way, bringing chilly temps and more rain and high wind.
Even if you weren't in its path, folk all over the country seem to have been touched by this storm. Here in St Augustine, there is much sadness for the loss of the HMS Bounty which took on water and sank 80 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras. The Coast Guard was able to rescue all but two of the crew, for which everyone is thankful. But a beautiful bit of history is gone.
Here's the Bounty when she visited St Augustine last spring. With her spars all lashed to allow her to slip through the Bridge of Lions, she dwarfed even the pirate ship, Black Raven.
Two days after the storm raged through East Coast and was whipping up enormous waves on the Great Lakes, here in my neighborhood the sun rose on an ocean was so calm it looked like the proverbial mill pond. I don't think I've ever seen the ocean this still and flat.
It's been a week now since the storm came ashore in New Jersey. 2.5 million homes and businesses are still without power, upward of 50,000 are homeless, schools are still shut in many cities and towns. The scope of the damage boggles the mind. It is heartening to see how Americans can pull together to face such a disaster, but these people still need our prayers and if you can afford to and haven't already, open your pocketbooks and write a check to help those who have lost everything.