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Published: June 21st 2017
Geo: 41.1481, -73.493
There's something odd about Amtrak trains - you buy 'reserved coach' seats (that's standard class) but they don't allocate you seats. So you get on two stops after the start and its a real struggle to find two seats together! So Liz decided we would hijack two seats for handicapped travellers and no-one, not even the conductor, seemed to mind. And we were met at Stamford station by David.
Immediately the problems posed by Hurricane Sandy presented themselves. Our next train was booked for Monday, and Thursday we have a flight booked to Charleston. Should we leave on Sunday instead, as the weather got worse it seemed unlikely the Monday evening trains would run, and then we got the e-mail from Amtrak telling us our Monday train was, indeed, cancelled. So we now have an alternative booking on Amtrak for Wednesday, but in case that train doesn't run we have also booked a rental car so we can get to the airport on Wednesday and into a hotel ready for our flight on Thursday (assuming that goes).
So Peter spent time helping David move everything from outside the house that might be blown around by 100mph winds and making a dam
to try to stop rainwater rushing down the drive and flooding everything including the basement. And Liz went through the freezer in the basement with Rusty to see what was there and plan meals for the next few days.
The phone goes every now and then with a robot call (they phone everyone) from the Mayor telling you what the local arrangements are - we now have a 24 hour curfew! So all we can do is sit it out and listen to the wind and watch the rain and hope the power doesn't go out (and the water, which is driven by electricity).
The 24 hrs news channels keep up a running commentary and it is interesting to watch the BBC World News occasionally to get a world perspective. Peter also down loads the Today programme each morning, which keeps us in touch with home. But constant news coverage gets very annoying. Then we can retreat to comfy sofas and bookshelves full of interesting books. Long may the electricity last - fingers crossed.
The hurricaned shifted slightly to slam straight into New York, as you all now know, on Monday evening and about 9pm we were sitting watching Piers Morgan become an
instant expert on when broken cranes would tumble into the street and feeling rather smug that while several of David and Rusty's friends had called to say their electricity had gone we had managed dinner, baking a cake, cold wine, the internet, TV etc when at around 9pm we were plunged into darkness.
End of story. Next morning nothing was working, not even my mobile phone, except the water
though that proved not to be permanent. In the immediate vicinity of their house quite a few trees were down, one huge branch having narrowly missed the house, and when we toured the area on the way to the library to get some wifi coverage we saw massive tree damage and lots of power lines down.
We were also cut off from news of what was happening in the wider world except for a radio but eventually we guessed Amtrak would not be running on WEdnesday and decided to fallback on the car rental cleverly arranged for us by Rusty. So while we waited for WEdnesday to roll round we helped with clearing up the garden, replanting bamboo that was close to blowing away and generally trying to be helpful. And
helping to stop the alcohol from spoiling by drinking as much as possible. Wednesday morning there was still no power, no internet, no phone but a newspaper finally arrived and we learnt how dreadful it has been in New York and New Jersey. Rusty kindly took us the few miles to Norwalk to pick up our car, and we tentatively headed south, a little unsure how the roads would be, and how we would get to Charleston, though we were prepared to drive if necessary!
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