One thing I knew the morning after Sandy's visit - 2 weeks ago today though it seems like months - as the waters receded, with one look at muddy grit and grime on my 2 electrical boxes - one in the garage and one in the basement - was that no matter how long LIPA took to turn on power I wasn't going to turn on nothin' until these boxes were replaced. Oh, I did shoot fresh water into them to try to flush out the saltwater but even if they "worked" I am told corrosion could cause issues, including worst case scenario electrical fires. So I decided not to wait for LIPA to send someone by to tell me that but to do a preemptive strike and get them changed. Given rumors of a month or more before we get power I was willing to wait for the electrician I wanted. But now I hear we could have power soon and getting Ken over here is getting more urgent. He said maybe wed or thurs. I liked that he asked me to send pics of the boxes.
I didn't turn off the main power - we still had lights as the water started coming in - and there are stories of people drowning in their basements trying to do so as the water surged - possibly that is what happened to Rick the neighbor who lived behind my house. When we started smelling smoke Monday night at around 8pm with waters rising and no escape we experienced moments of terror thinking we were on fire because I didn't turn off the power - until I opened the rear door and realized the smoke was coming from elsewhere. I didn't find out till the next morning that 130th st, 4 blocks away, was burning.
Many watched the fire from their windows fearing the flames would start jumping. One couple and their neighbor grabbed the cat and dog and waded in thigh high water across the street to a neighbor's house.
60 minutes did a segment on Belle Harbor and my wife heard it on the radio - I was sleeping at 6:30 pm on sunday and didn't get up till 4 in the morning. I was wondering why cbs had a satellite truck outside Rick's house all day. When we get power, followed by a new hot water heater and heating system and then track down verizon to get us phone, internet and TV back, I'll get a chance to watch it - maybe during Hillary Clinton's second term.
Thanks to Anna from Teachers Unite and her friend Chris for stopping by on their way to heavy duty volunteering work in Rockaway. Chris offered to help schlep the formerly gleaming washer and dryer from garage to curb, not a lite task given the Atlantic ocean sloshing around inside.
Sammy, the rock'n Moroccan who was part of the crew who we hired to clean out the basement, stopped by to load the machines in his truck. He does the anti-fungus and asestos removal for his company which is based in the Danbury Conn area - they drive here every day. Sammy pointed out that many basements are being cleared by friends, family and volunteers and if there's asbestos that is a considerable danger. Just another bunch of oy veys for Rockaway.
Grassroots Education Movement
Education columnist, The Wave
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