Hurricane Sandy Update: NYC and Long Island

Yikes. It’s dark now on 108th Street.

Abstract New York: the view outside my window.

The wind is howling outside, sounding sometimes like a giant, ravenous beast and other times like a huge engine being revved to the limits of its capacity. Mysterious loose cables are banging around outside the windows, making me a little nervous.

But we are warm and, we presume, safe inside.

Meanwhile, one of my brothers is riding out the storm in our family house on Long Island, a scant half-mile from the ocean and directly across the road from little Mecox Bay. In calmer days, the bay looks like this.

But today my brother reported that sheet of rosy glass was more like a miniature ocean cauldron of seething foam.

He also said that six to seven foot waves were breaking on the beach, that the ocean was pushing a powerful river of water into the bay,  and that the road to the ocean was under two feet of water.  This was hours and hours ago.

Browsing storm coverage on the web, we discovered photos, taken this morning, that looked familiar. We realized they are photos of our bay and our road, plastered all over the web! I know I shouldn’t use these without permission, but hey, it’s my road, and I can’t resist.

I can’t find attribution for this photograph, although I believe it, like the subsequent ones, from Reuters.  Click to go to Boston Globe, where I found it.

Here’s another photo of the same stretch of road, also from many hours ago.

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

I don’t know which beach the photo below is, but my brother described the same scene of destroyed dune fencing all over Flying Point Beach and the beach we call “the far beach.”

Southampton area beach. Photo: Reuters

Later in the day, my intrepid brother drove to the Shinnecock Canal. On the way, he saw a red fox, and on the way back, he spotted another. He described the first fox as seeming “upset.” When my brother stopped the car, the fox seemed about to approach but thought better of it.  The second, larger fox was  “bounding happily” across the road into the now-flooded marshy area. Seeing two foxes in the middle of the day seems unusual to me – I wonder if they were looking for food or better shelter before the worst of the storm.

My brother also described numerous little birds – sparrows, chickadees and cardinals – flying to and from the backyard bird feeders, even in fierce winds. Earlier in the day, he had been surprised to see geese and seabirds flying about.  In a comment on my early morning post about wildlife in the hurricane, Kelly Rypkema of Nature in a New York Minute posted a link to a fascinating article that describes how scientists have used satellite transmitters to track two whimbrels, smallish shore birds, as they flew straight through the 115-mph winds of a major hurricane!

There is so much still to learn about the world and its creatures.

For more about Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath:
Hurricane Sandy: Flying Point Road, Long Island Update
A Tale of Two Cities: NYC After Hurricane Sandy
Tuesdays With Sandy: NYC Aftermath
The View from My Window: Red-tailed Hawks and City Buses

Explore posts in the same categories: 2012, Birds, Fall, In the City, In the Country, Seasons, Wildlife/Natural History

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6 Comments on “Hurricane Sandy Update: NYC and Long Island”

  1. Donna Says:

    Glad you are ok….Hope for a speedy recovery.

  2. Barbara Says:

    Amazing about the birds and foxes – so glad you are safe, hope not too much damage at the family home.


  3. be safe, Melissa, thanks for the report … thinking of you all. love, L


  4. It looks hairy, nature can be so powerful – news forecasts up to 3m sea storm surge. Must be an anxious time. In thoughts and prayers.

  5. Jenny Says:

    I really hope you’re okay down there.


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