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I'm Chels. I blog about science, art, tennis, and my adventures in journalism. Officially, I'm a Science Writer at Brookhaven National Lab and I blog for them, too. Unofficially, I'm pretty awesome.

Or, you know, owsome.

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Posts tagged hurricane sandy

Feelin’ trapped

It’s been nearly a week since Sandy hit, and as I said before, I got through it with a lot of luck. My neighborhood is starting to return to semi-normal functioning. The traffic lights are back on - thank goodness, because I’ve seen a lot of close calls the last few days - and many of the largest trees have been pulled out of the street so the roads are passable now. 

The problem now is how to get around on those roads without gas. On Thursday, I witnessed my first real public panic during the run on the gas stations. Word got around that gas supplies can’t get to Long Island for a while and everyone went nuts. The lines at the stations poured into the streets. They were at least 30 cars deep for every pump, and people were screaming and honking and fighting over who was there first. It was scary. 

And now, the gas stations are all closed up. Orange cones sit in front of pumps, handwritten signs say NO MORE GAS, and one station boarded up their pumps with plywood. You don’t even have to pull in to get the message at that one. 

I’ve got less than half a tank left and every time I think of an errand I want to run or some place I’d like to go, I have to remind myself that I need to save it for as long as possible until the ships or trucks or whatever it is that’s bringing gas back to this island get here. It’s strange living in a place that can be cut off just like that. 

Lots of schools are still closed on Long Island so we have kiddos in the offices. Today they set up a free mustache station. Everyone’s wearing paper facial hair and it’s bringing some much needed levity to our team.

Things I am so, so grateful for tonight

  • Power!
  • Heat!!
  • Hot Water!!!
  • INTERNET!!!!

I’m going to go stand in the shower until my fingers get all wrinkly. And then, THEN!, I’m going to watch Netflix and Google all the questions I’ve had on my mind for the past few days (Where do most of the mooses in North America live? Are there moose communities on other continents? Is moose meat a delicacy anywhere? Please let the answer to that last one be No). 

Just a little lovely, hopeful music for this morning. 

Snuggling with a baby walrus feels like being pinned under a warm, very chubby person who is wearing a damp velour jumpsuit that smells faintly, almost pleasantly, like low tide.

Anchorage Daily News correspondent Julia O’Malley (via soupsoup)

My heat is out along with my power and all I want right now is to snuggle a baby walrus. Well, that’s not true. I’d also like to not feel like I’m blogging against the clock (new game show idea, anyone?) as my battery runs down. Thank goodness my neighbors have a generator and lack the sense to lock their WiFi.

Keeping it classy during the power outage. 

The Lab is finally open, so I’m back at the office. In my head I refer to Brookhaven as “The Haven” and today it is really living up to its nickname.
Power’s back out at home, so I’ve got wet hair, but I’m charging my stuff, and I’m really enjoying this coffee and the electricity and internet access. I have never loved my cubicle more.

The Lab is finally open, so I’m back at the office. In my head I refer to Brookhaven as “The Haven” and today it is really living up to its nickname.

Power’s back out at home, so I’ve got wet hair, but I’m charging my stuff, and I’m really enjoying this coffee and the electricity and internet access. I have never loved my cubicle more.

The Morning After

I made it through the storm unharmed. I can’t say the same for the rest of my neighborhood. The internet and phone service are down at my place, so I spent the morning cleaning up branches and debris from the yard and driveway and came into town to make some reassuring phone calls to family.

It took me 20 minutes to find a way out of my neighborhood. Trees and power lines are down everywhere, fences are in the road, and everyone with a chainsaw is working to clear paths.

My power is back and the house is only slightly damaged, and we didn’t have any huge trees come down in the yard, so I count myself very, very lucky.

My ears are scared

I spent the last couple days gearing up for this storm and I’m pretty well stocked, but the one thing I wasn’t prepared for is the sound of it all. Things I can hear right now: 

  • Sirens. They’ve been coming and going for hours. And part of me feels like, “Okay, good, at least emergency services are out there getting to people who need them,” and the other part of me feels like I’m between the ages of 2 and 6 again. Those are the years I spent absolutely terrified of sirens.

  • The front screen door slamming. Every once in a while, just as things start to calm down sound-wise, that door slams open and shut again. I’ve tried everything I can to keep it shut, but it’s too flimsy. 

  • Branches and other crap hitting the house. I have two skylights in the living room and every time something lands on the roof, the sound echoes through them. 
     
  • The actual sound of the wind is pretty awful. It’s not a whistling wind. It’s sort of low and rumbling and menacing. Just what you want in a hurricane. 

Darkness on the horizon

I just saw a large flash that happened along with a huge boom outside. Looks like the power pole across the street might have blown. It’s been Flicker Town USA around here for about an hour, and every time the lights flutter, the smoke alarm freaks out and the internet resets. So I’m pretty sure I’m going to be without power soon enough. 

I’m about to get in a lot of tarot card readings, juggling practice, and reading of actual books. Also, it’s Spritz Bomb time. Nothing like a cocktail to get you through a storm. 

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