Sunday, November 11, 2012

Surviving Hurricane Sandy

Tonight we finally got power, which means electricity, heat, internet connection and all the rest. It was almost two weeks without it but I dared not complain. So many people lost their lives, their belongings, their homes. (A large pine tree fell on my house, causing some damage on the roof and in the attic. That was a fear of mine, it fell above where I was sitting, but still nothing compared to what others are going through.) So many are still suffering, so many people lost everything. It's unimaginable but we had been warned for many years that a catastrophic hurricane could hit the northeastern United States and it finally did. I've watched weather patterns for years and luckily many hurricanes veer out to sea but strangely this one headed straight for the east coast. Why I kept thinking, what changed? A recent Newsday article by Catherine Thomasson, the executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility offered this explanation. "Science tells us that the destructiveness of this storm was fueled by climate change-driving higher sea levels that pushed up storm surge and higher ocean temperatures that contributed to the monstrous size of the storm........Science has identified another powerful potential factor: The record-breaking melting of Arctic sea ice's impact on the jet stream may have created the block of high pressure above Greenland that drove Sandy west into the continental United States rather than allowing it to spin off east into the North Atlantic, as most late-season hurricanes do." Scientists will keep debating whether climate change is being caused by human activity but more and more scientists believe global warming is real and it's affecting our planet.
But in any event, building codes will have to change and the warnings that have been given by the American Society of Civil Engineers about storm surge on the coast will have to be taken more seriously and acted upon.
My heart goes out to the people of Breezy Point, Queens, Belle Harbor, the Rockaways,Gerritsen Beach, Staten Island, the Jersey shore and the parts of Long Island that suffered loss as well.
My cousin in Long Beach, Long Island has a generator and so I went to stay with her for a couple of days, to warm up and to play with my young cousins. Children always make me feel better, they're so resilient and full of hope and idealism. 
I saw the piles of garbage that littered the streets, in Long Beach, that were once valuable possessions.
In the end, nothing is more important than family, friends, love, relationships and a belief that tomorrow will be better.  That's one important thing that Christianity offers-hope. People will rebuild and hope will reign. "Hope is not an option for a Christian it is essential to our faith." I'm not sure who wrote that but it's very true.