Exactly two months after Hurricane Isaac made landfall in New Orleans, Hurricane Sandy is fast approaching the northeastern U.S. coast. This past weekend, my husband and I were visiting home in Philadelphia where it seemed like deja vu; the news was monopolized by hurricane coverage. Video clips of empty grocery store shelves, long lines, school closing information, and storm-tracking satellite images dominated every major news channel. Facebook statuses advising caution, indicating worried anticipation, and laying out indoor plans for the next few days abounded. The same electric feel in the air had not arrived yet in Philadelphia, at least to me, but it seemed that people closer to the coast were starting to experience it. Despite there being only slight mists of rain Sunday night, our flight delays caused us to miss our connecting flight back to New Orleans and kept us in Atlanta overnight. Nonetheless, being out of harm’s way was reassuring albeit bittersweet.
Hurricane Irene made a similar path up the east coast in 2011, sparing the gulf coast. There was extensive damage from Irene, and it is predicted that as much, if not more, damage will be swept across as many as 15 states by Sandy. As one prior co-resident and hurricane connoisseur put it, at least the northeast has the means to rebuild, unlike New Orleans did after Katrina. However, the situation may be more complicated as Sandy is expected to collide with cold fronts from the north to possibly mutate into a snowy nor’easter. Thus it is dubbed “Frankenstorm” due to an unprecedented meteorological phenomenon.
For now, northeasterners who are not under mandatory evacuation are learning what it means to “hunker down.” Katrina survivors offer useful tips to those not used to hurricane conditions. Our thoughts and prayers are with our family and friends up north, as well as for those in the Caribbean who are currently dealing with Sandy’s aftermath.