• Karen Seiger

Hurricane Sandy: Images and Stories One Year Later

This sweet boy enjoyed a wafel from Wafels & Dinges Truck at the Hurricane Sandy FEMA Disaster Relief Center on Staten Island


October 29th marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy’s inundation of New York and New Jersey. I wanted to share some of the images and experiences from the aftermath of that incredible storm.

James and I had been in the evacuation zone for Hurricane Irene, but this time we were not. We figured we’d snuggle with our kitty until the storm passed over. We figured we’d better prepare. So we went out and picked up six bottles of wine and found our flashlight. We were good.

However, at about 8:30PM, we saw what we thought was a huge flash of lighting, and the lights went out.

The next day, we had to walk up above 40th Street to get any connectivity and look for some food. I remember calling my sister Andrea in DC from inside a Duane Reade in Midtown to ask her what had happened to us. She said she’d check and get back to me.

She texted me back a few minutes later with this message and this link: “It’s not good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seMaLEqotUw.”

The 14th Street transformer had exploded, blowing out electrical power through much of Manhattan for the better part of a week.

After three days of no power or phone service whatsoever, we started to get tired of trekking uptown, and we were kind of hungry. That’s when we called James’ sister Marcy, who swooped down from Connecticut, rescued us, our cat and our remaining wine and took us to her house, where there was light, warmth and food that wasn’t peanut butter.

I want to thank everyone who did anything to help someone else during this difficult time. You came from next door and from across the country. There are a lot of you out there, and you are all wonderful.

~Karen Seiger, Markets of New York City

We figured we’d snuggle up with our kitty and ride out the storm.


James, our friend Karen and I found an outlet at NYU where we could charge our phones.


We walked uptown the next day to find food and phone service, and we saw the dangling crane on West 57th Street.


The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park were about to open when Hurricane Sandy hit. Fortunately, there was little damage to the glass kiosks or to the park.


We popped into a Duane Read Pharmacy in midtown to pick up some supplies, and we found my book on their shelves! It was like seeing an old friend.


Recovery vehicles were parked on Union Square for many days after the storm hit. They were primarily from Con Ed, but there were also trucks from all over the country to help the city get power back.


This truck was in from Louisiana to help us out in NYC after Hurricane Sandy.


A couple of weeks later, I volunteered with the Wafels and Dinges truck to go out and give waffles, coffee and hot cocoa to Hurricane Sandy survivors on Staten Island. It was incredibly bleak out there, but I’ll never forget how much better everyone felt with a warm waffle and some hot cocoa. You can’t put a value on that kind of magic.


This lady was so great. She’d never had a Belgian waffle before. Can you tell how much she LOVED it?!


These three kids were so beautiful. One of them almost lost his father, had to escape from his car before it was completely flooded. We gave them all extra hot cocoa and a waffle to take home to Dad.


Ryan and Caitlyn were my wonderful wafflers. I cannot say enough great things about these two. They worked so hard and gave away hundreds of hot, delicious waffles to people who really really needed them. They had been going to Staten Island and the Rockaways for days, and they made a difference.


And, of course, it wouldn’t be New York City without a celebrity sighting. Except I didn’t actually see Chef Rocco DiSpirito. All I saw was a hand coming around my face holding a cup of hot chicken noodle soup. When I turned around, there he was. He had been delivering hot, home made soup door to door on Staten Island, and he stopped by the FEMA center. We had been out in the cold for hours, and I was so grateful for the warm soup, which, I must add, was the best chicken noodle soup I’ve ever had.


#KarenSeiger #PanteraAzul #HurricaneSandy #October2012 #Kitty #ConEd #FEMA #Hurricane #chickennoodlesoup #WaffleTruck #Caitlyn #StatenIsland #Ryan #NewYork #Danglingcrane #RoccoDiSpirito #WafelsampDinges #NYC #HolidayShopsatBryantPark #MarketsofNewYorkCity #BryantPark #MyBook #oneyearlatertransformerexplosion

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© 2020 by Karen Seiger

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