Let’s just chat about this hurricane Sandy for a second. No, seriously.
Flashback to Friday. We’re in the office all joking about hurricanes and snow storms expected to hit. Hahaha.
That was us.
Normal amounts of rain. Normal amounts of wind. (Except when I went down to L.Erie for a grand total of 10 minutes. It was very windy).
Saturday. Sunday. Monday. BOOM.
Sitting at work. La la la turns into OHMYGOSHWEREGOINGTODIE!
We literally work on the lake (okay, not literally ON the lake, but very close to it) and the winds coming off of Lake Erie were crazy strong. I could feel them hitting the building strong.
And then the thumping started.
We’re on the top floor which is a blessing and a curse. Less noise, more sun. Fab. Until they decide it’s a great time to do roofing work (there was a man, spread eagle, on my window for 3 days straight) OR there’s a hurricane approaching.
It sounded like there was someone continuously dropping anvils on our roof for an hour. And then I heard hammering. So some brave soul, probably my friend the roofer, must’ve gone up there to hammer down whatever was flapping in the wind.
Everyone went home 15 minutes early (except me, of course. I was trying to get some guy a fight out of Puerto Rico). And we were told that if the weather is too bad to come in tomorrow, to just stay at home. Great. I love that we’re actually cared about here.
It was a long hour and a half home in which I almost died. My car isn’t exactly a tank. Wind plus rain = disaster. And drivers go cray cray when the weather is anything but sunny.
Get home. “Hunker down.”
And then the waiting game starts.
Most of downtown Cleveland and the surrounding areas, where I work, lost power sometime Monday night.
Crisis. No power means no server means no email or file access. Kind of a disaster for us.
Tuesday morning I got a call of “Hey, are you at the office? Do we have power?” I’m flattered that I’m the one who I suppose can be counted on to always be at work even when I live farther away than anyone else here. Great. Thanks. But I was going to “wait it out” until 10 to see if there was power and to check the state of the roads. If I’m going to drive, it’s going to be after rush hour.
Got a text a bit later saying that we didn’t have power and to work from home. Okay. That’s cool.
Same story Wednesday. Power was still down at the office but email and server access had been restored so I legitimately worked from home all day with my two laptops and crazy good surround sound speakers hooked up. It was amazing (plus, lunch was free!)
But all good (bad?) things must come to an end and power was fully restored to our building early last evening so back to Cleveland I go.
No biggie. The drive in was kind of enjoyable just because there are still a lot of people NOT going in to work so traffic wasn’t that bad.
Until I got to I-480. What a cluster of…ugh. Even in the express lane traffic was going 60 (which is the speed limit but come on…no one in the express lane goes under 80…at least when I’m in it).
Eerie lack of traffic at my exit when I normally have to wait 2 or 3 light cycles to even get off the exit ramp.
La la la. Downpour of rain.
And then the scenes from an apocalypse started.
Everywhere, streets are flowing with water. Power lines are sagging so low it’s probably unsafe. And yellow tape. Everywhere. Wrapped around down trees, telephone poles. Houses, even. It looked like all of Cleveland was turned into a giant crime scene. I saw a fully grown, years and years old, conifer on it’s side. It didn’t snap at the trunk either. It’s entire roots were pulled from the ground.
The streets I normally wind through were flat out closed. Flooding over with debris.
I eventually made it to the streets I normally take to work. But wait!
The traffic light at one of the busier intersections wasn’t working. And there wasn’t an officer directing traffic.
What. The. Heck.
It was like a crazy free-for-all mayhem like game. People were literally just sitting in the intersection.
And driving scares me, okay? I like to satellite photos of lanes and streets if I go somewhere new. That’s how much of a nervous driver I am.
So just try to picture a small-ish Asian kid in her tiny black car sitting at the white line by the light trying to figure out if it’s my turn to go. Because really, it was like 10 people’s turn to go and they all kept getting cut off. Or 4 cars would go at once.
But obviously I made it to work. Obviously I am fine. The drive home won’t be as bad because I’m just going to take a path I know is cleared of debris. And tomorrow? It’s a scheduled day off. I’ll be driving. But not through this chaos.
Edit: the drive home was, if this is possible, worse. It took me 13 minutes to move 2…yes TWO…blocks. Traffic was crazy backed up. I think it too me 3 or 4 light cycles to even get past the Wagar intersection only to fall into the mess that was the I-90 entrance/exit. Just like earlier…no light.
How is it even possible that the most busy traffic lights are out of commission? Another crazy free-for-all ensued. That’s cool.
The next major intersection? BOOM. Car accident.
I think God was seriously testing my patience or something.
The wait at the intersection wasn’t so bad because someone was directing traffic but I had to drive over GLASS. Can you even do that in cars that aren’t tanks? Clearly the windshield and perhaps all the windows of the car, had been smashed to tiny pieces and were scattered all over the intersection. And not just a smattering of bits that hadn’t been cleaned up yet. I’m talking full out glass. Everywhere.
I spent the rest of the drive praying that a little bit of glass didn’t get wedged into one of my tires and it was going to blow on the highway.
What. A. Day.
And a side note to all of my friends/colleagues in the effected area: I’m glad you’re all safe. I was making work calls today for an event in New Jersey next week and generally the first question I asked people was “How are you doing?” Even to people complete strangers who picked up the phone. I signed off on every email with “stay safe and stay dry.”
Keep calm, and carry on. And know the country is praying for you.