October 30, 2012. Hurricane Sandy didn’t fool around. Here in Brooklyn, the Gowanus Canal jumped its banks for the first time in over a hundred years. By 11 p.m., the floods had reached the bottom of our block of Carroll Street (as shown above). And the Gowanus is a stew of pollution you don’t want eating your home. I reminded myself that we were uphill from the flood. Even so, I knew it had already flooded the houses of neighbors who lived along its banks. And the water was only half a block away from us. Our internet, TV and phone were out, so it was hard to tell what was going on. And it was hard to sleep as sirens wailed and waves of PCP’s rose in my dreams.
This morning, our connections to the world were restored, thank heavens. The street outside our house was still dry, but a huge tree had been uprooted. And when we looked in our backyard, our chimney top was sitting on the grass. Scary, because it was installed after our carbon monoxide outbreak. Rick has now re-attached it to the roof as best he can — and we’re praying the winds will blow more gently.
The miracle is that the floodwaters of the Gowanus have already receded. So while there’s hard repair work ahead, especially in other neighborhoods in NYC, there’s hope that things here will return to normal soon — we can already see our usual grafitti.