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Biker On The Storm

November 6, 2012

By Rasmus Jantzen

I just got back from our New York office. I rode the bike there this morning. Traffic was pure chaos, cars literally bumper to bumper all the way from Sunset Park in south Brooklyn where we live all the way to Manhattan Bridge in downtown Brooklyn.

New York after the storm “Sandy”

As soon as I crossed over to Manhattan, traffic disappeared and the city was eerily empty. All power is out from the 20s streets to the southern tip of Manhattan, so none of the traffic lights were working. There were cops posted everywhere directing what little traffic there was. The areas by the bridge and the East River that I could see from the bridge were being cleaned up and cleared of debris by sanitation and construction crews and they were pumping massive amounts of water out of the garages underneath the skyscrapers in the financial district.

Aftermath of the storm

Aftermath of the storm

SOHO was completely empty, only a few tourists and cops walking about and a few locals trying to get signals on their mobile phones (I could not get a signal while I was in Manhattan). Again debris and turned over trash cans everywhere, but not as bad as by the river.

The office itself is completely unscathed. No broken windows, no damage to the building or anything like that. Everything is as I left it on Sunday before the storm, but there was no power, the phones were not working and again no mobile signal. I emptied the fridge to avoid rotten food attracting rats and other unwanted creatures, watered the plants (water was running fine) and made sure nothing was missing. Then I locked up and rode my bike down the middle of an empty Broadway (except for a few tourists and occasional bus/cop car) with no traffic lights to Brooklyn Bridge back to Brooklyn.

New York Governor Cuomo announced that parts of the Subway will start running again tomorrow, but on a very limited basis. I tried to find out from a traffic cop about when electricity might return, but he didn’t know. I didn’t see any ConEdison trucks in SOHO although I saw some by City Hall downtown, so I don’t know when the power will return. I will try to call ConEdison, but I have a feeling they are swamped with calls right now.

Flooded Brooklyn-Battery tunnel entrance in lower Manhattan after the storm

Flooded Brooklyn-Battery tunnel entrance in lower Manhattan after the storm

My sense is that once the power is back up, the office should be up and running pretty quickly, I would need to coordinate with our IT service company to make sure our server and IT is up to speed, the same goes for our phone system, so it might be smart for me to go into the office a day before or a half day before everyone else to make sure the infrastructure is back up and working and avoid everyone to go into the city for nothing.

written on 31 October 2012

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