In metro-New York.
If I hadn't been here to actually experience the storm and it's continuing aftermath, I'd never have believed it. So, what's the big deal about 6" of snow? New Yorkers see snow every year so, why would this be such a huge deal?
One word: Leaves.
Add 6" of very heavy, wet snow to trees that are still completely full of leaves, just beginning their color changes, and you have a disaster on your hands. Trees that just hours before stood tall and proud, were bent, broken and some completely toppled under the weight. Those same weighted limbs came down on power and telephone lines, effectively crippling dozens of towns and plunged millions into the dark.
The storm started with a few innocent looking flurries around 11:00 am on Saturday. My parents were in town to visit for the weekend and, deciding that being outside wasn't the best option, we packed up and headed to the mall. Not a problem getting there but, when we emerged from the parking garage three hours later and made our way out of the mall lots and to the highway we were plunged into what felt like an instant time warp. It looked like January!
We toughed it out at home that first night. The house was still warm and we were able to keep G entertained after dark by using a few jar candles and a few strategically placed head lamps (hung from wall frames, ceiling fans, etc.). The gear of a bridge climbing husband is very handy in a power emergency. By morning, the house was measuring 65 degrees. We all packed up and went out once again. This time though, the roads were clear, there was bright sunshine and the snow was already melting away. An odd contrast against the green leaves and grass! That night, knowing the temps would drop off further, we took our relatives across town up on the offer of staying at their fully powered home.
By Monday at 4:30 pm, our power was blissfully restored. We lost all of the food in our fridge and a few things in the freezer. But, thanks to vacuum sealing and having a full drawer, our entire freezer stock of meat was still frozen solid! Everything was back to normal in our little world. Or, was it?
Tuesday afternoon, on my way home from work, I went to the grocery store to stock back up on the perishables we had lost. It never crossed my mind that our regular grocery store a town over would have been affected worse than we had. Boy, was that wrong! It turned out their power had only been restored a couple of hours before I walked through the doors. The staff were working on overdrive trying to re-stock departments from the generator powered coolers and freezer where everything had been moved days before. I stood in the aisles gaping at what I saw until I finally came to my senses and snapped a few photos for posterity.
You want produce? So sorry.
Ice cream, yogurt, eggs, juice, cheese? Nada.
The voice over in my head played, "You have now entered the Twilight Zone." Slowly, slowly, life is returning to normal. And, I admit to not at all being cut out to be a pioneer woman!