Hurricane Sandy open thread

Slightly-handled-Order-man writes:

I feel compelled to ask if all the readers of Amish America are alright and not negatively impacted by “Hurricane Sandy?” I hope everyone is safe, dry and well.

Hurricane SandyBy all accounts this was a monstrous storm hitting the most heavily-populated area of the US.  The only person I’ve spoken with in Sandy’s path was an Amish friend in Lancaster County, and that was on Monday. His kids were coming home early from school, and the sump pump was running already to try to keep the basement from flooding.  Looking at the map it appears the storm made landfall in New Jersey with the eye passing right over southeastern PA.

Were you affected by Sandy? Any news or anecdotes from areas (Amish and non-Amish) that have been? (NOTE: the comment function was not working this morning, but has been restored. My big apologies if you tried to leave one and saw it vanish (annoying, I know). That should not happen anymore, so I hope you’ll try again).

Hurricane Sandy photo: Brian Birke/flickr

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    1. Cindy Burroughs

      Hurricane Sandy

      I live in Florida. However, I have been watching the news, for I have a son that lives in Cleveland and a father who live in KY and hope and pray that they were not in harms way due to the storm. I too thought of the Amish regarding the storm. Just about all the books I have been reading lately are Amish fiction and I love the stories about their way of life and struggles. I admire their strength in their faith and the way the families all stay close together. I like reading the articles in Amish America. Keep up the good work.

      1. Thanks Cindy, I know Cleveland and the area is no stranger to bad weather via the “lake effect” situations. That probably is decent prep for something like this.

    2. Alice Marie Aber


      It took a while to get news from family and friends that they were alright. The power had been out until the wee hours of this morning. My hometown (Port Jervis, NY) suffered some damage but not as bad as others. I am grateful!! I am still waiting on news regarding a friend’s father who lives in NJ in the very heart of where the storm made landfall. Praying he is OK! I know they are still without power so that might take a while.

      Keeping everyone in my prayers as this will be a while before it is truly over.

      Blessings, Alice

    3. Kevin L.

      I also pray for those affected by the storm. We live in Michigan but Sandy even spread to our state with heavy widespread rain and winds up to 50 mph. Their were gale warnings out on the Great Lakes. There were many power outages as well, up to 30,000 people I believe the news reports said. This to me was just an indication to how gigantic this storm was. Today we are still having some winds and rain (and snow in area’s) and are very gray and overcast.

    4. Marilyn from NY

      I ‘m in Upstate New York and we came through pretty good. We didn’t even lose our power. About 25 miles from here in Rochester people and trees down, but nothing serious. Down in the New York City area about 300 miles from me-they got hit real bad. I am very gratefull that it didn’t hit here.

      1. Marilyn I was wondering about upstate NY…by the map it looks like the storm tore across PA then took a hard right turn up through NY and into Canada (or at least that was the projection on the map I linked to above). Pretty abrupt turn it seemed.

    5. SharonR

      Hurricane Sandy

      While I too, live on the east coast of Florida, we only got “brushed” with Sandy — not anywhere near the devestation of NJ, NYC, etc–only got some wind and rain for short time ….my heart goes out to them all. I also wondered about the Amish in PA., with the farms, crops and animals, and I guess they all band together, and communicate by word of mouth, to know when the storm is coming close to them (??) — especially those who do not have electricity or TV’s. Yes, with this storm, a lot of praying is needed, and hope everyone can put their lives back together, very soon.

    6. Comments are back, and apologies :/

      Okay! Looks like comments are working again. An open thread is not exactly the best situation for them to stop working 🙂

      My *big* apologies to anyone who tried to leave a comment only to see it disappear (I know how annoying that can be). If so I hope you’ll try again, things should be working fine now. I am curious to hear more news about Sandy.

      By the way I fixed the issue by moving Amish America to a database that is 10 times larger. The site had grown so much that we were bumping up against the space limit. This should make things more roomy and hopefully prevent the same problem in future.

    7. Tom in KY

      winter side of sandy

      I was on the winter side of Sandy. October snowS in the Cumberland mountains here in KY are nothing new, but they are mostly tame, a inch or so. However, the 14 inches that fell here was out of the ordinary for October, in fact the 14 inches would have been considered a decent winter storm if it had occurred in January. I included a link to a couple of pictures I took yesterday.

      1. Nice shots Tom. That looked like a deep winter storm, not one in October. Hope you handled those roads alright.

        WVA apparently got a ton of snow too.

    8. Tonya

      My parents live in Berks County, PA. They had a horrific night of wind on Monday night, lost power for over a day but they are fine and only a hole in the siding where a tree limb hit the house (it was about 18″ from hitting a window!).

    9. Tonya

      And we live in middle TN and we had very strong winds for 3 days from the outer bands!! No tree damage though, thank goodness!

    10. OldKat

      Sandy zapped me ...

      and I’m 1,600 miles plus away from where it made landfall. I work in the control center for one of the major gas pipelines that serve DC, Philly, NYC and that corridor. Yesterday and the day before I left work almost drained. That thing really upset the cart and there is a lot of work left to be done. In the past 31 years I have worked through dozens of hurricanes that screw up the supply area. This is the first time I have worked when one hit the market area though; that is a little different deal.

      1. Oldkat hope you are holding up alright. There are tons of behind-the-scenes people we usually don’t think about when these disasters happen, but they bear a burden as well. Thanks for sharing this.

    11. Robin

      We were truly spared here in Tidewater Virginia. Some flooding in the usual spots. However, my heart and prayers go out to those affected north of us on the Atlantic coastline. Horrific, to say the least. I have been in touch with several folks in Lancaster Co. area because we are supposed to visit very soon. Looks like most are functioning, business as usual. Our friend in Lebanon County also made it through just fine though some did lose power.

      1. My Lancaster friend did also make the comment he at least didn’t have to worry about losing power. One upside to the Amish way 🙂

    12. Theresa

      Kevin L where are you in Mi? I’m in SE Mi Oakland county. we had high winds & rain but that’s it. the power went out at least 3 times on Monday night. but now eveything is ok.

      1. Kevin L.

        I also live in Oakland County, and we did pretty good through the storm as well. I do have family who live throughout the entire lower penninsula so I was watching some get snow while others got rain and wind. The newspaper said their were 40,000 people without power in S.E. Michigan

    13. Carolyn B

      Facebook Like Button

      Erik, please forgive me for inserting this here but…..

      I wanted to let you know I’m no longer hitting the Like button that taps into Facebook pages. All of my Likes are independently posting on my Facebook wall and are annoying the heck out of me. Until I can find a way to permanently remove them from Facebook Timeline, I’m going to quit hitting the Like button. Sorry.

    14. Rita

      I live in York County, beside Lancaster County. We had little damage around this end of the county – mainly just saw LOTS of leaves on the road on my way to work this morning. Several friends did mention they were without power for much of the past couple days and some had trees or large branches come down, but we’re all feeling pretty lucky when we see how hard hit other areas are. (Of course, now we have to eat up all that food my husband bought when he thought we were going to be stranded for a week! )

      1. Rita the food hoarding behavior I think is just what we do when storms are on the horizon 🙂 I don’t know if it ever paid off but for one time when we had 18 inches of snow in Raleigh, NC, and things were well and truly paralyzed. Hope you have some good recipes to put to use on all that extra food 😉

    15. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      My community was lightly hit by the heavy winds; only small tree limbs came down in the storm system, Sandy or otherwise, in this part of southern Ontario. Other Ontarians can confirm this, but I heard of two deaths in this period, a woman in Toronto who died when a heavy sign struck her in the heavy wind, and a person who was killed trying to re-establish power in Sarnia, near the Michigan/Ontario boarder.
      In my area the rain came and went, came down for a while, quit, came back.

      I’ve never been negatively affected by a disaster; thank goodness, the last thing of any note that I was in the middle of was the big blackout in the middle of a summer where large chunks of the North-East US, Quebec and Ontario had no power. I was without power about a day, no big deal personally, I remember the heat more than anything and that it forced people outside to see what was going on.

    16. Sandy

      I live in Northern Florida, and we got the wind and drop in temperature, which we have been having since the storm came through. Have relatives in Long Island and NJ where the storm hit. Got word my cousin lost his home on Long Island, and now stays with my Aunt (his mom) with his wife and are ok,no power but okay. Have very close Beachy Mennonites friends (more like relatives) that live in Maryland and they have heavy wet snow and some of the area is without power, but she has and is very grateful she does.
      Prayers still going out for those who lost everything. Need prayers of courage that it will all pass.

      1. Eugenia

        Sandy in Northern Florida

        Sandy, would love to know where you are in northern Florida, because that is wehre my hometown is!

    17. Lesleyanita


      Greetings to you all from sunny South Australia! Just to let you know that friends from overseas are thinking about you all and how you are getting on. Sending our thoughts and good wishes to you and hoping that now the worst is over that you can all get sorted out quickly, and get on with your lives without any further problems blowing in! Have a great day today. Cheers from Encounter Bay. 🙂

      1. Appreciate that Lesleyanita 🙂 And color me jealous as you Australians plow towards the summer time. I guess your November would be like our May, season-wise.

    18. Adair

      Glad to here that most of you all had little damage. And it sounds as if most of the Amish areas were not badly damaged. at least I hope not. Been there, done that, in Katrina. For those of you who were in badly hit areas, let us know how we can help.

    19. Tammi


      We’re fine in southern MA, but we were not on the coast. Coastal MA and RI are literal disaster areas. My inlaws from western CT are living with us for the duration, as they have no power or water. *big fake smile* But many prayers go out to others who were not so lucky, and for the men and women out there clearing roads and repairing lines.

      1. Wishing you patience and a soft heart for the duration Tammi 🙂 I guess this is another reminder that living just about anywhere in the Eastern coastal areas is going to expose you to this kind of thing periodically. I have no idea what the data says but I feel like these big storms tend to more often hit further south, at least in recent times.

    20. Survived in southeastern PA

      While we expected massive flooding, it did not happen. We had a lot of power outages, but even more sad, loss of many huge, old trees which just uprooted as if watching a slow-motion video. The abc6 news said that happened because of the rain coupled with severe wind from one direction which then hooked around and came at the trees from the other side and with how wet the ground was, they could not last. So sad. Of course, this is nothing compared to what happened to Jersey shore points and NYC. I have a friend in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and despite being a place badly hit, they did well. I think the main reason is that they seed their dunes every year with beach grasses and I think it was the root system of these grasses that allowed the dunes to survive, as opposed to Jersey where there is little grass. I love the shore and find myself wondering if it will ever be the same. My best to everyone in Sandy’s path. Oh, were you aware Sandy hit on the exact 21st anniversary of when the Andrea Gail went down (The Perfect Storm – book and movie) – strange.

    21. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      I am not certain that this was due to Sandy, or another system that passed through Ontario, but my family members know people who where in Marathon in northern Ontario and where severely delayed in their return due to a wash-out / destruction of the Trans-Canada highway that runs through the community of Wawa. Roads that were not connected to each other in the thickly forested region had to be connected immediately so that people could safely travel south.

    22. Jane F Thompson

      strange upside down weather

      I live in Florida, and have dealt with hurricanes for years. It is odd to enjoy balmy weather while my daughter and her family who live not far from the shore in NJ are suffering the aftermath of Sandy. I tried to talk her into getting more gas tanks before the storm, to feed their generator. They have been without power since Sunday, with no word on how long until it is restored. Lines are 4 to 5 hours long for 5 gal of gas, and over an hour for a hot cup of coffee. They lost 9 trees, and are praying power will come on soon, as temps are preparing to drop and their generator stopped working. Their friends from a nearby community have not been able to return home — promises of next week, by boat — so they are grateful to have a dry, though cold, home.

    23. Annmarie

      I live outside NYC in Staten Island where a big portion of the deaths occurred. I have lived here for all of my 38 years and have never seen such destruction. . So many of my friends lost their homes. We lost our ENTIRE laboratory(located off-campus-not at hospital). We are in shock but thankfully we survived. I do not live in zone A but work in that Zone. We all showed up to work even though mandatory evacuation. I was so scared as I left for work bc my youngest child cried for me to stay home. She is 4 and usually does not behave like that….I was so fearful she was heaven forbid having a premonition…Thankfully, I made it home safely. So many did not…please keep SI in your prays.

      1. Wow, powerful account Annmarie…hope things get to normal asap. I’ve heard Staten Island was worst-hit of the five boroughs.

    24. Alice Mary

      Praying for patience

      Other than some gusty winds and a big drop in temperature (79 degrees the day before Sandy hit), the Northwestern suburbs of Chicago fared well. However, the Chicago lakefront was closed to bike/pedestrian traffic due to 25-ft. waves crashing over the breakwalls. As usual, the media reported (and interviewed) a few foolish people who just could not stay away. I can only reiterate what officials said: think of the people (first responders, even good samaritans) who would have to risk their OWN lives to save those of the foolish(extremely selfish)who are too stubborn to take themselves out of harm’s way.

      I am praying that power can be restored soon to all the folks who are bearing the brunt of the storm. The lines for gas remind me of back in the 1970’s (once in a lifetime is more than enough!). I hope people can be patient so that raw emotions don’t lead to violence.

      Knowing how the Amish are always willing to lend a hand, I’m sure that those Plain communities not affected by Sandy will be gearing up to offer help of one k ind or another. Also, I kept thinking of how more “English” will likely be buying items (oil/kerosene lamps, hand-cranked, non-electric appliances, etc.) that will be useful for any future disasters when the “grid is down” for any length of time.

      Keep the faith!

      Alice Mary

      1. Non-electric applicances

        Your last point is interesting Alice Mary. I think a lot of people did not have a conception of how difficult it could be to acquire basics (food, warmth) in the aftermath of a storm like this. I guess if you grow up in a certain environment and have never been through something like this it’s easy to think you don’t need to lay in supplies and alternative power sources. Lehman’s of Ohio and places like it selling non-electric appliances will probably see a jump in their business.

    25. Matt from CT

      I would say this is the most significant storm to hit the area in terms of the number of people impacted, severity of impact, and length of impact in my lifetime (and I’m 42).

      It would rate up there with the ’55 Floods, ’38 Hurricane, and ’36 Flood for “modern” history here in New England and the NY/NJ shore and above events like the Blizzard of ’78 and ’73 Ice Storm.

      The floods, at least, there are now a series of large Federal dams and small State dams that should prevent them from ever again causing widespread damage inland. (You’ll always have small pockets get impacted by freak events).

      I live inland enough it was just a moderate windstorm, and we get something similar in strength every year or two or three. The surge along the coast from Charlestown, RI was real bad and got worse as you went west.

      1. deb from long island

        I know I am coming late to this party, but I am just now catching up on all the emails since the storm. I live on the south shore of Long Island and we were out of electricity for two weeks, well one week from Sandy, then another after the tree trimming service our power supplier hired to get the limbs off the wires knocked us out for another week. Even though we lived “an Amish Existence”(not really because they are prepared for lack of electricity) for those weeks we were very blessed here about 5 minutes from the coast where massive destruction from water damage has taken away so many homes and our beautiful beaches that it is so hard to comprehend even to this day. I have lived through a number of hurricanes in my life, and this one was certainly not the worse one I have seen with my eyes, and I think that is what makes the devastation so much more unbelievble. By storm standards the winds were 80 miles and hour with some gusts a little higher, there was not much rain, and the moon was eerily out most of the night. The electricty went out rather early and the next day when we went outstide we had many trees down on our property and our neighbors garage was done in, but otherwise (becasue we couldn’t watch the news we didn’t think it was bad). Honestly, my parents live in the middle of the island about a half hour away and the trip there three days later was like an obstacle course with trees across main roads and much more work than all the towns could handle.

        We had a trip planned to Lancaster which we postponed until this past weekend because of gas rationing and just plain shock. But on the way down we saw what the wind did to Staten Island and Jersey but could not see the shoreline which I am sure looks similar to where we are. Without sounding dramatic, it felt very apocolyptic and we got to see how the people panicked in this crisis. Living on Long Island, where it takes two hours to get in and get out on a good day, gave us a good dose of the trouble we will have if the problem is not quite as temporary as this was. Our lives have gotten back to normal, well, if normal is looking out and seeing garages smashed with trees on top of them, but thank God none of us were hurt. There are many thousands who are still homeless that were in Sandy’s path. I haven’t told my “Sandy” story to anyone…..thanks for listening….deb <

        1. SharonR

          Hurricane Sandy

          I have also been in your shoes a time or two, since I live in Florida, and we have had many hurricanes touch us, as well. As you say, you still have your lives, and that you need to be thankful for. The rest will work out, in time, so don’t despair. Our neighborhood is having a “fundraiser” in 2 weeks, with all of our proceeds from tickets going towards a Hurricane Sandy relief organization, for helping those in NY and NJ. There is other organizations in Florida that are also helping out and hoping it won’t be too much longer before our neighbors to the north, are back to normal.
          We’ll keep you in our prayers and wish for you better times ahead.
          Thanks for sharing…SharonR

        2. Thanks for catching us up Deb…for most of the country this event bascially ended early November, for you and many others affected it continues and no doubt will for some time. I second what Sharon says, and hope the return to normal comes as rapidly as it can.