- Posted October 31, 2012 by
Mill Neck & Lattingtown, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
'Superstorm' Sandy: Your stories
AFTER THE STORM- Mill Neck and Lattingtown Long Island
"A leaf blower will never seem as powerful to me again"
Early this afternoon I got the news that the Long Island Expressway had been reopened and I knew what I had to do. I'd been sitting on the couch all day, like everyone else who still had electricity, glued to the TV. I was waiting to hear some news on Bayville. There was none. Facebook postings from Bayville friends had all but ceased, and I was anxious to know what was going on there.
It was a risky venture to the North Shore of Long Island on the day after Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast, but I had to get to the hometown of my childhood, I needed to try , I needed to see what the water had done to the town of Bayville, New York.
Finally, after a two hour trek I arrived on the North Shore, having survived the game of 'chicken' on Glen Cove Road which requires you to cross over the intersection of 25A in Greenvale without the benefit of traffic signals.
Along the way to Bayville I saw a road opened through Mill Neck that’s been a favorite camera stop of mine for decades; and so I made a hard right turn at the last minute and drove around the first bend of a road that I've known all my life, until abruptly, I was forced to slam on my brakes and I came to a stop in the middle of the yellow lines.
There in front of me lie enormous felled trees looking more like Sequoia National Forest than the ambling country road of Long Island.
I open my window, and take a deep breath. The smell of pine trees pour into the car. It is intoxicating and sad.
I’m like a character in a video game now, dodging wires, electrical transformers, and squeezing beneath giant trees angled toward the roof of my car.
Wet green leaves plaster themselves to my windshield, the wind picks up again, and the rain begins to fall.
Coasting down the long slippery hills my flashers are pulsing to the pattern of anxious breathing and I begin to think that that maybe this was wasn’t such a good idea after all, but there is no way out now, but forward.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I’m remembering a quote of Churchill…”if you’re going through hell, keep going”…and so I do.
At last I reach the causeway, and it too has suffered greatly. It's an eerie feeling to stand on water reeds in the middle of a road. And all around me, there's not a bird in the sky anywhere.
I manage to get out of the car and walk the length of the causeway, photographing the scene for posterity and for my own archival reasons.
Back at the car now, I’m faced with having to drive the whole voyage again, but up the hill this time.
And so Winston and I put the car in drive and head back up the road for the journey that will eventually lead us to Bayville to witness what I can only imagine will be unbelievable heartache and destruction.
The story of "After the Storm- Bayville", can be found at this link: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-869205