Hurricane Sandy, One Year Later

Monday, 21 Oct 2013 10:10 AM

By Jon Friedman

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By all indications, life is something resembling normal in the United States. Congress is on the defensive under massive criticism from the public and the media. President Barack Obama is trying hard to assert his will over the electorate and convince us that all is well.
 
Meanwhile, on the lighter side, the baseball playoffs have been thrilling, with a dream World Series matchup in the offing between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. The National Football League has given us the usual thrills and chills, even as our concern about players' injuries escalates. Everything is back to normal in the USA, right?
 
Not so fast.
 
We should count our blessings, as a nation, that we have the luxury of complaining about our government. 
 
Remember, one year ago, a sizable portion of the population in the New York metropolitan area was struggling to survive under the wrath and devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Yes, it was only one year ago. 
 
We're coming up on the one-year "anniversary" — can there be an anniversary of such a destructive event? Maybe "remembrance" is actually the more appropriate term for us all to employ, as we look back on the suffering of our fellow Americans particularly in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
 
I can remember vividly how it felt to travel uptown in hurricane-ravaged Manhattan. Everyone who lived below 39th Street was basically out of luck. They had spotty, if any, power, heat, and other services. The flooding was so severe that many people simply lost the use of their cars in the path of destruction.
 
It was surreal in the city. Whole neighborhoods were dark all the time. Others, only a few blocks away, seemed to experience no unusual problems. The breakdown of the haves and the have-nots was strictly by the luck of the draw, depending on what street you lived on. Surreal!
 
You're going to see and hear a lot of news networks, websites, magazines, and newspapers talking about what they saw a year ago. They will have the best of intentions as they try to an honorable job. But I'm always wary of journalists who airlift themselves into a trouble spot, whether it is a war zone or a setting of a natural disaster.
 
What's important to remember is that Hurricane Sandy caused unfathomable pain and suffering for millions of people.
 
Don't forget them.
 
Jon Friedman writes the Media Matrix blog for Indiewire.com. He is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)Invention, Shunning the Naysayers, and Creating a Personal Revolution." Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.
 
 
 

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