Thursday, November 8, 2012

Guest Post: The "Real" Apocalypse of 11/7/2012

With all of the political gnashing of teeth, wailing about the country choosing to be evil, and the Apocalypse just around the corner, I have almost disconnected from some of my usually blogging haunts.  I just can't see the point in arguing with people who lost and are being sore losers.  After this email from Mina, I am even less inclined to want to navel gaze. 

If you are feeling like you need to blame the recent weather events on the wickedness of the nation, connect it to a prophecy of doom and gloom, please don't.  The people who are struggling in the East Coast need our prayers, donations to the Red Cross, and any other help that we can offer. 

Guest Post: The "Real" Apocalypse of 11/7/2012
from an email received Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 11:13 AM
(Mina lives in New York City.  Readers who also enjoy Keepapitchinin, will recognize her as a regular commentor.  I am sharing this with you, with her permission.)

From the New York Post Website

I got your lovely little card today. I'm sure the Holy Ghost prompted you to send it at just the right time (I am only half kidding). It was just the boost I needed after a terrifically hard day. One of the worst days ever.

I don't know if it is really being reported how terrible the devastation is on Long Island. I had to go to campus yesterday---the faculty have been arguing with the administration about reopening because so many students are still without power and the gas shortages are .... apocalyptic.

When I got to campus it looked like a war zone. Trees down, branches uncleared from buildings and roadways, no heat in many buildings. No power in the two annexes where all the technology classes are taught. My office had a window out and no way to stop the storm that was blowing in.

I saw very few students. I emailed with students who were worried about the storm and having enough gas and told them to stay safe at home and we would make it up next week. The students I did see were shell shocked and frantic about missing work and not being able to complete the semester. All day the lights flickered, the internet on campus would drop out. I think I saw one building on fire (I'm not kidding).

The storm got progressively worse throughout the day. I cancelled my five pm class and emailed students to STAY HOME and not risk running out of gas in the terrible storm.


From The New York Post Website
I know bad winter weather. I grew up in Utah and have driven in terrible blizzards. I know how to drive safely in icy conditions. But last night was the worst storm I have ever driven in. I could not see in front of me, the expressway was backed up and I noticed my car was seriously overheating. We just had that problem repaired---expensively---but I suspect by a bad mechanic.

I got off the expressway as quickly as I could, but got stuck on a service road in the dark because THE LONG ISLAND INFRASTRUCTURE IS JUST GONE. Everything was dark. Power was out, I couldn't read street signs, people were panicking there were accidents left and right. I pulled my car over and talked to one of the few police officers working an accident. He called a private tow truck company for me (AAA had already told me their rescue vehicles were out of gas and not working). I stayed in my car for about an hour and a half, but got worried the tow truck just wouldn't be able to reach me and I actually feared freezing in the cold (I was soaked from walking around campus earlier). I hitched a ride from the first people who stopped for me who said the road had been blocked and I should just let them take me down the road to at Starbucks where I could wait out the storm and call other tow trucks. A two minute lift took an hour and half because of an accident blocking the road we were on. Meanwhile trees are collapsing under the weight of the heavy snow and falling on the cars around us.

When I got to the Starbucks, I found no tow trucks with gas or operating in the storm. I called some friends who I thought lived kind of close by (I really had no idea where I was on Long Island at this point). It turned out they were very close and had just enough gas to rescue me. I spent the night with them, but today found my car had been towed --- by the police I assume. So far, I haven't been able to locate it because the police are all backed up with blocking roads and towing cars.

From The New York Post Website
But I am home. And I found your card. And it brought me out of my frenzied panic attack mode.

I learned today that they actually shut down the Long Island Expressway not long after I got off it. People had to abandon their cars or wait it out. Also the trains were shut down and people were left to fend for themselves at whatever stop they happened to be at.

So it coulda been worse.

Thanks again for your lovely sweet card. I am going to take a long nap now and deal with the car later.


  1. Oh, my. No, Mena, we are not hearing accurate stories of how bad it is in New York right now. I am grateful you made it home safely, and so sorry for all the troubles of so many people. I am thinking of you, and you and your neighbors are in my prayers. Thank you for the fascinating / disturbing update for those of us on the west coast.

  2. We have cable, so I have seen more of the pictures, but Mina's writing captures it in a much more immediate way. Most of what is on TV is in sound bites, short videos and pictures, with much of the personal element. I am so glad Mina agreed to let me share what she wrote.

    I have asked Mina to let me know if she has suggestions, beyond donating to the Red Cross, for how we can help.

  3. Wow! This is humbling, especially considering how much time I spent arguing about the election online and at the ward fall dinner activity at church. I am definitely linking to this on FB right now.

    Mina, what can we do to help? Are you okay? Did you find your car? Are your students okay? Is there power yet? The news talks about the disaster for like two minutes, maybe five now that the election is done, but none of the stories share any real insight. They show lots of people who lots homes on the shore, but not a whole lot else.

    I am praying for your family.


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