The Very Heart of It

The “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together” benefit concert on NBC last night followed a format similar to the disaster-relief telethons we’ve seen regularly since 9/11. The artists and hosts did a great job. The one-hour program is available OnDemand, in case you missed it. The best way to help is to donate to the American Red Cross, either online or by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.

Fortunately my mother and my sister were spared any direct damage by Hurricane Sandy. They rode out the storm in a hotel near their house on the east end of Long Island. The house is still without power but at least there was no flooding and no trees down on their property. My sister emailed me on Friday, describing the long lines for gasoline, which is in short supply.

I also received an email on Friday night from my childhood librarian, Sheila. She described the situation in Westchester County:

All of Crestwood, much of Eastchester, all of residential Bronxville Village & Scarsdale Village have no power (i.e., no light, no heat, no hot water) since Monday night’s storm… including much more of Westchester County than that… with promise of power by November 11!
It is in the 30s at night. Those with generators are running low on gas. Two-hour waits on a gas line are common, whether for the car or the generator. Police monitor the lines. All schools were closed this week and remain closed. No functioning traffic lights so many Westchester roads, like Rt. 22, are a madhouse. Obviously innumerable trees are down but can’t be cleared by cities/villages until and unless Con Ed shuts off power. Tempers are flaring and patience wearing very thin over Con Ed.
We may be voting November 6 in tents rigged up outside powerless public schools, with generators powering voting machines. Paper ballots are also a possibility.

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