Hurricane Sandy: the Aftermath

Looking uptown in lower Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy

As you probably know by now, New York City was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy on Monday night. Now, on Thursday morning, more than 200,000 remain without power, hundreds of homes have been destroyed, and the death toll has now risen to more than 30 people, with Mayor Bloomberg cautioning that it might grow even higher in the coming days.

Living in lower Manhattan, we lost power around 8:30 p.m. on Monday night. Ryan was at work. He walked home from 29th Street at 11 p.m. in a pitch-black Manhattan with gale-force winds—not a sight you see very often. We woke up on Tuesday morning to a deserted West Village, devoid of tour groups, bustling shops, and other signs of life.

Three days later, we’re still without power, cell service, heat, or hot water, but we’re OK. Laura’s been working remotely from the Ace Hotel in Midtown during the day and we’ve been spending our evenings in our dark apartment entertaining ourselves with iPad games and wine. Many aren’t as lucky as we are—they might not have a place to shower, a way to get in touch with their loved ones, or even food to eat.

So often we think of our city as being invincible, but this has reminded all of us that we’re both vulnerable and incredibly lucky. Please keep those affected, both in New York City and beyond, in your thoughts in the coming days. If any of our readers in New York or New Jersey need anything at all, just let us know—we will try our best to help. If you can help, we urge you to find a way.

As always, thank you for reading.

- Laura and Ryan


  1. J+H @ Beyondt The Stoop
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 13:58:39

    we are across the hudson in jersey city, and the river surged to 1 block from my house! it came to 13 ft above sea level and we are at 15 ft… lucky ducks, we are. we also live very close to the PATH train and got power back tuesday night very late. many of our friends are taking advantage of our hot showers and ability to cook hot food (and have heat!!). if you could make your way to jersey city, i’d say we could help you! but it may be more trouble than it’s worth with the trains and holland tunnel closed :( best of luck!!


    • Smith & Ratliff
      Nov 03, 2012 @ 11:40:57

      Thank you for the kind offer. We have a friend in Jersey City and she said it was crazy. I can’t believe how big the surge ended up being. Hoping things get back to normal in coming days. -LR


  2. patricia
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 15:23:48

    thinking and praying for the lives lost, and for those unfortunate people who are still missing and and their families. NYC has seen its share of tragedies these last days.


    • Smith & Ratliff
      Nov 03, 2012 @ 11:39:46

      We feel the same, Patricia. Hoping for a swift recovery and that those who have lost homes and loved ones can find peace and support. -LR


  3. Juliet
    Nov 02, 2012 @ 00:18:53

    I read your comment on Cup of Jo and appreciated it very much. I just don’t know how so many people can blithely post about fashion and whatnot as though tragedy has not struck their neighbors, both near and farther. Hope you and yours stay safe and well.


  4. Dora Panariti
    Nov 02, 2012 @ 03:42:21

    Hello guys… I’m so happy that you’re ok and so sorry for everything that happened!
    Wish you the best of luck in “recovering”, my thoughts are with you and everyone else in the situation…


    • Smith & Ratliff
      Nov 03, 2012 @ 11:38:15

      Thanks, Dora! We appreciate your support and, as always, your readership. -LR


  5. Julia
    Nov 02, 2012 @ 14:12:43

    I also read your comment on Cup of Jo as well as the reactions (positive and negative) of other readers to your post. Good for you for being honest about how you feel. I really like this post of yours – you are aware of your relative fortune at this difficult time, and at the same time are sensitive to the incredible toll it has had on others.


    • Smith & Ratliff
      Nov 03, 2012 @ 11:36:33

      Thanks, Julia. It’s always hard to be critical of a friend, as Joanna is to us. We felt tremendously lucky to be in the situation we were and I tried to make that clear—a few days without power is nothing compared to what families in Breezy Point and the Jersey Shore are facing now. -LR


  6. Denise Sommer
    Nov 02, 2012 @ 15:47:23

    I am so happy to hear you are alright. Your post today extremely touched me as it was so heartwarming. You are truly beautiful people. Fortunately, my street still has power while towns around me don’t so I feel blessed that I am able to help family and friends to use my home as a shelter. P.S. Re your Arthur Ave./Fordham post-my daughter loves Forham.


    • Smith & Ratliff
      Nov 03, 2012 @ 11:33:24

      Thank you, Denise. Our power came back on this morning, so we feel tremendously lucky now. Now I’m hoping we can find ways to help people who have lost a lot more than us! -LR


  7. Fabienne
    Nov 02, 2012 @ 15:52:51

    I am so Happy to know that you are ok. Last year, I have gone for the first Time in your beautifull city with my husband and son for halloween. Lot of souvenirs for us and since thusday, we see a devastated city on French TV. We feel so sad… I think of you and sending you hopeful.


    • Smith & Ratliff
      Nov 03, 2012 @ 11:32:38

      Fabienne, thank you so much. I’m glad you had a great time here and hope you return soon. Feel free to e-mail us before your next visit. -LR


Leave a Reply

Back to Top