Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey and Family…..

Watching the national news this evening, the plight of the elderly stuck in high rises without food/water/heat/power just tears at the heart. These people are stuck in the chaos, and the brave first responders are attempting to reach them. And apparently, there is a Winter storm predicted for some time next week. With luck and such hard work hopefully power will be restored soon for people who are in their shattered homes and lives can be saved.

I haven’t had the heart to write anything about this horrific event. I find I am responding to this like I did with 9/11. Fear and a sense of displacement. Then I had a lot of anger, but who can get angry at a hurricane? A force of nature isn’t the same as terrorists.

However, friends from around the world have written and asked about my family in New Jersey. Specifically, they have asked about my 100 year old Aunt Jean. We were just up there in the beginning of September, for her Birthday Celebration, and if there is ANYONE who can come through a hurricane, it is my dear Aunt. This is a powerful woman, in command of all her senses and she takes no captives. But she does have power, in her very elegant suite in the assisted living complex. So, relatives have moved in with her, and I know she will soothe the great grandchildren and comfort the anxiety of the various adults. She is made that way, and I guess this is the reason she has gotten to such an age. Perhaps seeing the world over many wars, seeing the destruction of her Hungarian homeland at various times, and going back innumerable visits, well, perhaps you get a better perspective on something like a hurricane.

I don’t know, but I know I sit here, and my heart just sinks when I see the ocean cities of my youth and vacations just destroyed. The entire seaboard of New Jersey has been devastated from Cape May to the top of the state. NY is another matter, and so many friends and fellow bloggers are there and writing from a ‘boots on the ground’ perspective. Bless them for what they are now going through. (Thank you, Karin, of

Talking to Don, a cousin , apparently there was some rank stupidity on the part of the mayor of Atlantic City: The Governor ordered an evacuation of all barrier islands or low lying areas for the safety of citizens, and this mayor, Lorenzo Langford, countered this by telling people to stay put. He didn’t want ‘his’ people evacuating.

What is going on here? Is this politics or stupidity? He suggested people could shelter in a school…one block from the bay. This school is totally flooded.

The people who have to answer for this stupidity are the first responders: rescue workers, firemen, police, etc. They are the ones who have to go down the streets in boats pulling people off roofs and out of second story windows. People should seriously consider what peril they put others in when they don’t evacuate during such events. But they don’t and apparently politics takes over in the egos of some politicians.

Power is still out to over 2 million New Jersey residents. Gas fires have burned 100 houses. Gas fumes and hissing are now common in these towns, and it’s like a powderkeg waiting to blow.

There is only time and the courage of people in New Jersey. Hopefully residents have learned that you don’t ignore the power of a hurricane. The destruction around them will make this lesson stick.

Lady Nyo

I haven’t a poem to end this entry, and poetry gives comfort. But the moon has been full this week, and I remember a poem I wrote about Japan’s disaster of almost two springs ago. I know it isn’t the same, but in a way, it is. And I know for some, a poem will bring comfort.

Is there a moon viewing party
In Japan tonight?
Destruction, sorrow
Covers the land,
Despair, loss
Regulates the heart.

Perhaps the moon presence
Is of little interest
And less comfort.
Perhaps sorrow goes too deep
To raise eyes above shock and debris.

Her gleam falls upon all
A compassionate blanketing
Of the Earth,
Softening the soiled,
Ravaged landscape,
A beacon of promise
Of the return to life,
Beauty to nature.

Jane Kohut-Bartels,
Copyrighted, 2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to “Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey and Family…..”

  1. Steve E Says:

    Jane, you approached coverage of this event, using eyes of others, writing what each of us think. And most of us were mesmerized by sounds and sights of this natural catastrophe. And, as days slip by, how quickly some who live far from the devastation–in our daily occupations–forget what happened–is ongoing. And only a few days ago!

    Thank you for your perspective. Since you know the Peeps there, lived there, and have a centenarian aunt sort of “in charge” of keeping the family hopes alive, your telling of this story may well become a series. Because the tribulations are certainly not over.

    This story of suffering and recovery will become a saga in your own blog–is my prediction. You might “follow” a “family” as they work against all odds to become once again happy, grateful citizens. Wonder…am I trying to “set you up”? Please know I have no motive, other than to write a brief comment, which turned into a chapter of something or other–grin!
    Love, and PEACE, Jane!


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Steve….your very sensitive comment brought tears to my eyes. These are very private people, and most of them I really don’t know well….except Aunt Jean of course, who has become my mother, and Donnie who is a kind and very funny cousin. When 9/11 hit, he called me out of the blue. He was concerned about us here in Atlanta, whilst he was close enough to NYC to see the smoke from the towers. I have never forgotten that act of kindness and every 9/11 we write or call each other. He is firmly in my heart.

    There are so many more ‘hurt’ families than mine. We were very fortunate…not like so many who lost members or all their properties….either from the floods or from gas fires.

    But you are too kind. I am rather numb right now and really can’t get my head around what has happened in NJ…the ENTIRE coast nor in NYC. These poor people! All of them, and of course the destruction of animal lives, too.

    We must never forget what has happened here: and if this can be traced to global warming, etc….we must step in and do something to try to rectify what we have done to the earth.

    steve, my eyes are overflowing, dear friend, and I can’t see anymore to write. Thank you so much for your comment and your love here.

    Peace and Love,
    Jane…and no, the family tribulations are not over, but so many more families were hit much harder.


  3. ManicDdaily Says:

    Jane – such a lovely poem of the moon – and in fact there’s been this big moon over the East Coast this week. Of course, the moon was supposedly part of the reason for the size of the surge! But even then, I think it’s telling us something.

    The Atlantic City situation was terrible -the mayor an idiot. IN fact in New York, most of the deaths were in the evacuation zone and many of people who changed their minds and tried to leave but too late.

    I really was very comfortable the whole time though we did a great deal of walking, and now I’ve come upstate a bit, though after I left, I heard that they’d restored power and water to my building down in Battery Park, so hope to go back again tomorrow.

    Thanks for your lovely poem and wishing all the best to your Jersey Kin and you. k.


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Hi K~
    Thank you for commenting. And yes, you are exactly right: that lovely, full moon was the reason the tides were so high, besides the storm.

    I am so glad your apt. has power and you can go back to relative comfort.

    Yes, The Atlantic City mayor is playing ego-politics with ‘his’ people. And they are going to pay the price. This is a damn shame, but people need to take personal responsibility for their own safety and the lives of their kin. Being sheep in such a situation only amounts to death.

    The Moon! How beautiful it was this week…as I fished around for a poem to conclude this entry. The only thing I could come up with was something I wrote for Japan, but it seems the situation of disaster was somewhat the same….

    Thank you, K. I pray the situation lifts soon for all these people in NY and NJ….but there is a Winter storm coming in apparently, sometime Wed? Yikes~ Keep warm and dry, K.



  5. Click here for listing Says:

    People should seriously consider what peril they put others in when they don’t evacuate during such events.


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Agree totally!

    Lady Nyo


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: