By Brigitte L. Nacos
With Sandy on its way to the East coast and a steadily stronger wind already taking down trees and power lines, our close attention to Mother Nature’s fury is overriding our previous preoccupation with the upcoming presidential election as well as high profile congressional races.
Instead of reading the latest news and opinion pieces about President Obama and former governor Romney or worrying about particular election outcomes, there have been more mundane tasks to take care of:
Securing outdoor furniture and flower pots and the grill on the patio.
Filling buckets and bath tubs with water in case our water supply will be interrupted.
Placing flash lights strategically around the house since we expect to lose electricity—most probably at the heights of the storm tonight.
Charging cell phone and lap top computer.
Checking phone numbers to report electric, cable, phone outages.
Preparing food that does not need baking, cooking, grilling.
Our little community sits only a stone throw away from an inlet of Long Island Sound—but high enough that we don’t fear the predicted record height of tonight’s onslaught of Sandy supposed to coincide with the highest tide and a full moon.
The expected strength of the storm is another matter.
As I look out a window in the early afternoon, the storm rips ever more of the colorful autumn leaves off our trees and shakes stems and branches relentlessly.
Thankfully, this is a young community with young trees.
Moreover, unlike in the rest of our town and most of the county our neighborhood is lucky that the electric cables, unlike land phone and cable lines, are underground.
Problem is that the areas around us are full of very old, huge trees. Even if those tree giants withstand the coming record winds—and many will not as we know from previous, far less potent storms--, massive branches tend to fall on overland power lines and cut everyone off.
So, right now we think about the advantages of having one’s own generator. Or sharing one with our next door neighbor.
When we moved here, we left a generator behind convinced that we would not need it any longer.
Whatever happens over the next 24 hours or so, we are lucky that the air temperature is quite mild.
So, if needed, we can do without heat.
And we also can do without news and punditry about election campaigns.