Archives for posts with tag: HurricaneSandy

Linked by Tragedy of Disaster – Revived by Music

From my “Compelling Journey” series, have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.
— Susan Sacirbey

Update from Susan and Ambassador Mo Sacirbey – Staten Islanders: THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON has been cancelled. In a statement from the Mayor’s office and the New York City Road Runners: “They would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants.” We are thankful for this courageous decision as we work to rebuild together.Image

New Yorkers are running their own marathon every day to get to work over closed transportation links, so forgive many of us if some runner breaks their own personal best or even the course record over “ideal weather conditions.”  Many New Yorkers, including those from the New Jersey and metro area are expected to be without electricity a week after the Marathon is now scheduled to be held. Many are desperate to get heat, water, food and fuel for family, friends as well as themselves. There is a sense of community, empathy and responsibility that frequently comes to surface in the perceived rough and tough Big Apple. Many of us are reading of neighbors who had homes and businesses swept away. Some are still seeking lost family and friends. We are making time in the rush to survive to attend funerals for victims, many who will not be laid to rest until after the NYC Marathon is scheduled.

The New York City Marathon has always been welcome in my mind despite the personal inconveniences it has caused – I thought a small sacrifice for a greater good even if New York really does not need the Marathon to define it. We had also opted to sponsor a participant and her worthy cause linked to the Marathon. However, when I heard that the City and “Organizers” planned to go ahead as scheduled by this Sunday, November 4, 2012, it struck many of us as trivializing the suffering of some and the continuing travails of many to gain the minimum security of normalcy. From baths and food to heat and daily commute, the trek or marathon that some have to endure each way not to lose jobs and/or just help their employers and fellow New Yorkers now lasts longer than the run of most marathoners. Worse, it trivializes the much deeper suffering of some who have lost life investments, friend or family members – in New Orleans they have the good sense with a “jazz funeral” to only kick up the band and (“Second Number”) once the honored guest is laid to rest. No one celebrated in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The City held to its tradition of Mardi Gras and the Jazz Festival only after months had passed, and although more subdued than normal it was part of New Orleans’ recovery.

The NYC Marathon could also be an inspiration, even a spur for rebuilding but not until all New Yorkers have buried loved ones and are no longer seeking to secure the basics. Correctly timed, even a week or so delayed, it is something we all can get behind. As is, it is something that some will jeer and others never forget as an insult. This is something that would not have been in the immediate aftermath of Katrina or 9/11. And please do not preach about the many months of preparations of Organizers that will go to waste – see your fellow New Yorker struggle now from an unexpected and unprecedented disaster. Commercialism is also OK by many of us, but those sponsors will not win favor or good reputation among much of audience/consumers. World class runners and record times are really impressive most of the time, but it is ordinary New Yorkers who impress the most with perseverance, empathy and being good neighbors.

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

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Thank you everyone for your prayers and messages. This is the first opportunity I’ve had of communicating to the outside world regarding Hurricane Sandy. On Staten Island and in lower Manhattan, there is no electricity, no phones, and limited cell connections.  Water is contaminated. Destruction is unimaginable. This morning Ambassador Mo and I drove our neighbor to her office in upper Manhattan and I was able to access my messages and write this update.

All of my family (including cats) are fine, as we are on the second floor of a complex that was flooded with a foot of water on the lobby floor. The photo I included is from the “John B. Caddell” tanker which crashed on the North Shore of Staten Island. This is down the road from where I live. The shoreline on Staten Island is gone, as is that of Jersey Shore communities. What is worse, Staten Island experienced death. I still don’t have all the news, as I haven’t had TV, road into my complex was blocked with dock debris, and other roads impassible with fallen trees and live wires.

New Jersey fared even worse.  I have a close friend who was rescued by boat. I’ve been told that FEMA will help. New Yorkers are strong, and we have both Democrats and Republicans on our side. But this episode has stung with the realization of the lack of  follow-up news there has been of the devastation in the Caribbean and other developing world countries that experience nature’s fury without the resources to rebuild.

Other relevant question: What would have happened if there had been a nuclear power plant in Sandy’s way? Will we ever learn before a worse tragedy happens?

By Susan Sacirbey

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Hurricane Sandy is no joking matter to those of us on the US East Coast, particularly in New York City and New Jersey. This may be my last blog report for a few days as Staten Island has received a mandatory evacuation notice from the Mayor. Ambassador Mo and I are staying and bunking down with our three cats, however; but we fully expect to lose power and our access to the outside world via the Internet. It feels a bit like Ground Hog Day or deja vu, as we wrote a similar report last year on August 26 prior to Hurricane Irene.

What makes this storm unique and more treacherous are a combination of factors. Hurricane season typically runs from June 1 – November 1, so Sandy was a late bloomer but should be a long-duration event. There is a midlatitude trough coming from the western part of the United States drawing in Hurricane Sandy. With arctic air coming from the Canadian Plains, parts of the US could also experience  snow. The full moon, which would have been great for Halloween and young trick or treaters will produce high tides and perhaps a storm surge. A cruel trick to those of us who like Halloween.

According to, “At Full Moon, the Earth, sun and moon are arranged in a line, with Earth in the middle. Tidal ranges are especially high at this time because the gravitational tugs of the sun and moon on our planet reinforce each other. The same effect is felt at new moon, when the three bodies all line up, with the moon between Earth and the sun. Indeed, tides at the new and full moons are called “spring tides.” The term has nothing to do with the season; it comes from the German verb “springen,” which means “to spring up.”

Now is the time to check in with our family and neighbors, stock up with necessary supplies, make peace with our God/ higher power and to respect Mother Nature. By the way, if that’s my new neighbor (PHOTO) can’t wait to meet him or her!

From Susan Sacirbey & Ambassador Mo

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