As I'm sure you're aware, today is the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, a storm that caused unprecedented damage to coastal parts of New York City, as well as the New Jersey shore.
My hometown of Staten Island is one of the places that saw tremendous levels of destruction. My family was lucky and lives in homes far enough from the shoreline to escape any damage, but plenty of people I know were not so fortunate and suffered partial or total loss of their property, including homes, boats and personal belongings.
On my commute to work earlier today, I looked at photos and video from the day Sandy started wreaking havoc on the New York area, as well as the days that followed. I also thought long and hard about sharing them, which I have done below.
One year ago, I was an on-air personality at 103.5 KTU, a radio station owned by WASH-FM's parent company, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment. At that time, our facility had five FM radio stations with hundreds of employees, some of whom--including myself--were scheduled to be on the air during the storm. As such, the company booked hotel rooms for us to ensure that there was proper coverage on the air at all times. I'll admit, after Hurricane Irene the year before, I wasn't expecting much out of Sandy. I really only expected to stay one night.
Then, the power station on East 14th Street in Manhattan lit up the sky with explosions and half of Manhattan went dark, including the neighborhood where we were working. At night, the only lights in the street came in the form of emergency vehicles.
After four days at the radio station, I returned to Staten Island and was shocked to see the damage caused by the storm. Of course, I learned a lot from the news, but seeing it first-hand was a totally different.