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A great video from Jeff Pinilla, The First 36 Hours, as he shadows a WPIX 11 NYC news crew covering Sandy’s landfall in Broad Channel, Far Rockaway, and Breezy Point in Queens.

The film conveys the power of the storm as well as the dedication of the crew – Arthur Chi’en, Kenton Young, and James Seelinger.

I grew up visiting the area they report on, my grandparents lived in Far Rockaway. Whenever it rained it seemed to flood somewhere and the water was just as likely to come up from underground as in from the bay or the ocean. When we were little, during a hard rain, we’d sit by the windows and watch as the water starting gurgling up through the manhole covers.

Compared to the surreal damage at the Jersey Shore and in New York City we were extremely lucky (in Princeton, NJ.) Lots of wind, the inconvenience of no power or heat, but no trees down on our property, no damage to our house or my studio.

I do not have photos to show or a film. A film felt too redundant to what I did during Irene and there was no visual with a dramatic clearing or the flooding. Yes, there were trees and power lines down everywhere.

To me, a few things stood out during this storm:

The sound. To step outside late Monday night and hear the wind – it was what people say of a tornado, it sounded like a freight train roaring by.

Tuesday morning I awoke at 5am to the sound of transformers blowing. 1-2-3-4-5. All nearby. Large echoing metallic clangs accompanied by daylight bright blue-white flashes of light.

The leaves. I have never in my 49 years seen a storm that so shredded the leaves. They looked like they were mulched. Tiny pieces of torn leaves stuck to the house, the walkways, the driveway.

The First Responders. As I mentioned, nothing happened here on the scale of what occurred on the coastline but there was the potential for post-storm chaos. Power lines down, no electricity throughout town, food going bad, gas at first non-existant and then in short supply, and the weather getting progressively colder. I know that everyone in the community worked extremely hard but our police department in particular was out front with information and help. Automated telephone calls and their frequently updated Facebook page kept us informed. Once power was restored to a few areas, they always had an officer at the temporary shelters – places where members of the community could warm up, get information, and charge phones or other devices. Fortunately, cel phone service was never out (enabling getting the automated telephone updates and reading their online progress reports.)

Waiting for gas. Bad, choppy iPhone panorama. 206 & 518, Montgomery, NJ. November 3, 2012.

Update 11-6-12: One more film from the Rockaways by Alex Braverman & Poppy de Villeneuve:


  1. Thank you for sharing!

    -Jeff Pinilla

    • Jeff – great work! I added a link to your web site at the top of the post.

  2. Hi Jon,

    Thanks for that post – one tends to forget the crews behind the devastating shots one sees during events like this.

    What a mess this storm has made of millions of peoples lives from Cuba all the way up to Canada.

    Sounds like you were just outside of the full strength of the storm.

    Glad you and your family were OK.

    • Mark – thanks! We were lucky.

      Great job on the Olympic Route Network videos: Part 1 & Part 2.

      • Jon – thanks for kind comment on Olympic videos – all shot on a C300 which is both the best and the most unforgiving camera I’ve ever owned.

        How are you getting on with 10.0.6? It’s a great update but I’ve found that it has introduced a whole load of buggy problems which has taken the shine off it slightly.


    • I’m really enjoying my C300. The quality continues to amaze me. There are a few things I’d change but still extremely happy with it overall.

      10.0.6 is fine so far for me. I haven’t come across any bugs.

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