Doan’s declassified hurricane survival guide: Sandy edition


Rachel Stuart and Katherine Doan in front of the New York City skyline.

Story by Katherine Doan, Staff Writer

I had been looking forward to this trip for weeks. It was a getaway, a girl’s weekend, a shopping spree. Three days of being almost as far away from Texarkana as the country would allow. After nearly 10 weeks of killing myself over grades, a trip to New York with my mom, sister, friend Rachel, and her mom was just what I needed.

We arrived early Saturday morning and spent that day and the next seeing the “sights”: Empire State building, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, 9/11 Memorial, Broadway, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and Museum of Modern Art. We didn’t think of the weather as we strolled by the closing restaurants, subways, and shows. We didn’t even know it was a serious problem until we walked past Sak’s Fifth Avenue boarding up their windows and taking out their merchandise. Then it set in. Sandy was more serious than we had thought.

Now, we hadn’t been completely oblivious to the impending storm. When we booked the trip, Sandy was headed to Europe. Then, when it switched courses to the northeast, it wasn’t supposed to hit until Tuesday afternoon. To our surprise we watched as the entire city closed down two days before the storm was supposed to hit when it wasn’t even raining. Then came the email saying our flight home was cancelled. I pictured Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada as my mom argued with the American Airlines lady, telling her it was only drizzling here.

Then the real storm rolled in.

I’d like to say we were in the middle of the action with flooding buildings, random fires, and loss of electricity. That I saved a litter of puppies from being washed into the subway. That I single handedly put out an apartment building on fire. But thankfully, I was nowhere near any of the horrible scenes portrayed on the news. We never saw flooding, never lost power, never lost running water, never lost cable. The worst we endured was the 90 mph gusts of wind and freezing rain as we walked to the hotel from Bobby Van’s Steakhouse.

We suffered through entertaining ourselves. We ate, toured the Waldorf – Astoria where we were staying, ate, watched movies, ate, re-booked cancelled flights and then waited for them to be cancelled again, and ate some more. The only real issue we had was waiting four hours to get our rental car and then having to drive the 22 hour trip back to Texarkana. Although our situation was severe, we made it home safely. The trip may not have gone as planned, but Sandy made our New York vacation a weekend I will never forget.