The Block Island Times
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The 6th and 7th graders tell us about their Hurricane Sandy

Nov 25, 2012

Nancy Greenaway, Marlee Lacoste, Kate Mello, Lisa Robb and Shannon Cotter all worked with Block Island School sixth and seventh grade students on the following journal entries, which tell about their experiences during Hurricane Sandy.

Alcy Stiepock Mackay

Driving around after the storm I couldn’t believe the damage. The road in front of the Beachead was completely torn up, chunks lying over the tiny bit of road that survived. The waves completely overtook the dunes, so you could see the beach from the crumbled road you were standing on. Ballard’s had a foot of sand in it, and at State Beach there was no parking lot, just more beach.

On Monday it was extremely windy. One of my friends was at my house so we went outside with a towel. At first we didn’t know what to do with it. We used it as a sail for a while, caught the wind, and ran with it. This didn’t work so well. Then we had an idea. We threw the towel up; it hovered for a minute, as if it was unsure what to do. Then it flew through the air really far and the other person ran to catch it. We did this until my mom came out and told us to come inside.

The power flickered on Monday until about 1 p.m. when it finally went out. It’s amazing how much we take electricity for granted. When it’s gone, it’s weird; you can’t flush toilets, wash hands, get a drink, cook easily, or do anything at night unless you use candles. We got power back at 10 the next morning. That’s when we figured out our pump broke in the storm. No water for another two days. We had to shower at our neighbors, she laughed when we left in our pajamas. It was really funny!

When we got our new pump, it was amazing to use water again. I can’t believe how much we take power and water for granted.

 

By Andre Miller

Wow. My first major hurricane. It’s weird ’cause I really didn’t think it was going to be a big deal. After the hyped-up Hurricane Irene that turned out to be a disappointment, I guess a non-hyped hurricane like Sandy surprised me when it hit and did so much damage.

On Monday our power flickered ’til around 3, when it quit. Out with the candles, bottled water, books, and Scrabble board. We always take power and water for granted ’til we lose them: “One does not know the value of water until the well has dried.”

Going out in the hurricane was ridiculous. The truck was shaking, and we had to fist-fight the wind for control of the direction we were walking.

Dad and I checked the damage on Monday night during high tide at the height of the storm. The roads were cracked and trees were on their sides. The scene at the dock was wild. The water was level with the dock. There was debris everywhere; the bait dock was gone, and the brand new million-dollar dock was slanted. Amazing.

If we just got grazed, woe to people on the mainland.

 

Mary Conant

Hurricane Sandy was more than I expected it to be. To be honest, I thought it would be another disappointment. Usually we hear all of the news channels and other media talking about how horrible the storm is going to be, but then it turns out to be a lame, old storm. I was wrong. This time there were floods, wind speeds from 45 to 90 knots, 20-foot waves and more. It was more intense than what I predicted.

I went to my friend Alcy’s house, and we really wanted to play outside. We took a towel and stood in her front yard. We stood about 15 feet apart and threw the towel to each other. It didn’t matter which way we tried to throw it. Where the towel went depended on where the wind was blowing at that time. That’s when I started to realize that this storm was not going to be another disappointment.

When I went home, I watched the news (we have a generator) to see how bad the storm really would be from here. I heard about the evacuations and damage already done in places so close to Block Island.

My dad and I went for a ride to see what damage had been done so far. At first, I just saw a few trees that had fallen. Then we tried to go our usual way, only to find that the front of Smugglers was completely flooded (we had to turn around). I tried to take pictures, but a strange 10-minute downpour came upon us, so I figured I would come back later. Our ride continued, and we went to my dad’s office, which is overlooking all of Old Harbor and more. I could see Ballard’s, which was getting smashed by monster waves that made the building look small. The boats that managed to survive in the harbor were rolling around as if they weighed nothing. I even saw one of the boats get thrown onto the dock that was already one foot underwater. It was probably 10 minutes later when the boat moved off the dock in one of the many continuous mini-floods.

The next day after the storm, the damage was crazy. The roads were split, boats were washed up in front of the National Hotel, and that was just beginning of it. It was definitely the most extreme storm I have lived through.

 

Maya Wilson

Whistling storm.

Flutes of wind.

We listen to the storm’s sad song

Slapping waters and pushing wind

One day with light.

That is all we got before Sandy hit

Flickering rates of pressure on us

We hold until we can’t

And it just went out

Darkness fell upon us.

It filled the rooms as if we were underwater

The full moon is the light of their night

Day to Night to Morning.

I don’t know what to expect now.

News said “The Perfect Storm”

The storm is 1/3 the size of America

Are the winds colors? Spectrum? or….

Garbage cans learn to fly

Serpents shoot through the air with variations of speed

They are the colors of the wind

Knocking and pulling everything until they cannot carry them

Our window popped

That is all

We are lucky though

Think about it

We got nothing

Think about those others who were slammed

Tossed and thrown without mercy

What would have happened if those boards weren’t there?

In the morning a dim light floods the rooms

For all Destruction there must be reconstruction

Monuments where they shouldn’t be

The beaches took Sandy’s toll

Big and strong dunes were

Compared now they are shriveled from their original glory

What did the beach grass do to get pummeled?

Why did the crabs cross the road?

Those winds howled to the full moon

And now they have migrated elsewhere

Cadet blue fury has gone

Whistling winds are no more

 

Andrew McGarry

During the storm Sandy, the wind blew hard. I was standing outside during the storm feeling tiny compared to the ginormous wind gusts that sounded like wolves when howling through the tree branches.

I looked around examining the horses, cows, and chickens, making sure they were OK. Everything was going fine when I heard a loud snap that caught my ear. I looked to my right: one side of the 50-by-30-yard tarp that covered the haystack had snapped.

I asked Joe if there was anything I could do, but before we could react — snap, bang, pop! The tarp was gone. It looked like it was chasing the cows through the lot.

I turned around, running back to the house, when the old oak that is 50 feet from the house dropped a three-ton branch, almost hitting the newborn calf. It hit the ground; I only started to run faster. That’s how powerful nature is.

P.S. That’s how powerful nature is.

Reilly Hobe

Hurricane Sandy was the first real hurricane I lived through. It had one of the lowest recorded barometric pressures in history.

The road from my house to town was destroyed. Thanks to Sandy, I have to take the long way.

Thousands of people were without power in New England, but my family was not one of them (the power went out but we had a generator).

I thought Sandy would be more than what it was, but having power probably made that happen. The only real damage that I saw was water damage.

 

Brianna Delpadre

When Hurricane Sandy hit the island, quite a lot of things happened. On the morning the storm hit, I woke up and looked out my window and I saw there were gusts of wind outside, blowing the trees everywhere. For the rest of the morning, we were playing board games and watching our chicks. We all went for a ride into town and when we went past the beach, waves were splashing on the car, and I did get a little wet.

We went near Payne’s Dock and saw the road flooded. All of a sudden, when we came home, it started raining… hard. I went into my room and saw that two of our trees fell, and I heard the rain pitter-pattering on the window, like little people tapping on the window.

Luckily, none of the trees fell on our house. Our power kept flickering on and off, but we didn’t completely lose power. Our chicks were freaking out when the power went out, since they have to stay under a heat lamp, which keeps them warm and runs on power. While Dad was cooking this awesome chili (and yes, our stove did work), the rest of us were playing Monopoly until dinner was ready. It was quite a day.

The next day, we went to see what the hurricane did to our island. We went to the beach and saw that the monument moved, and the road was broken up, the dunes were on the other side of the road. It was just hard to believe. We went to Ballard’s and there were five inches of sand in the building, and things like rocks and sea foam washed up on the beach. I think this hurricane will be an event we will all remember for the rest of our lives.

Fiona Crawford

I thought this storm was going to be much worse at my house. The wind whipped across my yard. I heard a crack, and my sisters and I ran to see what it was. My medium-sized tree was split down the middle!

That was the only thing that happened on my property during Sandy. We didn’t even lose power. My puppy, Finley, loved the terrifying, windy storm. He would go galloping across the yard, trying to catch leaves in his mouth.

Some friends of ours down in New Jersey had to evacuate, which I thought was pretty scary.

When the storm was over, everyone flocked to Corn Neck Road to see the damage Sandy had done. It was crazy. The powerful rushes of water tore up the tar on the road. The monument (still in one piece) was balanced atop rocks on the beach. Ballard’s was damaged a great deal. The wind had blown the doors open, and water had rushed in. Up to five inches of sand piled up throughout the building.

Hurricane Sandy took a great toll on Block Island and many other places along the East Coast of the United States. Now we have to take the long way to get to town, and a new bus route, which means getting up earlier.

Julia Gasner

The day before Sandy I was hearing a lot of bad things about the storm. I didn’t think it was going to be that bad but, boy, it was. The night before the storm, I slept over at my cousins. The moon lit up the house like every light in the house was on. It sparkled away all night; it was hard for me to sleep.

The next day at around 7:30 a.m., I got a phone call saying that there was no school. Yeah! Then my parents came to pick Simon and me up. They had been staying at a friend’s house. My dad said that we were going to scope out the damage. He had already seen all of it, so he was telling me everything. My dad said that it was hard to describe.

As we drove past the bridge, I could see my house, but not the damage. As we turned the corner my eyes almost fell out. I was terrified, I couldn’t even take a breath as we walked along the broken up road and destroyed dunes. I wondered how we were going to get anywhere.

About 10 minutes later, a beautiful rainbow lit up the sky, and the sun was as bright as ever. It was hard to see anything else but the sun. Everybody started to become calm again, and I started to, too. As Simon and I walked up and down the road taking pictures, Nicky tagged along. Then, we went to the Depot. I got an egg sandwich. It made my day.

Then Nicky’s dad, Ned, drove us to Ballard’s and Spring Street. Ballard’s was filled with five inches of sand, it seemed like, and the Spring Street road was destroyed. We came back and I met up with Fiona and we finished our Halloween costumes and hoped for the best.

 

Mac Brown

The evil wrath

Of Sandy’s hurricane

Was even more crazy

Than Batman’s nemesis Bane.

 

With the striking winds

And rain pouring down,

The island was demolished,

Our poor little town!

 

Roads were cracked

Like tectonic plates.

You couldn’t leave your house

The winds told you, ‘You’re too late.’

 

The Beaufort scale was 12.

It was a disaster.

Sandy stripped all buildings

Of their outer-layer plaster.

 

I didn’t feel good

I went insane.

My sister asked me

‘What’s wrong with your brain?”

 

My family played charades.

My sister failed.

I guessed her mimicry,

‘You’re a spy that bailed!’

 

We slept in our parents’ room

In a beanbag that caused me to chafe.

So if the tree in the front yard fell,

We three would be safe.

 

Sandy’s reign was over,

We were all glad.

If it hadn’t ended soon,

We would all have gone mad.

 

Tyler Mack

Monday, in the early afternoon, my mother and I got in the car and drove to the grocery store to get some milk and cheerios for a late-night snack for my stepfather, Joe. We went to get the milk in the back of the store and as soon as I touched the door of the refrigerator to get it, the lights flickered and all of a sudden the grocery store went black. I tried to turn to my mother, feeling around in the darkness, and said jokingly “Who turned the lights out?” I looked around and it was black as night.

I grabbed a carton and followed closely behind my mother because I knew she knows the grocery store like the back of her hand. The cash register people were so stubborn; they would not open the sliding door. I could have done it; it is easy. All you have to do is pull or push the door where they come together and it will open itself. Fifteen minutes later, the manager came and opened the door, exactly the way I said. We were there for 15 to 20 minutes.

When we got back, I had a red poncho hanging by the back door. I grabbed it and stood on my porch. I put the poncho above my head and fought the wind. The first gust I felt must have been about 75 mph. It lifted me three inches off the ground and I hit the railing behind me. I said, “Thank God for the railing!” I almost flew. If only I had wings to help me and the poncho.

After that, the poncho ripped and I showed my mother. She said, “What were you doing?” I didn’t answer as I went into the kitchen. I then opened the garbage bag drawer and got a bag and scissors to make another poncho. I found out later that the highest the storm winds got was 100 mph. Wow!

 

Julia E. Butcher

I was at my grandparents’ house for the weekend, waiting to see if I was going to be stuck off island. That did not happen, I came back on the 11 a.m. ferry.

Before I even got on the boat, I was sick to my stomach because my grandmother was telling me how bad it was going to be. I tried to go to sleep, but it was too noisy. So I went outside for a while, but when we got to the North Lighthouse, it started to smell like gas, so I went inside.

When we got to the island at 12 p.m., my parents were waiting for me at the dock. After that, we went to the Beach Head for lunch and the hurricane party. There were a lot of people there. I know I’m not supposed to sit at the bar, but I did.

My Aunt Emily was there with Blu, and Megan was there with Tulula. We all watched the next ferry leave at 12:45. By that time, Blu was asleep on my lap and Tulula was asleep at my feet.

The boat came out of the harbor and took a hard right. The top of the boat was literally touching the water. We stayed there for a little longer, but by the time we left, the windows were covered with salt from the ocean. This was the perfect storm, for me, too.

 

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