Screenshot of the emergency alert the Kassas family received. Photo courtesy of Kassas family.
The Newsroom spoke with Australian expats living in New York city who faced Superstorm Sandy yesterday.
The Kassas family from Castle Hill in Sydney are currently living “right in the centre of New York – just a few blocks down from where the crane [Lend Lease Crane] collapsed”.
Robyn and her children Nathan, 22, and Christie, 26, have spent the past two days in their apartment after Facebook put up a notice to all New York residents warning them not to go outside.
“Because of the crane the whole block and surrounding streets have been evacuated,” Christie said.
“The hotels, the residential buildings, it’s very busy, but they don’t know how far it may fall.”
Robyn said despite the mess and devastation, “New York will bounce back”.
Christie, a recording artist, said the misinformation from Australian media was frustrating.
“We saw the Australian news saying ‘Hurricane Sandy has brought New York to its knees and all of Manhattan is under water’ and that’s just not the case,” she said.
“Wall Street is quite flooded but 39th Street and up has power and is fine – if you hadn’t seen the news you would just think it is a normal storm right now.”
Nadia Ackerman, 38, from Sydney’s northern beaches, has lived in New York for 14 years. She said she was “extremely lucky” to escape the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.
But the singer/songwriter, who lives at Midtown Manhattan (34th Street and 10th Avenue), said it was a “pretty scary” 24 hours, with winds that shook her building and “sounded like a wild animal at the door”.
“I knew we were going to get hammered,” she said.
“But I had no idea the flooding was going to be as bad as it is. It’s devastating – a mess.”
Ms Ackerman said she and her partner had plenty of warning and had time to get supplies before sitting at home and waiting.
“It was a very worrying time,” she said.
“Lights flickering on and off; a power surge after the Con Edison power plant blew up many transformers on 23rd Street and 1st Avenue and we eventually lost the internet. So we only had our iPhone as a form of communication.
“Facebook has been incredible for staying in touch with friends and family. We have also had the good old fashioned radio on that is battery powered to get updates and know exactly what was going on and where.” – Eddie Mills