Luck of the Irish as Ray avoids brunt of Sandy's destruction
NEW YORK RESIDENT AND GLEANN NATIVE SURVIVES BRUTAL STORM
IT COULD have been, as they say in America, the "luck of the Irish".
With superstorm Sandy having caused utter devastation over an arc extending about 1,000 miles, New York and New Jersey were one of the worst-hit areas.
But around where former Sligo Association president Ray Conlon lives, in Astoria, Queens, the worst he saw were a few trees and branches down. And power was never disrupted. Parts of two slates broke from the roof of his house, falling down beside his new car – without even hitting it.
"We were mighty lucky," Ray, a native of Gleann, said.
But not everyone was so fortunate. Up to 100 people have been killed in the New YorkNew Jersey area as a result of Sandy's strike.
"It was a brutal storm," he said. "Down along the water was hit badly. The surge in the water was unbelievable, with 14-foot waves."
He told how a 45-foot boat was taken a mile across the river, ending up on a sidewalk on the other side of the street.
And in New Jersey, houses ended up in the middle of the street, he said.
About 20 miles way, in Breezy Point, Long Island, he said 111 houses were destroyed.
In another area, 20 to 30 boats were piled on top of each other.
But in typical New York style, the people there are already striving to return to normality, with many buses and trains back to normal.
On Thursday last, his wife Mary, and a friend, travelled into Manhattan.
But he pointed out that it took them about two hours to cross the mile-long 59th Street bridge that links Queens to Second Avenue on Manhattan.
"You had to have at least three people in a car before they would let you cross," Ray said.