Former Hudsonite rides out Superstorm Sandy in NYC
Marie Salzman Corcoran
600 words/ 21 inches
Marie Salzman Corcoran has been through a lot since moving to New York City 13 years ago, the recent superstorm events included.
She still isn't ready to leave Gotham and return home to Hudson, but admits she thought about it after the last series of events.
Corcoran, who suffered through the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and braced for Hurricane Irene in August 2011, got up close and personal with Hurricane Sandy in late October.
"We live in Battery Park City and were ordered to evacuate," the 1995 HHS graduate said in a telephone conversation last week.
"We had been evacuated for Irene last year and nothing really happened so we stayed," Corcoran said.
She and her new husband Corey, also HHS 1995, had a 50-yard-line view of the storm surge in Manhattan on Monday, Oct. 29.
"The surge peaked on Monday and the water rose out of the Hudson River about 18 feet above normal. The West Side Highway was under water," she said.
She also watched the water rise above an eight-foot awning on a Marriot Hotel nearby. Then they lost power.
For the next several days, they camped out in the apartment. She said going down to the street from the 35th floor without elevator or lighted hallways and stairwells was something they didn't want to do too often.
"We camped out in the apartment, ate cold chili out of cans. Anybody who knows me knows I'm not the rough-it type," Corcoran said.
By Wednesday they were alerted the power would be back on, then an explosion in the basement set the electricity hookup back five days.
"We were running out of water for the toilets and food, it was time for another plan," she said. A friend in Brooklyn had electricity and water.
They headed across the river to Brooklyn. "Our friend's neighborhood was bustling. The restaurants and bars were open," Corcoran said. They gorged on cheeseburgers.
By Sunday, Nov. 4, the power was back on at their apartment and they had to find a way into Manhattan. Not so easy with the subways down and a gasoline shortage.
"We found a car service that wanted to go to Manhattan and got a ride," she said. "There were stories about price gouging going on and we thought it would cost us $100. The charge was $16. We paid $40. The cab ride from my office on 42nd Street to the apartment (under normal circumstances) is $22."
Reflecting from her office last Friday, Corcoran said. "I'm sure my story is the same as eight million others. Luckily, nobody I knew got hurt. And the loss of life wasn't as bad as it could have been.
That wasn't the end of weather related events however. On Wednesday a nor'easter hit and dumped a load of snow on Manhattan. "I had to work late and headed home at 10 p.m. and four inches of snow had fallen," she said.
So a terrorist attack, two hurricanes and an early snowfall haven't driven Corcoran back home yet, but she has thought about it.
"Both of our families are in the Hudson area. Maybe when we have children, we'll come back home," she said.
Earlier this week, Reuters reported 43 persons died in New York City as result of Hurricane Sandy and 121 in the Northeast. The superstorm caused some $50 billion in property damage. Wind gusts reached 94 mph in New York State and more than 12 inches of rain fell in an area of Maryland.