Shoshana Kessock is a freelance blogger for Tor.com.
Power went down here in the Greenville section of Jersey City, NJ around 9 p.m. this evening. I’ve been holed up with my friends at their apartment since the beginning of the storm, prepared with candles and groceries. We were just finishing dinner when the lights went out and moved into the room downstairs that have the least amount of windows.
Three hours later we’re still without power. There are trees down outside on the street but we have had only minimal damage. However, a friend of mine Sean Jaffe took his dog for a walk and witnessed a billboard flying down Bentley Street nearby. Many blocks in the surrounding areas have trees down with damaged cars and there is damage to local businesses with front windows smashed and awnings ripped down.
More information has been coming to me over Facebook from friends across the New York/New Jersey area. One friend had a tree down in their backyard destroy windows in three cars and block them into their house. Another friend in Astoria, Queens passed along word that their neighbors entire roof was ripped off and landed in the middle of their street, narrowly missing cars. Still another friend reported power outages in downtown Manhattan just before power went out here and later reported seeing the explosion at the ConEd power station on Manhattan’s East Side. The only way to keep in contact seems to be by Facebook and Twitter right now, and the reports out of Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan are nerve wracking to a NY native.
In the meanwhile, we are parked in the dark eating Halloween candy by candlelight and playing Fiasco, a storytelling roleplaying game, while listening to the wind howling outside. Folks are out in their cars outside, providing the only light in the neighborhood at the moment. I am choosing to stay inside with my friends, telling spooky stories in the Halloween tradition and lighting the room with toy lightsabers.