This is an ad hoc page in response to the many readers and Radio Derb listeners who emailed in with questions about how the Derbyshires fared in the great East Coast storm of October-November, 2012.
Many thanks to all who inquired. We came through unharmed, and with no property damage.
Others in our area — New York City and suburbs — were not so lucky. In the city alone the death toll stands at 41 as I write (midday on Sunday, November 4th).
Homes have been lost too: most sensationally in the Queens neighborhood of Breezy Point, where my wife and I spent a happy summer's day back in 1987. Breezy Point was first flooded by the ocean surge, then caught fire. More than 110 homes were burned to the ground.
So please direct your thoughts and your charitable impulses to where there's been real damage and suffering. For us here in the outer suburbs on Long Island's North Shore, it's mainly been just a week of inconvenience, though some neighbors made unfortunate parking choices.
Trees were the big enemy. A couple of blocks from us a big old oak tree with a 30-inch diameter trunk snapped like a toothpick and came down on the overhead power and cable-service lines. At the time I took this picture on Thursday (with Toby Derbyshire for scale) the tree had been cut to clear the road but the lines were still down.
That lost us power and cable services (house phone, TV, internet). We also lost cellphone service through some other cause, I don't know what.
Our next-door neighbor has a generator and kindly allowed us to use one of the outlets for refrigerator and freezer. We divert the one from the freezer as necessary for occasional use of lights, sump pump, recharging laptop, and the like. Moral of the story: Stay on good terms with your neighbors, or else buy a generator.
The generator runs on gas, which has been a problem. The neighbor and myself have taken turns to sit waiting on gas lines at the occasional gas station that's functioning.
Without power we have no heating. Fortunately our house has a fireplace. Danny and I have spent a lot of time chopping wood. For reasons I can't be bothered to understand, we do have hot water.
At midday on Sunday, November 4th we still have no power, TV or house phone, but — mysteriously to me — the internet service has come back as of a couple of hours ago. Cellphone service is occasional.
With no internet service I couldn't post to Taki's Magazine and VDARE.com on my usual schedule. Apologies to all concerned. Special apologies to Radio Derb listeners, who missed their weekly fix. RD will be back on the air this week.
What with chopping wood, waiting on gas lines, helping neighbors, cheering up the family (I have tried to infuse them with the Blitz Spirit: "Cor, we didn't 'alf cop it last night!" etc.), and figuring out ad hoc arrangements for cooking and so on, I haven't had much time anyway. The little I have had has been occupied in pleasantly old-fashioned ways: playing games (gin rummy with a friend, Clue and Scattergories with family) and reading.
When my son told me the internet was back up, I'm sorry to say my first thought was: "Oh, no …"