DESPITE the chaos of the previous days, New York City became eerily quiet after the storm hit says Donna Swiatkiwsky who travelled to the United States to help her daughter Ellie celebrate her 21st birthday last weekend.
Mrs Swiatkiwsky said the pair consider themselves fortunate to have had running water and electricity at a time when many of the city’s residents were left with neither.
Spending time at her daughter’s apartment on 63rd street and her hotel on 76th street, Mrs Swiatkiwsky said the pair had spent a lot of time walking around the city and seeing the devastation first hand.
Speaking yesterday morning, which was Tuesday evening New York time, Mrs Swiatkiwsky said the weather was now warm, the wind had reduced and the rain continued to fall on and off.
“It’s quite bizarre to be able to look out the window and see nobody there,” she said.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s quite frightening. We went for a walk and there were trees down everywhere and parts falling off buildings.”
The pair walked to Times Square to find most of its shops and eateries closed with only a few small general stores open, although most of their shelves were bare.
“There were some fruit and vegetable shops open but they weren’t getting any deliveries,” she said.
“Motels are also packed with people who can’t get out (due to cancelled flights).”
She said sirens could be heard throughout the night.
“We really didn’t sleep much last night,” Mrs Swiatkiwsky said.
She believes the cleanup process was yet to begin.
“If this happened in Orange council workers would be out everywhere cleaning up,” she said. “I’m really surprised that trees haven’t been moved but I’m sure they’re incredibly busy in areas that have been worse hit.”
Among the drama of the past couple of days the Lincoln Center restaurant where Ms Swiatkiwsky was due to celebrate her birthday called and said they were still open, allowing the birthday festivities to continue, albeit at an earlier time.
“We feel very lucky,” Mrs Swiatkiwsky said.