Canadians in New York recount Sandy's wrath and people's resilience

Sandy may have savaged New York, but the tough New Yorkers have weathered it well, say Canadians who were caught in the storm over the week. 

"New Yorkers are incredible," Mira Oreck, a Vancouver-raised, Brooklyn-based political strategist, said. She noted there was "debris everywhere" and "trees fallen on cars", but that resilient residents have been fighting their way back to normalcy amid the extreme weather. 

"People are out. Restaurants are open, People are out supporting local businesses. I went to the yoga class, and it was packed," she said.

 Video by Sudha Krishna

"A lot of the stores were open, but they were quickly running out of things like water, bread, and all sorts of foodstuffs," Sudha Krishna, a New York City-based management consultant for Asia TV USA and former news director for Vancouver's Now Public, commented. 

Krishna, who was evacuated out of his Williamsburg apartment on Sunday, recalled how the weather "progressively got worse and worse" before unleashing a torrent of wind and rain in his neighbourhood. 

"You'd hear these really weird noises you've never heard before, which could have been the sound of branches snapping from the trees, and a lot of sirens," he said. "You heard a lot of people rushing for last-minute supplies at the local bodegas (grocery stores). Once the storm hit, the streets were empty. You could really hear the wind howl." 

He said many people in his area did not leave their homes when the police came by announcing a mandatory evacuation over megaphones. They were a bit "skeptical" this time because Hurricane Irene last year was a lot less serious than expected, but Sandy was as bad as 

"I saw photos where the water was coming right up to my building," Krishna said with amazement.

Oreck praised U.S. authorities for the quick, efficient response to the devastating effects of the storm. 

"The response has been amazing -- shutting down 8 million people so quickly, plus all the trains coming out of the city, and people responding to it -- that's been amazing," she said. "That is no small feat. It's an entire state."

"I get a note almost every hour from elected officials about where to volunteer or what's needed, signing up for shifts, and -- even the attorney sent a letter to all the stores not to gouge any prices on goods. There's been a lot of care gone into this (response).  It's incredible."

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