On Oct. 26, superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc across Long Island and affected our lives and daily routines in a way that brought back personal memories of Hurricane Gloria (Sept. 27, 1985) and the crippling Arab oil embargo of the 1970s.
Gloria left my household without power for a week. At the time my children were youngsters and my husband had gone on a weeklong business trip in Wisconsin.
I shipped my 12- and 10-year-old children into my mother-in-law’s house in Franklin Square, as her home was unscathed by Gloria’s fury. My 9-year old daughter stayed with me, and we fled to my sister’s house in Lindenhurst – also without power.
I recall bringing makeup and a blow-dryer to Newsday’s ladies' room to get ready for work during this power outage.
Superstorm Sandy brought my daughter (the 9-year old during Gloria), now a Farmingdale resident, her husband and two daughters (ages 5 and 3) to my home (we hadn’t lost power) for twelve days, as they experienced a déjà vu times two!
They camped out in our TV room, mom and dad sleeping on either end of a wraparound couch, my granddaughters sleeping on cushions on the floor.
I was glad that we could offer them a refuge, but I could see their frustration building up as days went by without any good news from LIPA about power restoration.
Toward the end of this two-week saga, my 5-year-old granddaughter Alex, in a moment of frustration, exclaimed that she just wanted to play with her Barbie dolls in her room at home.
The recent oil shortage was due to Mother Nature’s fury, not an actual shortage of petroleum. The long lines and hours of waiting have subsided. And I’m sure that the odd-even days of access to gas will soon expire, too.
The oil shortages of 1973-1974 and again in 1979 were man-made – there was plenty of petroleum available. Tankers were visible off shore with plenty of oil, waiting to go to the refineries, but suppliers’ greed prevailed and so did long lines at the gas pumps, rationing and odd-even days.
My husband used to get up in the middle of the night to get gas at the station that used to be on the median on Southern State Parkway in the vicinity of the Wantagh Parkway exit. He even thought about getting a motorcycle to help cope with the rising price of gas, but changed his mind after his mother expressed her misgivings about it.
This “shortage” lasted almost six months as compared to the recent temporary shortage that was brought on by the effects of superstorm Sandy.