First-Person: Superstorm Sandy in Washington, D.C.

Superstorm Sandy came and went right on by Washington, D.C. — much more of a fizzle and a drizzle than a whirling dervish.

As a native New Jerseyan transplanted to the Maryland suburbs as a teenager, I’ve come to expect something that continues to play out time and again in this area: The worse the forecast is for disastrous weather, the smaller the actual impact will be.

I enjoyed countless snow days in high school, when school was canceled the evening before and no snow arrived the next day. I’ve bunkered and hunkered for blizzards and hurricanes to see meandering snowflakes and rain showers in their place.

That’s what happened here in Washington, D.C., this week and specifically where I was in Bethesda, Maryland. I don’t want to downplay the true consequences and effects of the storm for those in regions where they were hit and hit badly. Particularly for those close to the coast and families throughout New Jersey and New York, Sandy seems to have been devastating and tragic, and my thoughts to go out to all of those affected. It just didn’t happen here. Our power didn’t so much as flicker off for a second.

Here, roads are fine, power is on, trees seem intact. Stores and restaurants are opening, and Metro service is resuming. A neighborhood leaf pickup had been scheduled for later in the week, so there are masses of leaves spread across the roads, but that’s about it for our neighborhood.

Our main source of frustration was walking around town and noticing that several lunch spots weren’t opening until later in the afternoon. Streets are already crowded with traffic and passersby, especially with everyone out of work and free to do as they please. It hasn’t been raining since this morning. This summer’s derecho thunderstorm was monstrously worse for the immediate region than Hurricane Sandy proved to be.

This is despite the fact that the federal government was closed for two days, and in an article on storm preparations and resources I wrote on Monday, it was easy to see that the entire region was shut down, stores were bought out of supplies, and households were prepared for the worst.

The storm was at its worst in this area mid-Monday afternoon, with strong gusts of wind and steady, heavy rainfall. But it never got worse than that, and at no point during the storm did it seem as if we had to be locked in our homes besides being safe and sound as a precaution.

This article was first published by Jake Emen on Yahoo News October 30, 2012

Author: Jake Emen

I’m Jake, and I’m your host on this journey. I'm the man doing the eating and the talking around here. I’m a writer based outside of Washington, D.C., and I'm also talking whiskey, local events, travel, and other assorted misadventures. Follow me on the Tweet Machine - @ManTalkFood, or send an email to jake [at] mantalkfood.com.

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