WHEN the morning tide came in you could tell it was going to be a big one. I live in Arverne, a neighborhood in the Rockaways, and in the morning when I was walking up Thursby Avenue I could already see the water coming in on that first tide.
But no one was really panicking yet. We get flooding from time to time. But the wind hadn’t even started blowing yet and already the water was coming down the road.
That’s when I see these two swans. They’re just as happy as can be floating down the middle of the road. The water went around the corner and the swans went that way too. I wonder what happened to them.
Come nighttime, the wind’s really starting to blow. I didn’t really think about evacuating. My idea — I was going to sit in my boat and ride it out like a Viking. I’ve been in hurricanes before.
Anyway, during the day I caught a load of fish ‘cause, you know, when a big storm’s coming you better have something on hand that you can sell afterward.
Around 7 p.m. I get in my truck. Suddenly I see a huge wave coming down the road. I turn down another road and there’s an electrical wire in the water, sparking, so I go up the next street.
I turn around and see a friend of mine on the porch of his house and I say, “Hey, Mike, you need a hand?”
He says, “Yeah, come on in, I could use some help.”
We go down in the basement and start putting up all the electrical equipment. We take a break and watch a little TV, try to see what’s happening on the Weather Channel. It doesn’t sound too bad so far.
All of a sudden the basement window lets go and the water starts pouring in. The kids go flying up the stairs and we’re following them.
I realize I gotta move my truck. I reach in my pocket and I remember my keys are downstairs under six feet of water. I can’t get home.