Categorized | Opinion

Sandy Day Three – the Nightmare Begins – Looting and Anger as Civilization Devolves

The third day after a disaster is when most people hit the wall.

Having lived through several hurricanes and the weeks long wait before life returns to normal, I have often noted that the third day is the crossover point.

On day one, you assess the damage. There is sadness at what was lost and a feeling of gratefulness if you got through the storm with minimal damage. And you are in a state of numbed shock. And after the initial assessment, you are encouraged by the thoughts of pulling together to help one another and sharing what you have to help others.

After one such storm, Isabell, we were all without power. I fired up my generator and made coffee. And after enjoying the first cup as I looked at the damage – which was not significant for me – I went to several of my neighbors doors with the hot coffee and offered them a cup and looked in on them. Everyone was fine for the most part, although trees had fallen and done damage to a number of the homes. Flooding is not an issue (fortunately) because we are almost 100 miles from the ocean.

Later in the day I ventured out in the car to have a look around the neighborhood and go up to a nearby gas station to buy more gas for the generator. Trees blocked a number of roads, and there were many trees down in people’s yards. Some crashed through the roof and landed on top of vehicles.

As I pulled out on the main highway, there was a massive traffic jam. After driving a couple of miles and seeing no lights – including traffic lights – I realized that I needed a better plan. And gas for the car would also be an issue. I gave up and went back home.

My generator was full and I had a 5 gallon can to spare. I get 12 hours on 5 gallons, so I had 24 hours of power and no idea when or where  I would be able to find more gas.

So I decided to ration the generator operating time. We could do without it mostly during the day, except for running it long enough to keep the refrigerator cool enough to minimize the spoilage. So I turned the generator off until 6 PM and let it run for 3 hours and then we went to bed and tried to sleep in the humid conditions.

When we got up the second day, there was no water. Our subdivision is on a community pump and well. The water company had no generator ready, so we had no water or electricity. I managed to find water at a relative’s house, but we were under a “boil water” advisory. Well, at least we could flush.

But there were still no nearby stores or gas stations with power. By late that afternoon, we were almost out of gas for the generator and the car was under 1/2 tank. I went out to the other end of the city and managed to find a service station that was just opening as I drove up. I waited about 20 minutes and they got the pumps on, so I filled up the car and my only 5 gallon can. And I went looking for more gas cans. And there were none. For the time being, I had a 5 gallon can and a 35 mile round trip was necessary to fill it. And the line was already long.

I returned home, filled up the generator and went back to the same station for another 5 gallons – stopping several times to look for gas cans at any place that looked open.

No luck. And the station had run out of gas when I got back.

More power rationing, no water and the humidity was oppressive.

Day three was a bit better. Power was returning to the area and I was able to find gas and some bottled water. A couple of stores opened, but were sold out of almost anything ready to eat and they had all lost anything perishable. And there were no estimates on when the supply line would return to replenish them.

Many of the stop lights were still out and people were starting to show the frayed nerves. If the lights are out it is supposed to be treated like a 4 way stop sign. Instead, it was a free for all. Horns and obscene gestures were the norm.

Day three began the reports of generators being stolen and there was looting in some areas. And people hated each other.

“Come together” became “Get outta my face”.

There were more stations open with power, but no gas. And always “The trucks are supposed to come today.” But they never did.

Day 3 is definitely the day most people’s patience runs out and they hit the wall of tolerance.

On day 4, we were still without power or water. You could find gas, but there was either a long line or a “no gas” sign. And you go by the more affluent areas and they all had their lights back on and you begin wondering if someone there is not a big wheel at the power company. And then you finally see the crews come into your neighborhood and spend the day repairing down power lines. And at the end of the day, you are still in the dark, but your neighbors across the street have power. And that does not help.

A quick call to the power company’s automated system informs you that your lights have been restored.


So you start a new trouble ticket. And you want to hit someone. And then you realize that you have devolved into someone you are not really happy with, and you don’t really give a damn.

But the water came back on, only we couldn’t drink it.

New York and New Jersey are on day three today. We are seeing the looting and tempers flare. Gas Stations are out of gas. Troopers have been sent to gas stations to stop the anger. Everybody is getting pissed.

And it will be worse and worse each day until the power returns.

In Virginia we were told that the power company was working “around the clock” only to find out that the union rules won’t let the crews work after dark.

As one Tidewater, Va resident put it:

Still, at day eight and counting, the slowness of the recovery effort became a scandal. The Richmond-based political commentator, Michael Graham, reported that Dominion Power had lied to the public about the intensity of their restoration efforts. They had forbidden linemen to work more than 12-hour shifts and, by their own admission, never really had crews “working around the clock.” Graham called upon Virginians to join him in expressing their outrage.  They responded by defending their utility and remaining silently stoic in the face of reports that power in some areas could remain out for weeks, maybe even a month longer.

What the crews do is get the easier jobs done that get the most lights on and leave. They will eventually return, but most likely, they have marked you are back in service and need to open another ticket to be put on a work list. And another and another.

New Yorkers and New Jerseyites are not known for their patience. And it is pretty much gone by now. And for those still without power and unable to get help reparing their homes and property because everyone is also busy, it is going to get really ugly there.

It pretty much already has.

And I feel their pain. I was only without power for a week. But Isabel was not the first time I endured a week long outage and it wasn’t the last. And there will bem more to come.

This time, I was prepared. I had enough gas to power my house 48 hours continuously. I had empty coolers and 5 gallon water bottles ready to fill up should the lights go out. I had 4 vehicles with the gas tanks topped off. I cooked enough food that could be reheated in my microwave for several days. I bought canned goods and have a good manual can opener.

I learned that the government is absolutely worthless in a catastrophe like this, a lesson my Yankee friends are starting to learn. And they will also learn self reliance, something the nanny states like New York and New Jersey (despite Chris Christy’s efforts) do their best to discourage.

Generator thieves will have an easy time in New York. Here in the South we not only have learned to stock food, gasoline and batteries, but cleaning the firearms is on the “Hurricane Prep” list.

It is going to be a long time before life returns back to a reasonable facsimile of “normal” in the really hard hit areas. And the streets will be full of Zombies who thought big government and high taxes sheltered them from things like this.

And the anger will be directed squarely at government (and the power company). Getting to work will be a horrendous ordeal for most as the subways and trains remain shut down and routs incomplete for weeks.

By election day, a lot of people are going to be too busy and too angry with government to vote.

Democrats will still carry New York and New Jersey, but by lower numbers than expected.

November will be a very long month in The Big Apple.

A very long month.

And next time they will realize that they are on their own in a disaster.

As for me, my lights never even blinked. I will be dumping the extra cans of gasoline in my car and I have not had to cook for several days.

I was lucky this time, but do not regret being prepared. And I will do exactly the same thing next time.

And there will be a next time.


About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

3 Responses to “Sandy Day Three – the Nightmare Begins – Looting and Anger as Civilization Devolves”

  1. JOHANNE says:


  2. Dagny Scovel says:

    Outstanding read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little investigation on that. And he really bought me lunch because I discovered it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  3. Foster Heitger says:

    This was a genuinely huge post. In theory I’d like to form like this also – getting together and happen free to tip off a exaggerate a good purport… but what can I assert… I waver alot and in no way surface to traverse b recover some contrivance carried out.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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