Sandy, during.

I’m exhausted, so this update will be brief! So…Sandy came. I took photos on the roof deck of my apartment every couple of hours (I stopped going out there when it got windy—I was never in any danger), so you can see the progression of the water level in DUMBO between 6:00–8:30PM. Pretty much everything from the park to Front Street wound up getting flooded.

We did lose power and wound up having to evacuate at around 9PM. An electrical fire started in building across the street from us, and the fire department was unable to put it out. Because they were concerned the same thing would happen in our building, they asked us to leave right away. The lobby and lower level of the building were totally flooded when we left—no idea what the status is now.

Fortunately my brother lives a couple of miles away in Cobble Hill, which is at a higher elevation. The walk there was pretty harrowing—the wind was insane, there were trees and debris everywhere and we were each carrying a (tiny, scared) dog. By the time we reached Montague Street, we had to stop. My brother came and retrieved us in his car! Luckily no one stopped him—no cars were supposed to be on the street.

So we’re OK. We have no idea when we can get back into our apartment, no idea when the subways will be running…no idea about anything. But we’re OK, and so are our friends and family. There are an awful lot of people who aren’t OK, though—and right now that’s who I’m worried about.

The photo above was taken during the explosion at the ConEd power plant in lower Manhattan. The light in the sky was crazy. I hustled back inside after that!

I Instagrammed the photos below last night, and the first two kind of became a “viral sensation,” which was weird. They were picked up by just about every news website (hey, I got published on the New York Times front page, haha), every TV network, and every everything everywhere, all over the world. I got an interview request from Romanian Public Radio this morning. Crazy. Anyway, if you wound up here because of one of those pictures, I assure you that they are real and that they were taken from the roof deck of my apartment building, which is located directly under the Manhattan Bridge right next to Brooklyn Bridge Park. I was outside of “Zone A,” the area that was under mandatory evacuation prior to the storm.

The very last photo here is the street outside my building as we were evacuating. Lots of water, but it could have been so much worse. Grateful.

If you would like to use any of the photos in this post for any reason, please email me at to let me know. Credit line must read © Anna Dorfman and link back to this post. I am happy to provide higher-resolution images, but bear in mind that they are grainy—these were taken with a hand-held point-and-shoot (and an iPhone) in the dark on a windy roof. Thanks!

Waiting for Sandy (Sunday mid-afternoon)
Still Waiting (Monday, early afternoon)

  1. AnyaOct 30, 201211:44 am

    I’m so glad you and your friends and family are safe! I’ve been gnawing my teeth watching the news worried for everyone back east. Keeping you and all of the eastern seaboard in my thoughts for a speedy recovery.


  2. AliceOct 30, 201211:45 am

    Wow, I’m so glad you and Evan and the dogs made it away safely! I can only imagine what that walk must have been like. I hope both your places are ok. Thinking of everyone there.


  3. Kim @ Yellow Brick HomeOct 30, 201211:48 am

    Phew, you’re safe! We’ve been keeping the east coasters in our thoughts. Awesome about the Instagram photos, too!


  4. FionaOct 30, 201211:48 am

    Glad you evacuated safely. I was worried about you guys and the little dogs! I can’t believe the water came that far up in Dumbo.


  5. Ismay OzgaOct 30, 201211:50 am

    You’re right, you are the lucky ones, but it’s still a heck of a thing to go through! And the thought of your tiny dogs outside in that is all too much, thank goodness for your brother being close! I’m not surprised you’re exhausted. I really hope that a reasonable amount of normality isn’t too far away. The pictures are insane.


  6. JodiOct 30, 201211:50 am

    so glad you guys are okay. what an adventure you had last night!


  7. ChrisOct 30, 201211:50 am

    Yeesh – it looks like a movie! Hope the worst is over.


  8. VanessaOct 30, 201211:50 am

    Glad you guys are safe…I checked your site and IG more often than the news for updates, hope you can make it home soon.


  9. jeannetteOct 30, 201211:57 am

    glad you and the hounds are ok. do you have a pet evacuation service you like best?


  10. BethanyOct 30, 201212:01 pm

    I followed you tweet by tweet last night. So so glad you and the doggies are okay this morning.


  11. AnneOct 30, 201212:11 pm

    Seriously, it all looks so scary. I was checking your Instagram and twitter all night. It sounds like the evacuation walk to your brothers was terrible — glad Fritz and Bruno are doing okay!! Sending you safe vibes from Minnesota!


  12. I cannot believe how bad it got last night. My heart has been in my throat watching all this unfold. I am glad you got to your brother’s safely last night, and can only imagine how scary evacuation and traveling to his place must have been.


  13. sherryOct 30, 201212:18 pm

    Those are some crazy photos. They are surreal. Glad to hear you and the dogs are safe tho!


  14. Rosa, CopenhagenOct 30, 201212:20 pm

    Oh dear…. I’ve heard no news for several days, so I did not know about this.
    It all sounds very serious – the tube closed and people being evacuated – but good to hear you are safe:-)

    And I have to say that those photos are really really good:-)
    Not to mention that incredible view…. awesome!
    That said – a pretty scary post.


  15. ChristineOct 30, 201212:26 pm

    So glad you guys are okay, I was glued to Twitter all night. Curious – when they evacuated you, did they have an evacuation shelter for people to go to, and you opted to go to your brother’s place instead?


  16. JanetOct 30, 201212:30 pm

    Glad you’re safe! I saw you on the front page of the NYT yesterday and was like, OMG, it’s Anna! So strange that something so terrifying can also be so beautiful. I used to live in Brooklyn Heights and can’t imagine walking from DUMBO in winds like that, with your two little guys. Pretty amazing. Stay safe!


    kelly w /

    Janet, do you have a scan or a link? I’d love to see ‘our Anna’ on the NYT!

    Anna, I can’t stop thinking about your beautful, haunting carousel photos. Have you found out yet if it survived the storm? Hoping so.

    Anna @ D16 /

    I’m pretty sure it was just my tweet and carousel photo on the NYT site! Not ME. Haha. At least I hope not…

  17. SarahOct 30, 201212:45 pm

    You’re very brave. If someone directed me to leave my home and head out into those elements, I don’t know that I would be able to do it. And seeing all those huge trees down this morning!! Yeesh — I’m glad you’re ok!


    Anna @ D16 /

    I don’t think it was bravery so much as it was not wanting to be trapped in my building if it caught on fire!

  18. FionaOct 30, 20122:17 pm

    I saw pictures of pretty much your street in the UK telegraph this lunchtime, thoughts turned to you and your safety. It must have been a terrifying night…..glad your safe.


  19. cate corcoranOct 30, 20123:22 pm

    Wow, incredible about the fire across the street and you having to evacuate. So happy to hear you’re fine. Impressive storm reporting. Your photo of the carousel was one of the first storm photos I saw yesterday. In other storm-related news, I just saw a photo of the Hudson overflowing into a parking lot in Newburgh.


  20. RachelOct 30, 20123:33 pm

    So glad you guys are safe! Your twitter and IG was the first things I checked when I woke up this morning! Hope everything is ok with your apartment and D16! Sending love. <3


  21. Cori MageeOct 30, 20123:47 pm

    I’m amazed that you’ve been posting, but grateful. Your posts and my Twitter feed have been far better coverage than any news outlet.

    It’s difficult to see all the coverage and not be able to do anything… Besides Red Cross donations is there anything we can do from over here (California)???

    Continue to stay safe!


  22. KerryOct 30, 20124:15 pm

    I am really glad you guys are safe. I have been reading your site for years, and I just happened to wind up in Manhattan the last few days for work (I’m from Portland)… I lucked out and I never lost power although I am literally across the street from where it went out in Midtown. I spent a good amount of time last night watching the news and refreshing pages like yours. Thanks for sharing your experience and photos, and once again I’m glad you and your family are okay.


  23. SandraOct 30, 20124:43 pm

    I’m glad that you are ok!


  24. MonicaOct 30, 20125:35 pm

    Whoa! Incredible photos! Glad you and your family are safe.


  25. GaiaOct 30, 20125:36 pm

    Oh man, I used to live down there (in RI now,) so seeing these images makes my heart clench. But I’m so glad it wasn’t worse. And glad you’re ok! (I saw your photos earlier btw, but didn’t realize they were your’s until coming here! nice.)


  26. amy hOct 30, 20126:06 pm

    That sounds terribly frightening. I’m glad you are OK. Sad for those who aren’t.


  27. TeresaOct 30, 20127:09 pm

    I’m glad you and family (lovely dogs included) are ok. Stay safe.


  28. RoxOct 30, 20128:01 pm

    glad to hear you’re okay!! (and your pup too…)


  29. AgnieszkaOct 30, 20129:22 pm

    Hey Anna,
    I had to find out what you’re up to from a news app Circa – your images were credited of course.
    The photos are first ones I’ve seen of the storm, thanks for sharing!


  30. Jo in NZOct 30, 201210:21 pm

    It sounds terrifying. You have truly been my barometer for Sandy (forgive the pun). I have really appreciated the updates from a trusted source. Looking to see how we can help those who were less fortunate. Please keep well, you guys :-)


  31. NellOct 31, 20123:59 am

    Hey I’m a long time reader from Australia & I just wanted to say I’m glad you guys & your dogs are ok!

    What a scary weather event to live through & my thoughts are with the families of those (not just in America) whose family members didn’t make it through.

    I followed your tweets & it was good to be able to read real information & see your photos & not just have to rely on news reports.


  32. LOct 31, 20127:10 am

    SO glad y’all are safe and dry; hope the same is true of both your places. The mental picture of you two carrying the dogs through storm and flood is . . . .I guess ‘epic’ is the closest. Thank you also for the brave photos and efforts to keep your site-watchers informed. Much better than The News — because of the personal comments and also the lovely/scary photos. Your work deserves NYT front page!

    Prayers for all.


  33. SamanthaOct 31, 20127:52 am

    Glad you’re okay!


  34. gracieOct 31, 201210:43 am

    So so great you could carry your dogs. I wonder what people would’ve done with their cats if they had to carry other stuff, they’re so hard to carry if you don’t use/have a carrier. We had minor flooding in Dublin last year but in some places it was lethal, the water flooded houses up to 8 doors away from ours, my neighbour died when a wall collapsed on her. It was all so fast, now when it rains very heavily I panic a little. Glad you and yours are OK.


    Anna @ D16 /

    Oh, that’s horrible! As far as I know everyone in my building got out safely, but there was a woman carrying an infant—I felt so afraid for them, and there was really no one there to help us.

  35. Christian TOct 31, 20121:53 pm

    I saw your pic on MSNBC (or one of the news sites) and saw that it was in Dumbo and instantly thought of you! I didn’t know until now that it was your pic. Glad you are safe! We are in Southern NJ and are fine, but have friends down the shore who will not be able to return to their homes for a while… So sad.


  36. TriciaOct 31, 20123:01 pm

    Glad you guys are safe. Your pictures are incredible. You did such an incredible job caturing the timeline of the huricane.


  37. LiseOct 31, 20126:44 pm

    Glad you’re safe. I saw that photo 3-4 times before I saw it here. As a regular reader I get this site through my Google Reader RSS feed. So crazy its gone viral!


  38. CariStereoOct 31, 20129:37 pm

    I’m glad you and your family are safe, Anna.

    NYC is one of my favorite cities, and it is saddening to see everything so damaged. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it is for everyone right now, but I know East Coasters are resilient.

    I also saw images from the Caribbean that are devastating as well. I just hope some miracles come to all those affected.


  39. HeidiNov 1, 20124:35 pm

    Wow. Happy to read you are ok. Those pictures are stunning. Not surprised they were picked up everywhere.


  40. Cher@Newburgh RestorationNov 2, 201211:53 am

    I saw this picture, but had no idea it was you! Nice


  41. jjaNov 3, 20128:50 am

    It is good to hear you are all safe, dogs included!

    “o so great you could carry your dogs. I wonder what people would’ve done with their cats if they had to carry other stuff, they’re so hard to carry if you don’t use/have a carrier”

    You HAVE TO have a carrier as soon as you let cat in your home in. There is no excuse about that.


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