While you were holding onto a lamppost to save yourself from getting blown out over the East River during yesterday's sideways rain and wind attack, photographer Bebeto Matthews was taking snapshots of you for the Associated Press. We can all laugh about it now, what with today's dazzling blue skies, but yesterday was such a mess! Trees were uprooted in Brooklyn and Jersey, the giant Christmas tree at the South Street Seaport was knocked down, and truckers and school buses on Staten Island were stranded for six hours because winds gusting up to 62 miles per hour forced a partial closure of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
One trucker was on his way to drop off his Heineken truck in Brooklyn when he got stuck in a long line of trucks waiting on the Staten Island side of the bridge. Louie Telese tells The Staten Island Advance that he can feel even a light wind affect his truck: "You feel the tail shaking and it's scary." Telese added that he thought the closure was the right call, though he thought "lanes should have remained open on the lower level, where the winds might not have been so high." Maybe next time the DOT will have the courtesy to get Telese's advice before barring trucks from the Verrazano.
And the truckers weren't the only ones inconvenienced yesterday by Aeolus, the Greek god of wind. A school bus filled with fourth graders from PS 64 in Queens got stuck on Staten Island en route home from a field trip to Historic Richmond Town. Driver Raymond Arjune valiantly tried to talk police into letting his bus onto the dangerous, windswept bridge so he could get the kids home (to a watery grave), but it was all in vain. "I told them I have a busload of kids that have to get home," Arjune tells the Advance. "I tried, but they didn't let me on the bridge." As a result, 24 children were tragically delayed for more than an hour.