As superstorm Sandy created havoc across the eastern seaboard, Greg Gladwell, CEO UK & Ireland at Crawford & Company, found that his holiday in New York was not going to plan.
In central Manhattan we were less than a mile from the mayhem. My family and I were in a hotel, and most of the city was shutting down 24 hours before Sandy struck.
On the 37th floor of our hotel we could feel the winds on Monday night, although even in the peak of the hurricane we nipped outside and there was little sign of the devastation that happened elsewhere.
On Tuesday we went out at 8.30. Outside the shelter of iconic tourist sites, the wind was strong and there were several trees down.
The floodwaters came and went rapidly and we did not see anything of note nearby. With everything shut, though, we came back to the hotel two hours later.
At noon we went out in search of food. Everyone else in NY had the same idea but, with few places open, no bagel deliveries, no Starbucks or McDonald's open, it took us hours to find somewhere to get some food and, although loss adjusters are used to living off meagre rations, there was a sense of real concern.
Some of the queues were 100 people deep. And it's fair to say that I won't try offering my 15 year-old growing son a yoghurt for lunch in a hurry again.
Well, we sometimes think sandbags are not the best solution, but believe me that seems light years ahead of the approach of one K-mart store which used fertiliser bags to protect their store. Not one for us I think.
The worst hit areas are being pumped out and lots of debris has been cleared away. Still much to do.
Power cuts are widespread which is hampering the return to work for New Yorkers and a return to normality for those who live in the city.
The kids are bored; we are overdosed on waffles and are hoping things open up soon so we can get back on track with our tourist break.
That, and getting timely flights home, look a long shot right now. Fortunately I have good travel insurance and decent connectivity.
A huge well done to all involved with organising our Remembrance Day event on Friday, including our Corporate Real Estate team. One of them, Ibrahim, took this incredible footage of poppies dropping as he (along with others) leaned (safely!) over the gantry to let them go. pic.twitter.com/pSbapkWBBR— Lloyd's (@LloydsofLondon) November 12, 2018
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