Hurricane Sandy hit, closed down the city, left 16 dead but New York was prepared for the attack. I spoke to one of my talent agents, Roger Paul this morning who lives in New York City.
“I’m safe,” he told me. “I look out my window and it looks like a scene from the TV show ‘Walking Dead’ – empty streets the subways closed, Wall Street flooded but it could have been worse. It isn’t 911.”
Paul said he expected things to all be somewhat back to normal by Wednesday.
Weather’s something outside of our control, kinda like the economy.
This morning I watched an old YouTube of Larry Moore reporting on Kansas City’s worst weather bomb in modern times, the September 1977 flood.
If you’re old enough, I’m sure you can remember where you were when it became painfully obvious that something was going horribly wrong. That hard rain turned into a death trap for many, the ending of the Plaza as we knew it for years and a total financial nightmare for thousands.
For us in Kansas City that night was no different from what New York just suffered.
No it was not a hurricane, but we got caught off guard with no warning.
I was at the Royals game with a few pals, a date and my little brother in the Stadium Club. We watched the rain fall from our dinner table to the point things started to float.
And I thought, “What the hell is going on?”
People started to leave thinking “Hope my windows are shut.”
For some reason I’d left my car near Ward Parkway at my grandparents home. Holy Christ, it seemed like the world was under an attack. Cars were floating down the street, some into store windows near and on the Plaza. My car was just several feet from the overrun Brush Creek on Ward Parkway.
It was unreal.
In its wake, the Plaza was basically destroyed for weeks. Dirty Sally’s, House of Toy and others would never bounce back. The flood had ruined storefronts and created a lasting musty odor.
It seemed like the Plaza would never be the same.
Westport was on higher ground and had its busiest weeks ever due to the fact that there was nowhere else to party in that area.
Stanford’s assistant manager Charles Sutherland‘s father had gone missing and was the last person found after the flood. His car had been sunk near Ward Parkway with him in it. He was found dead in a tree miles away. He’d gotten out but was carried to his death by the water current.
Still in time everything was fixed, somewhat forgotten and the Plaza came back bigger and better than ever, Homes along Ward Parkway were rebuilt anf people slowly forgot that tragic night and its aftermath.
As the old adage goes, time heals all wounds’ and it does. Yet we never forget those images and events as long as we live.