Reporter's Diary: Living, Breathing, Covering Super Storm Sandy (Transcript) | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Reporter's Diary: Living, Breathing, Covering Super Storm Sandy

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:09
Welcome to "Metro Connection," I'm Rebecca Sheir and, wow, what a week, huh?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE #1

00:00:13
We'll probably have winds gusting to nearly 70 miles an hour.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE #2

00:00:15
As Metro officials tell Kavitha Cardoza, the decision to close the system isn't one they made lightly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE #3

00:00:20
We had to close off, we're rescuing some residents that are in low lying areas right now. Humvee's are coming from the National Guard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE #1

00:00:27
We were in the house and suddenly the water just started rising...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE #4

00:00:30
I'm down near the bottom of King Street, looking out across the Potomac River where you can see some white caps and some swift moving water out in the...

#1

00:00:37
...so quickly that we were trapped in the house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE #2

00:00:41
We know that it only takes two feet of water to move a vehicle. We want people to stay off the roads.

#1

00:00:47
What was one screen out of my back porch patio is water.

SHEIR

00:00:53
Those, of course, are some of the voices we heard hear on WAMU as Super Franken-sub tropical Sandy swung by to say hello. And now that the storm has past, with just a few days before Washingtonians cast their ballots in the big election, this week we're bringing you a show about choices.

SHEIR

00:01:13
We'll find out why old fashion snail mail still plays a role in swaying our vote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE #5

00:01:18
Whereas, everybody open their mail, not everybody goes online to find information about candidates.

SHEIR

00:01:24
And we'll head to Northern Virginia to learn the crucial role Latino's may play in what happens on Tuesday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE #3

00:01:29
For some of them, it's the first time voting. Like, they just registered this year.

SHEIR

00:01:32
Plus, we'll share personal stories of Washingtonian's facing big choices like a Polio doctor and survivor who's entering a new phase of life.

DR. LAURO HALSTEAD

00:01:41
I think it's absolutely critical that everybody learn how to deal with challenges, whether it's physical, emotional, financial. When that happens, it forces you to find resources you didn't think were there.

SHEIR

00:02:01
First, though, you know that one reporter on the Weather Channel or on the TV News who's out there on the beach in a rain slicker, reporting on absolutely miserable weather? Well, every time a nasty storm rolls through Ocean City, Md., Bryan Russo is more or less that guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE #6

00:02:17
Let's get the latest from coastal reporter Bryan Russo. He's on the Delmarva Peninsula.

MR. BRYAN RUSSO

00:02:21
Many Ocean City residents got a late start to their storm preparations yesterday. Mayor Rick Meehan has declared a state of emergency as the city is already starting to see rising waters and flooding in the low lying areas of downtown (unintelligible) -- but for anyone who stayed behind, it might be too late to leave.

MR. BRYAN RUSSO

00:02:37
As Route One, just north of the Indian River inlet, has been closed since yesterday due to a dune breech. (word?) had to walk or wade, rather, down eight streets to the Route 50 bridge, wading through thigh deep water before walking across the bridge and another mile or so to a friend's house which is located...

SHEIR

00:02:54
With this week's events, we asked WAMU's intrepid coastal reporter to keep a sort of audio diary about what it's like to face the wind and rain when everyone else is high tailing it out of town.

RUSSO

00:03:07
Check one, two. All right, this is reporter diary number one. It is 1 p.m. on Sunday. We're sitting here at the most narrow point of Ocean City. If you look to your left, you can see the beach, you look to your right, you can see the Bay. I'm sitting in the back of my car, I've put on my new galoshes. I've got the hatchback up on the Touareg and rain is already hitting me in the face. It's like a stinging rain of sorts. It's very cold and now I'm going to go to the beach and really get a feel for how this storm is moving in.

RUSSO

00:03:45
Usually Nor'easters like this happen a couple times a year. You know, locals are pretty used to them. And I think a lot of people really took this one lightly. People were partying yesterday. You know, festivals, the boardwalk was jumping. But now I'm walking up over the dunes here and that usual beautiful moment where you see everything so pristinely and panoramic, is not that at all. The ocean is probably about 10 feet away from the fence.

RUSSO

00:04:19
The beach has been almost swallowed up. We're heading down to the convention center right now which is where the emergency evacuation for people that are downtown, the people that are in need and need to get off the island are being told to go to 41st Street, to the convention center to get some stuff and that's where we're heading right now, to see if we can find some people and talk to some folks down there.

RUSSO

00:04:48
The worst part is, of doing this, is after you're outside and you're getting hit from every angle, when you get back in your car, you realize not how much -- how wet you are but how much sand you have on you too and it's just -- it's impossible to get dry, plus I wear glasses and that's almost impossible to get any sort of visibility.

RUSSO

00:05:14
Check one, two. All right, so I'm walking outside right now. It's a little after 8 p.m. on Monday which means the high tide is going to be hitting Ocean City in about 20 minutes. Ocean City is like totally flooded and it is a mess. You get really desensitized when you're in the news business or in journalism or whatever, that things happen to other people, they don't happen to you.

RUSSO

00:05:42
And when they're happening to you and people that you know, it's just heart breaking. Just -- I know people that have lost homes and, you know, businesses are just under water and a mess and it's kind of heart breaking but everyone right now is just in survival mode.

SHEIR

00:06:01
That was WAMU's dauntless coastal reporter, Bryan Russo. And we'd love to hear your stories about weathering Sandy. You can reach us at metro@wamu.org.
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