Hurricane Sandy’s appearance this week made me wonder what it would be like to be stranded in New York for a game when the lights went out. Not just the stadium lights, the city lights.
Actually, I’ve had a few weird times, covering games. I was in Minneapolis for the Jazz season opener one year when it snowed two feet overnight. There was talk of postponing the game and stores were closed, including a shopping mall next to my hotel. But crews dug things out by 7 p.m.
I spent all night in the Kansas City airport, waiting out a blizzard. I made a few fire evacuations after hotel alarms went off. I was also in several arenas that were evacuated due to bomb scares.
My hotel’s lights went out in New Orleans on New Year’s Eve. I’ve been in several hotels when all power was off for a few hours.
A few days after Bay Area earthquake of ’89 I was at Stanford, and you could feel aftershocks in the press box. That was nothing compared to my colleague Lee Benson, who was at the World Series during the 1989 quake.
Also, I was in L.A. for a week during the Rodney King riots. Stores and restaurants closed early, streets were jammed with frightened commuters, trying to get out of town.
Some of the above were natural disasters, others man-made. But all of them stirred a sense of helplessness.
Without doubt, Laramie, Wyoming is my road trip nemesis. I had one trip – with Deseret News writers Jody Genessy and Dirk Facer – that resulted in a giant snowstorm. We had the idea to drive to Laramie and ended up taking 20-something hours to get home. I was also in Wyoming when the stadium lights went out for an hour or more, delaying the game.
Another year I was nearly too sick to leave my hotel room.
Most of these situations generate what-do-I-do-now? thoughts. But I’ve been lucky when it comes to actually being stranded.
Unless you’ve been in this kind of situation, most people assume the hotel people will take care of the guests. But in big disasters, service workers might not be able to get to work – or home. They have family members they’re worried about, too.
Plus, they have hundreds of guests, all wanting room service when the kitchen’s closed.
Fortunately, the only Sandy I experienced this week was in Sandy, Utah.
I’m hoping I have some readers who will post comments about their experiences being stranded on the road. That way the next time I have a road trip malfunction, I can always say things could be worse.