• Slideshow Photos

    He survived Sandy, twice, and photographed it

    Meet the photographer who captured the storm from the Caribbean, and then again at home in New York City.

  • He survived Sandy, twice, and photographed it

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    Lightning can strike twice, and so can a storm -

    Photographer Matthew David Powell experienced Hurricane Sandy twice: Once from a vacation in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, then again back at his home in Queens, New York. Click through for his images and an interview by writer Jasmin Aline Persch.

    After a sunny beach day, heavy ominous clouds rolled into Punta Cana around nightfall, bringing lots of thunder, lightning and wind on Tuesday, Oct 23. "Me being crazy, I had to go to the roof and catch the lightning strike,” Powell told TODAY.com.
    Matthew David Powell
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    Wednesday, Oct. 24: By sunrise the rain had calmed, but gusty winds bent palm trees sideways on Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana.

    “This was very much an unintentional storm chase adventure – once in a lifetime. The same hurricane in two cities in the course of a week impacted the place I was traveling to and the place I call home,” said Powell, 35.
    Matthew David Powell
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    In Santo Domingo, with the power out, Powell traveled from one neighbor’s house to another, sharing a pot of coffee and riding out Hurricane Sandy. During breaks in the storm, he saw life return to the capital briefly, as in this photo of a man riding his bike under an overcast sky, taken in the Olymo neighborhood on Thursday, Oct. 25.
    Matthew David Powell
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    Heavy rains, wind and lots of lightning pelted the city as Powell and friends drove down a highway in Santo Domingo on Friday, Oct 26.
    Matthew David Powell
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    A view from the Santo Domingo home in which Powell was staying, taken on Friday, Oct. 26. The almost constant sound of thunder, heavy rain, spilling water and a car alarm kept them up a lot of the night before.

    It was blue skies and a balmy 90 degrees when Powell left Santo Domingo. As he raced back to New York City from the Dominican Republic to beat the storm, his plane dropped a few times before wobbling into the landing strip at John F. Kennedy International airport Sunday night. When he emerged from the cab in his Jackson Heights neighborhood in Queens, NY, it was windy and Sandy was approaching, again.
    Matthew David Powell
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    Powell didn't press his luck a second time around, and stayed put in his apartment, relaxing, unpacking, reading e-mails and tending to domestic chores.

    The next morning, Powell ventured outdoors, spotting scenes like this one: A store owner on 82nd St. in the Jackson Heights neighborhood worked to clear a fallen tree in front of his market on Oct. 30.
    Matthew David Powell / Matthew David Powell
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    A woman surveying the damage at the corner of 82nd St. and Roosevelt Avenue. "Right after I'd taken this photo she looked at the awning and asked me, 'Do you have any idea where that came from?'" Powell said. "I answered, 'I have no idea.'"
    Matthew David Powell / Matthew David Powell
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    Heavy winds had torn the awning off of this supermarket at the corner of 75th St. and Broadway in Queens on Oct. 30.

    To see more of Powell's images, visit his blog at http://photos.mdpny.com
    Matthew David Powell / Matthew David Powell