NEW York has barely recovered from the second-costliest hurricane ever to strike the US. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc across Staten Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
Now, just a couple of weeks short of five years later, it’s mid September 2017 and an equally intimidating storm front is moving in. This new threat, Ophelia, can’t possibly mirror Sandy’s destructiveness – or can it? Opinion is divided.
In London, businessman Charles and interior designer Ellen board the same transatlantic flight, each heading for a few days in the Big Apple to mix business with the pleasure of family reunions.
Charles’s two daughters have been in the city for the past 12 months with their mother, Gina, a model who left the marriage without warning to live with her American fashion-photographer lover, taking the girls with her.
For Ellen it will be a welcome homecoming. A native New Yorker, she has spent the past decade in London with her British husband, George.
In New York, Ellen’s mother, architect Grace, is determined to remain at home in Tribeca, a district of lower Manhattan fronting the Hudson River. Unlike her nearest neighbour, best-selling author Bob, Grace is convinced there will be no repeat of the flooding that ensued when Sandy struck.
University classmates Ben and Peter have also vowed to stay put rather than follow the authorities’ evacuation order – at least in part because they see riding out a hurricane as an adventure challenge.
Fellow student Anna, on the other hand, has already fled to her parents’ home in an uptown neighbourhood well clear of danger.
As Ophelia approaches, emergency room doctor Juliette fears the worst. Having worked non-stop through Sandy, she knows well how severe the fallout from a natural disaster of this magnitude can be.
Who will survive, with whose help, and with what consequences?