• By Bill O'Reilly

    I'm sorry I missed you guys last night but I was transported back in time to 1850 after Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island, New York.

    Actually, the storm didn't exactly hit us. It made landfall just south of Atlantic City, New Jersey about 100 miles away. But the winds off the ocean were so intense that they killed 18 people here in New York City and at least 40 overall.

    The destruction was immediate. Trees and power lines collapsed. Hudson River overflowed into the Brooklyn Battery tunnel. Coastal communities were swamped. Atlantic City, the gambling Mecca under water in many places.

    And the machines that we use and depend on collapsed all over the region. Cell phone service gone; land line gone; cable TV out; power to your house nonexistent in many places... that means darkness and candles and whining children.

    This was life back in 1850. When it got dark, it got dark. There was no electricity.

    But today Americans are so dependent on the machines that this kind of interruption can be devastating. In fact, the power companies estimate it could take up to 10 days to get full power restored in the northeast. You can bet terrorists all over the world are jotting that down in their notebooks.

    The sad truth is that America's electrical grid is obsolete and we do not have enough money to put it underground where it belongs.

    Also, when there is a disaster like Hurricane Sandy, the phone lines become tied up. It's very difficult to get through even for emergency calls, so people die. The relationship between high tech and our lives is becoming more frightening every week. We now depend... depend on these machines. In fact, gas stations couldn't even pump because the electricity was out.

    Food rotted in delicatessens and grocery stores, generators a must these days. But mine didn't work! $10,000... you can imagine how pleased I was with that occurrence.

    The good news is that in my town, Manhasset, people rallied as they always do helping their neighbors to clear debris. And the guys are the best pizza place in the world Villa Milano fired up today to feed the folks. This is why I live in that town because patriots live alongside me.

    Chances are your town is like that. Most Americans are good people who help their neighbors in times of need. And there will be more of those times down the road especially with America's infrastructure being so fragile.

    And that's "The Memo."

    - You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com.