Wednesday, October 29, 2014

More Sandy Stories

After I posted my two year update on Superstorm Sandy, a friend of mine wrote this response.
I feel that this opens up the conversation on many people's lives and should be said:

 I was so heartened by your bringing to light the devastation brought about by Hurricane Sandy. I live in a complex in which most residents are senior citizens. For a week after
the hurricane, everyone, including individuals with disabilities, endured the cold without electricity, heat, or water. I was able to get my family to a safe place, after driving through a maze of fallen trees, with darkened streetlights swinging overhead. I agree—it was like a war zone. Every time I turned, another street was blocked, another line down. I would try to determine where the blackouts ended—where one could purchase food, supplies.  And the stories one heard…water flooded an entire home in which an elderly person was waiting in his attic; somewhere—a building with gas leaks…
   I recall a particular day when I returned home from work to find a sign on the doors:
“Building Closed.” Officially, the building was to close in one hour, so I found myself
taking whatever items I needed from our apartment in the fifteen minutes I was allowed.
I cannot describe that feeling of thinking that I might never return. My parents, refugees in World War II, had left everything behind, and here I was…Yet this was nothing compared to what people in your area (Monmouth County) faced.
   I also remember watching what was a stream on our block become a raging river. A stone square weighing several tons still remains, broken and tossed like a mere brick, behind the yard. In an area where I had hiked, I saw gardens that had moved into
the center of a river, with roses blooming where water should have been.
    In times such as this one, many people helped. We kept teaching, although several of us had been evacuated from our residences, while others had families near the shore. Yet what remains with me, as a vivid memory, is that somehow, even several hours before the winds started, people were still out shopping, having parties…as though this would never happen—not here.

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