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Hurricane Sandy in Rockaway, Long Island

January 12, 2013

We drove to N. Babylon, Long Island on Thanksgiving day to spend the holiday with Stan’s relatives. On the way, we planned on stopping in Rockaway. In the 60’s, Stan lived with his family in a high rise apartment building which faced the Rockaway beach. His town had faced many recent tragedies. Sixty-four Rockaway residents (firefighters and world trade center employees) perished on 9/11. Then two months later, on November 12, 2011, an American Airlines plane crashed in Rockaway, killing 265 people. For Stan, Hurricane Sandy’s damage to Rockaway was personal.

As we drove into town three weeks after the storm, we were struck by how much damage was present. Abandaned, damaged cars could be seen on every sidestreet.

Sandy destroyed every car in her path.

Sandy destroyed every car in her path.

Residents were still without power. On this day of giving thanks, two women could be seen using the warming station set up along the boulevard.

No heat, hot water, or warm food for these people on Thanksgiving

No heat, hot water, or warm food for these people on Thanksgiving

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As we drove down the street, it looked more like a war zone than storm damage.

Some buildings were now just a pile of rubble

Some buildings were now just a pile of rubble

How could the insurance company help when even their buildings were destroyed?

Nationwide is on your side!

Nationwide is on your side!

.

A crooked American flag still flew proudly over the damaged beachfront. It reminded me of the flag that was planted by firefighters at the World Trade Center after 9/11

"And the Flag was still there..."

“And the Flag was still there…”

The boardwalk was lifted by the force of the hurricane. Still, the sun was shining brightly and the ocean was calm, as if the storm had been forgotten.

The calm after the storm

The calm after the storm

A man reflects on Sandy's damage

A resident reflects on Sandy’s damage

As we drove away from the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, we were both quiet. We were feeling grateful (although a bit guilty) that our family had their electricity restored and that we would be having a warm meal with loved ones. How long will it be before all the storm’s victims could say the same???

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6 Comments
  1. A very well done tribute and nice photos Amy. What an awful storm.

  2. denisebushphoto permalink

    Great job on the blog Amy and welcome to the world of blogging! This is a nice essay on the hurricane and great pics that help tell the story.

  3. Wow, your writings and photos are extremely powerful. Well done!

  4. Nice job, Amy. I like your images and your commentary. A couple of strong images e.g. the silhouettes at the Warming Center, the jumble of wires over the car, the juxtaposition of the flagpole and the streetlight and with only half a sun in the frame and the foreground damage.

    • Thanks for checking my first blog out. I know the storm was even more personal for you and thousands of others. Amy

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