Monday, November 5, 2012

Good and Bad from Sandy

As you know, a monster storm hit the Eastern seaboard last week.  The devastation is nothing short of staggering.  I'm still reeling from the pictures of the destruction.   Many are dealing with complete loss of everything they owned and worked for their whole lives.  Others are still dealing with on-going power outages.  There are many in my office who still do not have power. 

We were very fortunate in that we didn't sustain any damage other than 2 downed trees on our block one of which can be seen here.  This tree missed Jim's car by 6 feet.  We never lost power although our lights flickered for hours threatening to go out. 
The next two pictures are of my neighbors clearing a tree off of Dave's (in the blue jacket) car.  If you read my blog regularly, you'll remember Dave is the wonderfully generous man who bought my son a surfboard recently.  Logan and I helped for 2 hours to bag up all the branches while 2 other neighbors sawed the tree down into manageable pieces.  It was windy and rainy at times but through teamwork we got the tree all cleaned up.  The amazing thing about this was other than a broken antenna, Dave's car was undamaged.  And another amazing thing is those 2 men don't speak English yet we all came together to help Dave when he needed it.  I thought that was very cool.

 The below picture is from a downed tree 4 blocks from my house.  This scene is repeated everywhere around here.
While some things are returning to normal like mass transit, there is still a major gas shortage here.  Jim waited on line 3 1/2 hrs yesterday only to purchase $40 worth of gas.  Later in the evening we stopped at another gas station and got on a many blocks long line.  Thankfully, we waited only 20 minutes before the gas station closed due to being out of gas.

We live across the street from a college.  We learned parts of the college are being used as relief centers and 500 refugees from the hard hit Rockaway Beach communities are being housed there in the college's 2 gyms.  I gathered 10 bags of clothing from my house and made a donation yesterday.  I also collected stuff from friends of mine like Loretta (Eddie's mom - Eddie is a friend of Logan's) who donated an unbelievable number of 20 different coats and lots of baby stuff including the car seat below.   Loretta also collected stuff from her neighbors.  This is some of what I dropped off yesterday.
When we entered the college yesterday, I was touched to see so many cars lined up to drop off their donations.  I saw people giving diapers, strollers, food, clothing, all sorts of much needed items.  Below you can see cases of donated beverages stacked up. 
Here you can see the backs of Logan and Jim as they brought our donation up to be collected.
The lady talking to the man in the orange vest is Neeta.  She is Raja's mom.  Some of you will remember Raja who is one of Logan's best friends.  The relief worker was telling Neeta of their dire need for shoes, ice and refrigeration.  When I left her she was going to buy a refrigerator to donate.  She'd already given a van full of stuff.  
There is such suffering going on in the aftermath of this horrible storm.  So many have lost so much; it's unimaginable.

But yesterday, as I stood there looking around while Jim and Logan unloaded the car, I also saw something good.  I saw lots of people, total strangers in fact, coming to the aide of those in dire need.

To put it simply, it choked me up.  It still chokes me up.  Thank you New York!


luv46kdz said...

Serene, I still can't believe what S.I. looks like :( Breezy Point, omg it's a war zone. My brother in Bethpage still has no electricity. Luckily his inlaws do. What a sad sad thing, and it's getting cold, holidays are coming these poor people are in shock and devastated. Seeing the outpouring is heartwarming. Thank God all was ok with you all :)

Lisa said...

So glad you are ok. The damage is devastating, and so heartbreaking to see. I'm just seeing it through tv or the internet, I can not even begin to imagine what it is like to be living in the middle of it.

Sondra said...

Serene... I can't express enough how glad I am that you are ok. Praying life gets back to normalacy soon.

courtney said...

Oh my. Serene, you're choking me up here! How wonderful to hear of people coming together when they're really needed.
I am so happy and relieved to know that you and your family are alright!

Melissa said...

I worried about you! It's indeed awesome to see everyone come together in times of need.

Renee said...

Serene, I am so thankful that you are safe. Forgive me....I did not realize that you were affected by the storm.

It is so heart-warming to see how you, your family and neighbors came together to help. You are truly blessed!!



P.S. It is always a treat when you visit my blog. Thank you so much!!