Belle Harbor, the Rockaways; The Struggle to Recover After Hurricane Sandy - Page 3
In Belle Harbor and Neponsit, families like Dave's and and others though they have means have been to a hellish place, and though they might be on the road to refurbishing their homes bit by bit, they will never be the same, emotionally, humanly, psychically. The stress has been and still is unfathomable and it will most likely take a lifetime to work through, if that is indeed possible. Can the rest of us understand? Perhaps not. Only if you have been to such a hellish place, will you get it.
I have a friend who went through Hurricane Katrina; his house was in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, a beautiful historic home at the hurricane's ground zero land fall. His neighbor was killed; his house had incredible damage. He was one of the luckier ones, we think. He fixed up his home (He had just retired.) sold it and left. Though he says he moved on because the rebuilding of infrastructure was too slow, I think it was also because it was too painful to stay and be reminded of what once was.
When my friend saw the pictures of what Hurricane Sandy did to areas of New York, he cried at the great suffering he knew was happening, though the coldness of the TV screen in the safety of your home just doesn't convey what's happening, truly. But my friend empathized. He had confronted the terror of devastation and he told me, "Carole, it will take years for people to get over this."
I think of Dave, of his feeling abandoned trying to find an apartment or hotel room for his wife and three kids to evacuate to. Real estate agents couldn't help. Eventually, as many others did (my friend as well) he stayed with family/friends. I think of Dave's comments that no one knew anything; there was no leadership in the one or two days right after and even days and weeks after. The government was nowhere; communication was nil. People were without resources, of course, no food, no lights, no heat for days and days afterward, no gas, then lines. And try to get a place to stay by then? Forget it. This was in Belle Harbor. Other areas of the Rockaways experienced their own tramas. This was Dave's.Continued on the next page