Surviving Sandy

November 1, 2012 at 10:45 pm 1 comment

“It’s like camping, kinda.” – Momma Newcomb

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My Hurricane Sandy meal of grilled cheese and canned tomato soup. Gotta have at least one light-hearted food picture :)

3 days ago, Hurricane Sandy washed away the shoreline that I call home. The pictures that flood my Facebook newsfeed and flash across the NY Times homepage are heartbreaking. Images of the waves and wind tearing apart the coast.Pictures of landmarks and homes completely underwater. Photographs of the lines created at functional gas stations, where families wait for hours on end for a few gallons of gas to fuel their generator. The pictures in this post are courtesy of my Dad, who snapped phone pics as he used his truck to help friends recover what they could from their flooded homes.

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Line for gas on Route 36 in Hazlet, NJ

My family is lucky. Our house is okay, escaping damage from the storm and flooding. My dad has a generator that he has been using to power his and a neighbor’s refrigerator. My mom heeded my seasoned Florida grandparents’ advice and stocked up on canned goods and flashlights. They are making do with their propane grill meals and lantern-powered card games.

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View from the stoop of a friend’s flooded house

Others were not so lucky. So many families lost their possessions, their cars, or their homes. A few lost their lives. Who knew that a storm could be so devastating. The latest number estimate is $50 billion dollars of damage, but that doesn’t even begin to describe what was lost.

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Blocks away from the Boardwalk, the Keansburg streets are now littered with arcade games and beach debris

It will take days to restore power to the thousands who remain in the alternate and isolated reality created by this storm. It will take months to clean up the obvious debris that now litters beach fronts and side streets, and years to restore the boardwalks and beaches to the state that drew so many tourists each summer.

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The amusement park that I loved as a kid now under water

While there is so much to mourn, the positive messages and stories of neighbors working together provide a ray of encouragement. Stories of those with houses, food, water, and generators reaching out to neighbors in need. Pictures of board games and camp fires from people making the best of their situation. These provide me with hope that the recovery efforts will only make my home stronger.

My life, on the other hand, has been normal. Unremarkable. I never lost power, I witnessed no flooding or damage in my neighborhood, and hardly felt the immediate power of the hurricane. It is so odd that my world spins as normal while the lives of my family and friends have been put on hold. If you are like me and are watching these images from afar with a heavy heart, there are ways that you can help! Pray for those that lost so much, for fast resettlement of those stranded, for restoration of power and water. If you have resources, consider donating. Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation to the Salvation Army Disaster Relief. Text the word GIVEUSA to 777444 to donate $10 to the World Vision effort. If text donations aren’t your style, check out the website for each of these organizations to donate that way.

The recovery of the Jersey Shore that I know and love will be long and arduous, but the positivity and strength displayed by those like my mom remind me of the hope that shines through the darkness.

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