Wouldn't usually blog about this kind of thing but this was so shocking and surreal that I thought I'd share my experience first hand in the Rockaways.
I don't think anybody expected the damage and destruction hurricane Sandy brought.
It was really weird to see so much damage especially in a place like New York. It was unfathomable.
I can only imagine how horrifying it must have been for the families closest to the coast. The boardwalk was completely ripped apart to shreds.
The sand had been moved into the middle of the streets in dunes. There were plenty of car pile ups. Felt like I was looking at toy cars when I saw 3 cars piled on top of one another. That just shows how powerful Sandy was.
Taking donations home
There was major flooding in the area. A local shopkeeper told me they had water up to their countertops, they said they had been more prepared for hurricane Irene. So this one took them by surprise. They had lost 5 cars in the family, 3 of which were brand new.
Some buildings had burnt to the ground. Leaving behind nothing but rubble. In one area I saw that 3 business's had burnt to the ground and 2 homes behind that had also been demolished. There was a real air of sadness and loss in the town.
I was lucky enough to be staying Uptown. We lost power for 4 days but these people in the Rockaways had lost their power for over a week along with the flooding. There was such a coldness and dampness in the buildings after the flooding that it can hardly be explained. And the smell it brought was just unbearable.
New York did pull together though and made so many donations. Diapers, cleaning products, hot food etc.
Donations that were made
Volunteers were there in groups , every group had a different colour shirt. In such a time of need it was nice to see everyone there to make a difference.
Stall set up to hand out hot food
There were people with shovels and buckets everywhere to get rid of the sand. Along with trucks to take the debris away. Obviously traffic lights were completely out so cops were everywhere to direct traffic. There had been ambulance crews set up nearby and plenty of soldiers had been sent in also.
I honestly have never witnessed anything like this in my life. It looked like a total war zone.
Unfortunately some people saw opportunity in this awful situation.
Sadly I saw looters. They had stolen a huge flat screen tv in broad daylight from a nearby house & had put towels over it to move it.
It's just sad to be honest. Some people lost their lives to mind their homes for that very reason.
One lady told me her house was shaking so much she really expected to die, luckily she did survive.
Anyway that's my experience in the Rockaways it's a reminder how powerful Mother Nature really is. Possessions can be wiped out in the blink of an eye and they aren't of much importance when someone loses a life.
Sending prayers and love to anyone effected by Sandy and especially to the families of those whose lives were sadly taken away.
If anyone would like to donate you can do so through the Red Cross Website