Hurricane Sandy came through and devastated our community. Rockaway Beach, Breezy Point, Roxbury and Broad Channel were among the hardest hit places. The damage is unimaginable, over 100 houses were burned to the ground and if they weren't burned they were flooded or washed out to sea. The winds put telephone poles through windows and the water flooded cars and homes. Some of us were luckier than others, the more fortunate have a house still standing and their families safe. As if the flooding and 90mph winds weren't enough, there were fires sparking all over the place. City and volunteer firefighters were unable to get to the fires due to the 6 feet of water all over. People were doing anything they could to escape the flames; surfboards, kayaks and paddle boards came in handy to many as they journeyed up flooded blocks to safety. Local heroes emerged during the storm, braving the hurricane winds, flying objects, downed electrical wires and neck deep, contaminated, rushing ocean water to save their neighbors from their burning homes. After walking around after the storm i was beyond myself and I couldn't help myself but to take some photographs and look at all my friends photographs of my beautiful neighborhood torn to pieces. The pictures don't even do it justice, and the experiences many endured are unforgettable, the stories are endless, but we will RECOVER and WE WILL REBUILD. It's the strong people in the Rockaways that make it so special. "Rockaway Beach, its not just a beach but a lifestyle."
Things are replaceable but lives lost are not. While my family and I were lucky to survive, there were lives that were lost. To those who have suffered such a horrible loss my sincerest condolences to you and your family.