This past Tuesday marked the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Even though a year has passed since Sandy struck and destroyed my hometown of Long Beach, NY, it still feels like it hit yesterday. The memories of what happened the day Sandy hit and the weeks that followed are something I will never forget. The hurricane taught me some things, like the next time a mandatory evacuation is issued for where I live, I will leave, but it also taught me so much about humanity that I am thankful for. I saw my town pull together the next morning when everyone had lost so much, yet everyone was looking out for their neighbors and how complete strangers, from near and far reached out to help us try to get back on our feet. We had no power, we had no water but yet everyone was there for each other. I stood on lines for food rations and bottles of water, something I never thought I would do in my lifetime, I had to go through security checkpoints just to be allowed to drive back to my house and I can’t even tell you how many layers of clothing and blankets I slept in to keep warm, but all these things made us stronger.I lost my car to Sandy, the ocean wasn’t nice to it at all and basically all of the contents of my basement had to be thrown out, but all that stuff can be replaced.
Last week the Long Beach boardwalk, all 2 1/4 miles officially reopened. The original boardwalk was so badly damaged during the storm that it had to be completely torn down and rebuilt. The boardwalk makes Long Beach who it is and having it back is a huge step in our rebuilding process. The new boardwalk looks great and I missed having that boardwalk to go to. I love walking on the boardwalk and just getting completely lost looking at the ocean while I’m up there.
The storm is over in the sense that it has passed and a year has gone by, but there is still so much that still needs to be done. People still haven’t been able to return to their homes and many haven’t even been able to start the work on their houses because of red tape with insurance companies. The rebuilding process is going to take a long time, but having the boardwalk back gives you hope.