By June T. Bassemir
October 2012 - It is has been three weeks since the “super storm” struck the Northeastern coast of the U.S. and only now are we seeing the pictures of the destruction that “Sandy” left behind. It is with a grateful heart that my slight inconvenience of the loss of power for 4 days, and the freezer full of spoiled food was all that I really endured. The 18” of fresh ground water in the basement disappeared when the tide went down the very next morning and did little damage as we had moved all things up off the floor. When the power came back on, the furnace did too, however the small motor needed to be replaced due to the bearings being under water. They would no doubt eventually seize up so I decided to get a new motor right away rather than wait for that it to happen on a cold winter day.
Two hundred thousand cars were destroyed and transported to the old Grumman property here in Riverhead. A company in Il was said to have bought some of them and no doubt will “fix them up” and sell to unsuspecting buyers. Think of it 200,000 cars – undamaged on the outside! The picture in the paper was unbelievable. I would not buy a second hand car for years to come because you would never be able to tell if it had been one under water or not....best to buy a new one.
Those closer to N.Y. City and on the southern edge of Long Island took a beating with strong waves and the high tide combined with a full moon. Houses there were literally washed away. Our beloved Jones Beach, the 1939 gem of the Island, has been so destroyed by the force of the water that it ripped up the boardwalk and drastically changed the familiar landscape. It is still closed to the public and may not even be ready for the 2013 swimming season. However, Sandy did one good thing. Donald Trump wanted to build a huge casino on the Boardward where the old restaurant was years ago. There was much dissention regarding his doing so but he was determined to follow through with his plans. When he saw the devastation the waves from the Atlantic Ocean did to the beach front, he scrapped the idea much to the relief of all. Whoopee!
Pictures of those areas further West, nearer to the tip of Manhattan stun the eye. Houses that were firmly fixed on the waterfront (so envied by those further back) were the first casualties, but even houses three blocks from the water were destroyed. In some places on the Island the water came in from the ocean on the South and ran through to the Bay on the North. And no one knows, even now why one house exploded when the power came on which caused the fire to consume 100 other houses. The irony of it all was that the water pressure was so weak, the flames could not be fought by the firemen and so the fire just continued until it burned the last house. There is so much destruction and so many people still in need of living quarters, clothing and food.... not to mention hope for the future that it boggles the mind. Sadly, long after the news media finds no profit in publishing any pictures or stories of the storm, there will be families still searching for comfort, peace and a house....and I notice the paper continues to list “Waterfront property” for sale at reduced prices. Many of the ads say “Recently renovated”....can you guess why?
Copyright June T. Bassemir, 2013