A lifestyle and fashion blog with a little bit of chic, a drop of glamour and a lot of love!
When I started this blog my intentions were to write about beautiful clothes, pretty people, delicious recipes and lots of glamour. I looked forward to sharing my flare for fashion and love of life with those people who took the time to read what I wrote. The past week I did not want to write-it was just too hard day after day talking to some of my closest friends and family and hearing what they were enduring after Sandy. Since I have the blog and so many people have been following (for which I am beyond grateful)I thought I would use it as an avenue to share some first hand insight of the devastating effects of this storm.
Frankenstorm, the name given to Hurricane Sandy may be funny-but there was absolutely nothing funny about this storm. Sitting here in Toronto, it was hard to understand the full extent of the damage done by this superstorm. But now one week later with so many of my friends and family STILL without power, refrigerated food, heat, internet, laundry, school and some without homes I finally understand. Depression is hard to avoid when seeing and hearing what so many of the people I am closest to have undergone in the past week. Until my husband drove to NY on Saturday evening with a car packed full of dry goods, warm clothes, jerry cans of gas and more I wasn’t fully aware of the destruction Sandy caused.
My husband and his family grew up in Belle Harbor, NY, part of the Rockaways in Queens. Next to Belle Harbor is the beachfront neighbourhood of Breezy Point where a massive fire broke out and burned just about everything that was not already flooded. The blaze destroyed close to 100 homes, and by the end of the fire more than 190 firefighters were battling it. My father-in-laws house luckily did not burn down but sustained extensive damage from the 8 feet of water it was under. The bay and the ocean which are approx. 5-6 blocks apart apparently at one point met the other with waves. Thankfully the National Guard has been deployed, marines are coming in by the boat-full from the beach and the American Red Cross have all been on hand, as well as an unbelievable amount of volunteers who are going door to door helping people salvage what is left, offering blankets, food and whatever else they may need. My husbands words to describe to me what he saw when he first got to his hometown were” it looks like a nuclear bomb went off here, that’s how bad it is.” Another person said: “There are boats in the street five blocks from the ocean”.
Some of the other firsthand stories from my friends and family are also just so sad and hard to believe from cities on the Eastern Coast. My brother on Long Island had a huge tree crash through the roof of his house into his family room and take the roof in with it. The town where my husband and I lived for 6 years with our children, Lawrence, NY on the South Shore of Long Island , like so many others has been declared “a state of emergency.” There is a curfew to avoid looting and many families there are going on their 8th day of power loss. As one of my friends who has had to move out of her house with her 4 kids and has a business and a home which are both for now out of commission put it best when she wrote on Facebook “DEFEATED”. Line ups for gas are 3-4 hours long and there is no guarantee you will get once your turn at the pump comes. The shuls in the community sent out this email tonight: “In light of the security concerns in our area due to power outage because of hurricane Sandy, there is an effort to garner volunteers to take 2-hour shifts beginning in the evening and running through the night to keep a watchful eye through the township of Lawrence. The purpose is to dissuade would-be thieves and contact the police should a volunteer see something that looks suspicious. This effort does not call for vigilantism but rather to notify the proper authorities.”
These are families that are taking their laundry to central stations set up to accommodate them, having to eat in make place shelters if they want hot meals and now have to worry about their powerless homes being looted. Another of my friends whose children attend Hebrew Academy of Long Beach told me this today: ” The kids in HALB are left without a place To learn. While the school is intact the city of Long beach is not. Working on makeshift classrooms as we speak.”
I could go on and on but as they say a picture is worth a thousand words-so here are some that my husband took today out in Belle Harbor.
With all this going on there is a Nor’Easter predicted for tomorrow with a coastal surge of 5-8 feet and no wall to protect this town from more damages. Just as i finished writing this my husband called me to tell me he just found out that his dad’s mailman died in the storm and another neighbour, a 54 year old man died in his garage as the water surge drowned him. It is all too sad for words.
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone and tomorrow I will be giving a list of ways that people can help.