I.S. 281 Joseph B. Cavallaro School (8787 24th Avenue) has been publishing their award-winning school newspaper, New Image, for years. In their winter publication, they highlight a Superstorm Sandy story written by an anonymous student.
Schools and local organizations knew early on that the hurricane may bring lasting emotional effects on kids and adults in the form of stress, anxiety or even PTSD. The story below is from a child’s point-of-view, and luckily, the damage to his or her home was not too grave. However, there is a sensitivity there that may be far worse for others who were dealt worse fate.
Storm Stories: What was it like during Hurricane Sandy?
I never thought I would have to write about my own hurricane experience, living in Brooklyn, New York. These things just don’t happen in Brooklyn, or so I thought. I can remember my mother’s birthday, last year. Instead of celebrating, we were preparing for Hurricane Irene. She blew through our neighborhood quickly, and the next day was calm and sunny; but this time it was different, and I could feel it. We were home, and my parents were talking about candles and water and the roof and basement. This time they were preparing for this hurricane much differently than they had when Hurricane Irene came to visit. Hurricane Sandy was on her way, and we were all getting ready to meet her.
It felt like hours. My family and I sat, staring out the window, watching the wind get stronger. We saw signs being ripped off of buildings, and flashes of lights coming from electricity poles outside of our home. My mother was constantly checking on my grandmother who lives downstairs, because we kept smelling fire burning throughout the neighborhood. Up and down the stairs we ran to make sure that our home was okay.
We could hear the sound of the wind roaring as it shook the house from side to side all night long. We could hear pieces of the house falling off; the sounds of metal banging and slamming. It reminded me of my cousin Chloe who likes to bang on pots and pants while sitting in the kitchen, watching her mother cook. It was really scary and loud, and my poor cat just hid under the bed most of the night. As horrible as the night was, we felt very lucky because we did not lose the power for very long on our block, but so many of our friends and family did, and many of them were without power for weeks after the storm.
The next morning, we woke up and started to call our friends and family members, and one by one, we began to realize that no one had power. We turned on the news and realized just how horrible and damaging Hurricane Sandy had been to our part of the east coast. My family members who lost their power came to stay with us, for a hot meal and a shoulder to cry on.
Two days after the storm, my father walked to work from Kings Highway and East 14th Street in Brooklyn to Macy’s at 34th Street and Herald Square in Manhattan. It took him almost three hours in the morning, and another three hours at night to get home. My father kept saying, “What else can I do? I have to get to work.” We had no trains or buses working near our home, and this was the only way for him to get there. This hurricane was definitely the worst storm our part of the country has experienced. All we can do right now is come together and help each other, and the people who have lost so much. Watching and hearing stories about all the people who have lost their homes or loved ones, and those people who are still without power, really makes me sad. I hope and pray that everything will get better soon.