Sunday morning I took the D out to Bensonhurst to climb aboard one of 5 or 6 busses headed to the Rockaways. Instead of church we were all going to go help out with the Hurricane Sandy clean-up efforts.
Friend Josh was filming all day, he made a great video of the day's efforts that I'll post later, if you haven't already seen it.
At the staging area it looked kind of chaotic, but that's just because there were so many people. It was actually a very well organized effort. We split into groups of 8 to 12 and got the addresses of homes that had asked for help.
Ominous high-water marks abounded.
I really don't have so many photos because I was working. But this was our first house, we helped empty out the basement. We took out everything, we even tore out the floor.
I think the highlight of my first half of the day was when I told a Marine (or National Guard, or whatever they might be) to do something.
While working a woman drove up and asked us if we could come help her when we were done. So we headed for hers next. On the way passed this burnt down pub.
House Number Two. Another basement to empty out.
During a break I walked to the beach where the destruction was the most visibile.
This is the same house, viewed from the beach.
I can't even tell if that used to be a house or what.
This one was an astounding sight, the way the floor gave out and the two bedrooms are crashing into each other, a cable box hanging by its cord.
A closer view.
This house lost its porch.
And this one lost its Porsche.
As I walked along the beach these two women with children come up to me and say, "You're with the church, right?" And I say "Err . . . yes?" and a boy hands me this crucifix he had been cradling in his hands as the woman says "He found this." I accept it and say "Thank you, I'll make sure it finds a good home" and then the woman shrugs her shoulders and says "We're Jewish" and walks off. It was really a pretty sweet little exchange.
A few more . . .
Okay, back to house number two . . .
Brad and JB did impressive stuff like carry out a fridge, a washer but not a dryer because no one was sure if the gas was still on. The washer was full of water, they had to bail all the water out before they could carry the machine out.
Another sad consequence of basement flooding: The loss of a lot of great rec room art.
Here is my team and the pile of stuff we took out of that basement. It's too bad that we're blocking so much of it. It was really an unbelievable pile of loss.
It was a good workday, very rewarding. I certainly feel like I should make another trip out there. I'll post Josh's video and you'll get a better look at how it was.