TRI-STATE AREA– It has been almost a year since Superstorm Sandy took place. Looking back, Sandy was not only a storm that left behind tons of physical damage, but it was a storm that emotionally devastated countless communities across the tri-state area. Today you will get an opportunity to relive what the storm was like, through the words of local residents and some of the weathermen that covered this storm.
Before Sandy struck, warnings and evacuations were issued for many areas, but not everyone wanted to leave their homes. When the storm neared and finally hit, people were caught off guard by strength and power that the storm presented. Those who did evacuate, remained safe, but weren’t sure what they were going to encounter once they returned to their home after the storm was over. When they returned home, they were stunned by what they encountered. Houses were destroyed, trees and power lines were knocked down, and many were left without electricity for weeks.
Sandy seemed liked a terrible nightmare to the residents located in our area. Karen Giordano, a resident living in Toms River, New Jersey, was fortunate enough to only have a few trees knocked down by this tremendous storm. “I was very lucky that I didn’t have to evacuate,” she said. “The storm was something I could never have imagined taking place in my community.” She went on to tell me, her friend in Seaside Heights (the next town over), wasn’t so lucky. Her friend, Jennifer, stated that she evacuated her house a few days before the storm hit. When the storm was over she returned to her house, and found out that it was completely destroyed. Pictures, electronics, everything was lost. “It has been a very tough year for me,” she said. “Even though I have lost everything, I am fortunate to be alive. A house can be rebuilt, valuables can be replaced, but at least I still have my life.”
Another resident that I had the opportunity to speak to lives on Long Island. An elderly man, Joseph Enrico, has been living right next to the water in downtown Sayville, ever since he retired 15 years ago. He told me that he never expected to experience a storm like this. He knew that living close to the water could be a problem if a storm ever happened. Well, a year ago it did. Enrico and his wife evacuated their home before the storm hit. When they returned home a few days later, they did have a house standing but the complete bottom of it was missing. Unfortunately, they had to level the house and have it rebuilt.
I spoke to Mr. Enrico on the phone the other day to see how the rebuilding process was coming along. “The house still needs a little bit more work,” he stated. “I have been living with my daughter this past year down in Florida, while they continue to work on the house. My wife and I should finally be able to move back in by the beginning of October,” he added. It is amazing to me that it will take a year to rebuild the house that Enrico and his wife once lived in. Jokingly he concluded by saying, “I hope another storm won’t strike when we are finally able to head back up North. I could not take going through something like this again.”
A few days ago I reached out to a few local weathermen on Twitter to see what they had to say about the storm after a year has passed. ABC 7 weatherman, Lee Goldberg, had this to say. “It was the most challenging storm coverage of my career. When it became clear Sandy could be the worst natural disaster in NYC history, I realized that our forecast & reporting could help save lives. It was very intense.” When I asked him what went through his mind when he saw the wreckage from the storm he told me that he was, “astounded that our area could be transformed like that.”
Jim Cantore, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel summed up Superstorm Sandy in two sentences. “Sandy was unprecedented,” he said. “It was like nothing we have ever dealt with in our lifetime.”
Eric Fisher, Chief Meteorologist of WBZ-TV News, had some very powerful words, when speaking about what he thought of the storm. “Building back smarter and taking precautions to keep losses lower, will hopefully be the way of the future, whether the same type of storm hits next year, 5 years from now, or 100 years from now,” he expressed to me. Fisher is sending a strong message to the citizens, saying it is very important to be ready at any time for a something like this to happen.
Fisher finished by saying, “Sandy was an example of why listening to warnings, preparing just in case, evacuating just in case, is 100% worth the effort. The lesson to learn from Sandy is that these things do happen. And a storm like it will without a doubt, happen again.”