I lived in Far Rockaway since I was eight years old. I met my friends and father side of the family there. Far Rockaway is very much a part of me, so to see my library, my board-walk, my skate park, my friends homes and my old middle school destroyed showed me everything can be taken away from you in a few seconds. Rooms flooded, lives taken, no lights, no food, no power and clothes. Honestly I was distraught by what I was seeing.
On October 29th warning signals flashed across my T.V. screen but the sky didn’t seem to reflect that scene. So me and my family decided to stay home. Three hours later the winds were greater. Hard whistles as the wind hit my window. Four hours passed. It’s dark and water reaches my parking lot, tons of water. My lights went out. My parent’s car was floating near my front door. I ran to my hallway and the water reached my landing, my brother and sister started crying and my mother is worrying. I suggest we play cards to keep from being gloomy. We all got tired and fell asleep to see the aftermath in the morning.
The day after, I open my door to a horrible fish stench. I go downstairs and my hallway is full of mud, tree branches and garbage. I go further outside to walk towards the boardwalk. I see cars on top of cars, Channel 1 News, police, fire fighters, and buses going to shelters. The boardwalk was smashed into someone’s house and so many pieces of it in the street, homes caved in, mud and dirt everywhere it was a ghost town. Far Rockaway was officially at it’s worse.
No Street lights so criminals came out at night. Those that lost things or never had anything took it upon themselves to steal from their own community. Red Cross and the National Guard came to the rescue. Food, pampers, clothes given to those in need, covers and blankets for those with no heat. The sad faces of my neighbors, family and friends while trailing through dirt to see the outcome of Sandy made my stomach turn and suddenly sadness took over me and I started to cry.
Throughout this whole experience I take nothing for granted, Hurricane Sandy definitely open my eyes to fear and sadness, but I also realize the place I grew up in has played a special part in my heart I never knew it did. Having this happen to me made me a more stronger and positive person in so many ways for my family and myself. I learn how to pick myself up and move forward, it wasn’t easy but me, my family and my community did so by coming together to rebuild our community back.