It’s hard to believe, but it has been a year since Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast. Sandy had a dramatic impact on many of our lives. The storm was much more severe than originally expected. When we left school on Friday, October 26th, no one knew that we wouldn’t be returning for another two weeks.
Hurricane Sandy hit on Monday, October 29, 2013. The super storm came quickly and forcefully. The post storm scene was one of disbelief. There was debris all over the place. Many houses were flooded, damaged, and destroyed. Some houses and cars even caught on fire. In addition to the damage of homes and cars, many lost their material possessions. There was no power, heat, or running water. Thankfully, help was quick to come to Long Beach. FEMA set up at the Long Beach Recreational Center to aid those who were severely devastated by the storm. The US Army was present for protection. Volunteers from towns across Long Island, New York, and beyond came to Long Beach to give time, energy, and needed material goods to those in need. Companies were also willing to donate needed supplies to the schools, community organizations, and local businesses.
For a long time, things were far from “normal” for many people, but we were resilient. The commute to school was a challenge for many, as students were now taking busses from towns outside of Long Beach to get to school. The middle school students and faculty were welcomed into the shared space of the high school, and there were new faces the hallways. When we were finally able to return back to school, we realized just how much the storm affected the lives of our friends and community. We were thankful for being together once again in school. Gradually, our lives began to return to normal.
When we came back to school, it was playoff season for many of our high school athletic teams. Instead of foregoing the payoffs despite our situation, the teams met and decided to play. Teams wanted to demonstrate we were still strong. We had been hurt by Sandy, but not beaten, and we would now have to fight back in the effort to rebuild.
A year later, we in Long Beach, have a lot to be proud of. We survived Sandy and continue to move forward. One of the most devastating hurricane caused destruction of our boardwalk. The boardwalk, which would’ve celebrated its 100th anniversary this upcoming summer. We now have a new boardwalk that all in Long Beach can once again enjoy. Many of the stores have reopened since then, and construction of new homes is underway. Despite the fact that we are still working to complete construction on homes and businesses, the Long Beach community has come together to rebuilt post Sandy.