Student Perspectives: Enduring the daunting damage of Sandy

If you asked someone who is not from Staten Island to name the five boroughs of New York, Staten Island is usually either the last one mentioned or is just simply forgotten. So when the media was tracking Hurricane Sandy in New York, usually counties like Brooklyn or Manhattan were their main focus. Unfortunately, that’s not where most of the damage in New York occurred.
Just like New Jersey, Staten Island was devastated by the impacts of the hurricane. Every person faced loss in one way or another. Some houses were damaged or lost altogether and sadly, some people lost their lives. In fact, out of all the fatalities in New York, half were in Staten Island. Yet, the relief and rescue service for the victims of Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island was very poor. There was more focus on cleaning up and fixing the other boroughs before Staten Island was even thought about. In fact, just like in New Jersey, there are people in Staten Island who are still without power.
However, this experience has brought the people of Staten Island together both in anger and sympathy. Anger because of the slow help Staten Island is getting — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg seemed to care more about powering up Manhattan with huge generators for the eventually canceled New York City Marathon than caring for the people suffering on Staten Island. Yet Staten Island is coming together, as people are proudly there for each other and looking out for one another with borough pride.
-Tom Albano
Freshman journalism major

Trees and power lines were down, houses and cars were destroyed, but I think the worst of the damage was to our beaches. I was at my home in Long Island, N.Y. when Sandy hit. Many of the island’s beautiful beaches and parks were completely demolished. New York’s famous Jones Beach Amphitheater was damaged and underwater. Nearby, the Ocean Parkway — a main highway running between the ocean and the bay — was torn into pieces. The ocean and bay converged in the middle for the first time since the 1930s. This time of chaos truly makes history and it has changed our lives forever. It will be interesting to see how areas continue to take strides toward fixing everything.
At a time of such crisis and need, it boggles my mind to see how selfish and desperate some people have become. A need for gas turned into a battlefield of chaotic East coasters. To me, the materialistic need for generators and unnecessary objects is mind-blowing. There are people out there who really need electricity to live. Using a generator without the necessity is like taking life away from those people. Preceding the horrors of Hurricane Sandy, expectations were that we’d come together as one coast. To everyone’s dismay, it turned out to be the exact opposite.
-Cristiana Votta
Freshman journalism major

Hurricane Sandy impacted many people throughout New Jersey, but more specifically, the residents of the Jersey Shore. I am from the town of Toms River, which is less than a mile away from the barrier island Seaside Heights. After Sandy flooded and ravaged Seaside Heights, the area continued to be destroyed by gas fires. Most of the boardwalk no longer exists, rides are amidst ocean waters and houses are left in shambles.
For those who live close to Seaside Heights, the destruction is a tragedy. It’s a place that has created wonderful childhood memories on the lively boardwalk and memorable moments with friends and families on its beaches. Its close proximity to this fun-filled and scenic attraction has made it a large part of our lives. It is consistently visited throughout the summer and winter by New Jerseyans as well as tourists. It is not only a loss of an attraction but also a loss of our past, present and future.
During the past week, my hometown tried to give as much relief as possible to the citizens of Seaside Heights. Nearby high schools are now shelters for victims with no homes, electricity or running water. We also raised donations and collected food, water and clothing for displaced families. Our close connection to Seaside Heights and the families who live there is shown by our resolve to rebuild the shore and through a group that was created called Jersey Strong, which is selling shirts, magnets and other items for hurricane relief. Our hopes are to clean up the area and restore the lives of many as quickly and efficiently as possible.
-Samantha Crawford
Freshman journalism major

Before Sandy’s arrival, mandatory evacuations were made, windows were boarded up and people stocked up on essential supplies; however, nothing could prepare us for what would actually happen.
New Jersey has never experienced destruction of this magnitude before. Once the storm hit, my town lost power and experienced a lot of damage. However, it couldn’t even compare to the destruction the shore received. The worst that happened to my house was the loss of power for an entire week because of trees falling on the power lines.
Without electricity, my only real connection to what was going on around me was my cell phone and the radio. I was able to use Facebook to check with my loved ones and see pictures of all of the destruction my state had gotten from this monster storm. I honestly couldn’t believe what I saw.
-Danielle Gittleman
Sophomore journalism major

 

 

 

 

 

 

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