I just came back from Water Street in Lower Manhattan. I went to see firsthand the progression of the recovery in that area after it was hit by hurricane Sandy almost 3 weeks ago.
As I walked closer to the area, I began to see trailer trucks parked in the streets that said “Recovery Team”. They are here to help clean-up and restore all the damage in the area. I saw workers of the team removing water-soaked deteriorating pillars, pumping leftover water from basements and identifying problems on exposed pipelines on the ground.
After seeing so many of these recovery teams, they reminded me of the dark sky I saw just before the storm, the urgent announcements of evacuation for residents in coastal areas, the continuous news that I had been following almost every minute during and after the storm. Also, reports of hospitals and nursing homes desperately evacuating their patient. The aftermath was even more devastating. Trees and electrical poles fallen onto homes, yards, and cars. Many homes near the water area were swept away by the tides, many more soaked in water and sewage and not suitable to live in anymore. The annual New York marathon has to be cancelled after disputes with outraged residents demanding help.
Almost 3 weeks has passed. Even though most area is getting back power, with more trains and subways are back on schedule, the city is still experiencing disorganization with gasoline rational on odd-even days. The hardest hit areas are still shortage of amenities, food supplies, power and heat.
I am grateful that my own family is doing fine while many residents of the worst hit areas are still devastating with the aftermath. I hope those who lost their homes and families will get as much help as possible so that they will be able to get back to their normal lives – as normal as can be.