Saturday, November 10, 2012

Red Hook's Very, Very Slow Recovery After Superstorm Sandy

School buses drying out in a parking lot.
Breeze Demolition on Bay Street had to do some demo on their own building.
Old trash and new sheetrock at Breeze Demo
The Sol Goldman recreation center sustained lots of damage
It is currently closed and the NYC Parks Department won't be able to use it for a long time, if it can be re-opened at all.
The foundation of the building was undermined ...
and water rushed right in.
National Grid hard at work to restore service
Just one of many cars destroyed by the storm surge.
Flooded art space on Van Brunt Street.
Fairway working hard to repair damage to the store. Apparently, when it reopens in a few weeks, it will have a bigger restaurant and tasting areas.
A group of volunteers heading to the meeting place
Billy Durney surveying the damage to his soon-to-open  Southern barbecue place "Hometown" at 454 Van Brunt Street.  If everything goes well, the eatery will still be ready for its opening in Spring 2013.
While the building is slowly drying out,  one can still see the water mark on the walls.
The big grill is one of the only things he was able to save.  Over the last twelve days, people have been donating over a 1000 pounds of meat that he has been barbecuing non-stop to feed local residents, volunteers and utility workers.
Brisket slowly cooking on the barbecue.
Folks at Brooklyn Ice House not defeated by Sandy.
Red Hook Lobster on Van Brunt Street was hit hard.
But the Red Hook Lobster folks are working long hours so that they can re-open soon.
Flooded business on Van Brunt Street
Just one of many flooded basements in Red Hook
George Fiala of the Red Hook Star Revue distributing the latest edition of his newspaper to local residents.
Flooding inside a friend's Red Hook home.
Refrigerator, oven, washing machine and all other appliances have to be tossed out.
A volunteer tossing garbage into a dumpster
Long lines wrap around Visitation Of The Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic church.  Local residents still need food, dry clothes and batteries.  Some still don't have power.
National Guard looking on
Brad Lander with local residents and  veterans who have found temporary housing at 165-167 West 9th Street because their shelter was rendered uninhabitable during Hurricane Sandy.
The group was going to walk over to Red Hook to volunteer.

It's been twelve days since Hurricane Sandy brought much misery to Red Hook.  The storm flooded most of the neighborhood and left homeowners, renters and business owners with massive destruction.
Slowly, they have begun the hard work of drying out and rebuilding their life, though life in the neighborhood is still very tough.
It would be fair to say that rebuilding will a slow process, but Red Hook residents are determined.
They still can use all the help that they can get, so please continue donating.
From what I saw, rubber gloves, masks, bleach, and garbage bags will be greatly appreciated.
So will words of encouragement and most importantly, a heaping hand.


Lisanne said...

Nice post Katia - With the long weekend I hope that people might spend some time, even a couple hours on one of the days off to help somewhere. Help is needed EVERYWHERE. I can't make up my mind where to go tomorrow - Red Hook or Coney.

Katia said...

Wherever you go, make sure that you bring your own rubber gloves and masks. Though there were many volunteers on the street of Red Hook, many were just walking around in groups. They had clip boards and were asking homeowners and business owners what they needed.
Yes, that's helpful, but truly a waste of man power.
What most homeowners really needed was help ripping out soaked sheetrock, appliances and bringing out wet furniture.

Many volunteers clearly were not dressed for that.

Glenn and I ended up going to Mazzone's on Court Street where we bought some gloves, face masks and rags and brought them back to Red Hook.

Anonymous said...

Hey Katia,

Is there a particular place where we can bring bleach, gloves, masks, and bags? I'll send another truck down there today if someone can let me know where to go ASAP.

Did those red coated gloves that you got yesterday work OK? Feel free to call me or email me - i'll be in around 9 today and can send a truck right over.

THank you!
Matt Mazzone

Katia said...

Hi Matt,
Thanks so much for all that you and your store have done to help Red Hook.
Glenn dropped off the gloves and masks at our friend house. ( I posted some of the photos of his place on this post).
I am sure they came in handy since he was ripping out everything on his ground floor.

As I mentioned, I saw so many young people streaming into Red Hook yesterday, ready to help, but they certainly did not have waterproof shoes (the basements still have some standing water) nor gloves or masks.
(See the photo of the young woman throwing garbage in the dumpster)
Without those, one can really not help with the heavy-duty clean-up .
I think the best place to drop them off is still the Red Hook Initiative. They seem to still be leading the volunteer effort.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the shelter has come in handy. Good to see it being used. Clearly, going forward, we need more shelters and good staff at the shelters, also.