Sunday, November 18, 2012

What recovery looks house at a time

So far I've managed to be a positive force for change around here.  The Jersey shoreline has been all but destroyed in many areas, and there are many locations where the state police are doing their best to keep gawkers and "disaster tourists" out.  The cops are pretty good at letting volunteers in, and in Sea Bright, NJ, I witnessed such an outpouring of kindness and help on all levels.

"All levels" range from cleaning out destroyed and/or condemned homes, to people cooking meals for the volunteers.  I saw helicopters flying low over the disaster area and folks stopping to cheer for the military, to firefighters flipping burgers, average Joes manning food and clothing stations, to FEMA folks going around trying to help as many people as possible.

In Port Monmouth, I saw strangers come together to clear out a condemned home under whose roof resided two kind older women who cared for special need children.

Of course there are those who are angry they've been inconvenienced by minor things.  We ran into a woman driving a Porche who wanted us to to up to a huge dump truck and bucket loader to ask them to move so she could drive through.  "I have perishable food items in the car and can't wait 15 minutes for them to finish!"  We would not comply with her request as she seemed totally oblivious to the huge mess right in front of her.  How she could be so worried waiting 15 minutes when the entire belongings of a home full of love had just been lost was beyond me.

Today I met a homeowner who lost her entire first floor and her car that was parked in her garage.  The force of the water ripped off the door and deposited nearly three feet of sand around her car; it needed to be pulled out with a front end loader.

Here are some pictures I've taken in my volunteering travels...


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