Super Storm Sandy...One Year Later & Some Overdue Thank Yous

29 October 2013
It is hard to believe that it has been exactly a year since Super Storm Sandy hit.  We call it hurricane Sandy but technically, it was a super storm.

I would love to tell you that everything is back to normal but it isn't for everyone.  These photos were taken in the summer and fall.  Many families are still battling with insurance companies and some families are waiting on grants to raise their homes.  Devastation like this had not been seen on Long Island since 1938.

Here is are photo recaps of the damage from Super Storm Sandy on 10/29/12.

Before the Sandy even reached land.  It was high tide when the storm surge hit.

My brother gave me a ride in his "monster truck" to pick up supplies.  That is my little house in the background.   My house made it through the storm ok.  I was actually really lucky this time!  During Hurricane Irene, a tree limb fell into my house, broke two windows, my gutters, and my roof!  The gutter fell off again and is still in my backyard!  I will get to hiring someone one of these days. 

My parents and aunt and uncle live on the water in the neighboring town, West Babylon.  They were told to evacuate.  My parents and cousin, plus his two dogs, ended up staying with me.  I was so HAPPY to have them, I was so afraid to be alone incase another tree fell into my house.   My uncle and aunt both had to be at their jobs (town and hospital), so they also felt better knowing their dogs and son were with family.
Herb and Willie sleeping out the storm!

After the storm passed, we headed back to see how the houses on the water held up.  The flooding was still awful and cars could not go in or out of the development.  All of the cars left in the development were destroyed from water damage.  

My cousin found this waterski guy in the debris.  We have no idea where he came from!

My mom hitching a ride on a quad to her house. 

My parents and aunt and uncle were very lucky.  Their houses were not flooded.  They were built well above sea level.  The yards, sheds, and my parents' pool were all destroyed but it could have been worse.  Many of my friends in Lindenhurst were not so lucky.  My good friend's house was destroyed and he only was able to move back into it last month!  It still has a lot of work that needs to be done, but it is livable.   As, I mentioned before, some people are still not back in their homes.  My hairdresser who lives in Long Beach is still waiting to get her house lifted before they start the rebuild.   

I really did luck out.  The only damage I had was to my car.  Someone's roof shingle sandpapered the whole front window and hood.   It was a brand new car and it was frustrating but I knew it could have been way worse for me.  

School was closed for over a week.  Many of us teachers spent our time helping friends, family, and the community anyway we could.  It took a long time before things began to look normal.

My classroom aide had to shower at my house every morning before work for about a month.  Her basement was flooded and her electricity and hot water no longer worked.

I was really proud of the teachers at my school.  Once school started again, we had a week long dress down and donated $5 each day.  Gift certificates were purchased to help those at my school affected.
 Teachers gathered to donate and distribute supplies.
 Everything had to be thrown out from flooded homes.  The streets were flooded with seawater, oil from oil tanks, and sewage.   What was left was a disgusting sludge.

 The kids missed Halloween because of the flooding, down power lines, and the mess on the roads.  There was a curfew and the national guard was all over.  Looters were taking advantage of the situation.   Gas lines were crazy!  You did not want to drive anywhere.  Most people still did not have cable or power.  I think it was almost a week before I got power back and even longer before I got the internet back!
One of my former class parents came up with the idea of a "Trunk or Treating" event for the kids.  It was held the weekend after Sandy.  Volunteers parked their cars around the big park in town and kids walked around getting treats.  They were so happy to have a Halloween. 

Also at that park, donations were being collected and distributed to those affected.

During that week off from school, I created a Hurricane Unit for TpT with all proceeds going to Camp Bulldog.  This was set up quickly after the storm to provide warm food and supplies to those in need.  I was able to donate over $575 dollars!

My mother's school in Lindenhurst is near the water and many of the families at that school lost their homes and the contents.  The school I teach is further north and did not have the flooding that was seen further south.  My mom saw all the things being thrown out and thought of how all of their books would have to be thrown away, too.   She began asking for donations of books and then I offered to ask for help on my blog, in a post.   I also reached out to my editors at Scholastic and they were sooo generous.   The response was overwhelming!  We actually had to have two evenings with about 10 teachers including my mom, a teacher/member of camp bulldog, and myself to sort the books by grade level.  After we sorted, we bagged them for the students.

My mom was great about mailing out thank you notes.  I planned on doing a blog post and never got around to it!  So here are my long overdue thank yous!

Mr. Kim Adsit (for buying 15 additional licenses of my Hurricane unit!)

Heather Williams
Sylvan Dell Publishing

Danyalle Calone
 Coast to Coast Kinder

Ms. Ashley Mahne & 3rd Grade Students
Covington, LA 

Mary R. Dunn, M.A.
Libertyville, Illinois  

Wayne Johnson, Liza Charlesworth, and Deborah Schecter
New York, NY 

Susan Kaye Quinn, Author
Palatine, IL 

Francine Poppo Rich
Blue Marlin Publications
Bay Shore, NY 

Sheila A. Donovan, Poet
Chicago, IL 

Carole Estby Dagg, Author
Everett, WA 

Margo Dill, Author 
St. Louis, MO  

Peggy Archer
O”Fallon, MO  

Abigail Zollner 
Islip Terrace, NY  

Emily Inman 
Chicago, IL  

Dian Koziel and Family
Southborough, MA 

Ms. Joanna Russo and all at
East Quogue Elementary School
East Quogue, NY  

Beth Hopewell
All Saints Day School
Florence, South Carolina  

Judge Lozito
Lindenhurst, NY  

Mrs. G. Kienle
Lindenhurst, NY  

Chocachatti Elementary School
Brooksville, FL  34604

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  
Your generosity was and is greatly appreciated.  We received many kind notes from parents thanking us the bags full of books!

If I missed anyone, please leave a comment or message me on my fb fan page.  I will add your name. 


  1. I think it's great you still gave the kids an opportunity to trick-or-treat! Those are the thing you never think about!

  2. Hard to believe it's been a year. So awful but it's awesome people like you that make it a little easier for everyone affected.


  3. Hurricane Katrina survivor here...believe me when I say I can empathize! My house got 5 feet of water in that storm, but miraculously (and I do mean that literally), my late grandmother's house emerged without any significant damage, and we were able to move in immediately. Same city and everything, which meant not having to move to a different high school for me. We were out of school for 5 weeks, and when we finally came back, we had to stay an hour later each day to make up for some of the lost time. It took years for things to finally feel "normal" again.

    It DOES get better, though. Be assured of that!! And part of what helps things get back to normal faster is the community's efforts, which, thanks to the good ol' World Wide Web, includes people who aren't in the physical region. You rock for organizing such a great book donation drive!

    Sarah Beth
    Miss White's Classroom

  4. Every end is a new beginning. What you all went through and survived is unimaginable. Glad you got your house in one piece, but maybe this is a sign to get yourselves some more fortifications. :)

    James @ Ohio Exteriors

  5. Hurricane Sandy and Irene were really destructive! It left thousands of casualties. Glad to hear that you weren't that much affected. Times like this makes you realize the importance of investing on quality roofing system. Anyway, I admire your generosity! It was a great move to initiate helping others in need.

    -Tameka Lauricella @ IntegrityWE

  6. Acts of nature can truly be devastating, but it's great to hear that you weren't affected that much. As Tameka said, having a good roofing system will greatly benefit you and your household. And it's so good of you to extend a helping hand to those in need. Kudos to you!
    Joann Winton @ AJCRoofing


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