Sunday, November 11, 2012

Rebuild Staten Island

The Tri state area was hit hard by Sandy. I didnt see much evidence in downtown Brooklyn, but half of Manhattan lost power for a week. Even worse, areas near coast in south Brooklyn (sheepshead bay, the rockaways), Long Island and Staten Island were devastated.

Yesterday, me and two of my friends wanted to go down to the south beach area of Staten Island to see if we can help in any way. Its a quick trip on our bikes, over the Brooklyn bridge, down to the southern tip of Manhattan to catch the 9am ferry, and then a 6 mile ride to the affected area.

Kudos to Brian Heal who is organising one of the many grass roots efforts in Staten Island. His facebook page is helping to coalesce locals in the area. When we got there at 10am we could already see up to 30 people organising clothes, food and cleaning supplies.

We were initially sent off on our bikes to see if an area a mile away required any help. For the most part they had been affected but a local church group and the red cross were already present and nothing seemed critical. We went back to Brian to be re-deployed.

He sent us to Liberty Street were a lot of demo (demolition) work was going on. We helped out with a family whose house had been lifted off its foundations and their work garage needed emptying/salvaging.

The garage was stacked full of tools, building materials and two motorcycles. All of which is likely to be damaged beyond repair by the corroding salt waters. The water level here was almost at the ceiling - at least 8 foot high. These buildings were at least 400 foot from the sea shore.

The houses in this area remain without power and hot water due to the extent of the damage. There is likely to be a lot of demolition and rebuilding, but we saw that a lot of residents wanted to sell up and move away.

Piles of garbage removed from the shed and house.

A bike parking area on the beach buried by the storm surge