They couldn’t have planned it, and they would wish it all away if they could, but there has been a distinct silver lining to the clouds Hurricane Sandy brought to Baldwin — at least as far as Sanitary District Two is concerned. Bringing flooding, uprooting trees and ruining just about everything in its path, the superstorm created a sanitary emergency of the kind most people in Baldwin never imagined — and according to many of those residents, Sani2 passed this strenuous test with flying colors.
Finding boosters in the rubble
“We’re their army, man,” said Dan Wiener, 53, an energetic resident of Colony Drive in Baldwin Harbor. “We’d do anything for these guys.”
Wiener, like almost all of his neighbors, lost the bulk of his possessions and the lower floor of his house when Sandy’s surge swept through. His section of Colony Drive nestles in an elbow where Baldwin Bay feeds a small canal, so his home was flooded from the south and east simultaneously. He spoke to the Herald from the doorway of his home, where a crew of hired help and volunteers from the neighborhood were carrying out sopping wet detritus.
Wiener said that Sani2 not only came to his neighborhood “two or three times a day” to collect refuse, but district employees came into his home to lend a hand.
“When we came home, we found almost everything underwater,” he recounted. “We lost everything that we weren’t wearing. We started tearing out what we could, but it was just me, my wife and my 10-year-old son, Troy.”
Wiener said that he and Troy, a fifth-grader at the Meadow School, were struggling to get a waterlogged couch out the door when a group of Sani2 workers sprang off their truck and provided some muscle. “They stayed and helped us get the hard stuff out,” he said. “Couches and carpets. We couldn’t have done that alone.”