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Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Someone else’s storm
Chris Connolly
This is the head I mistook for a nightmare Howdy Doody. It made such an impression that I went out searching the wetlands to find it and figure out what it was.

Part two in a series on how South Shore residents are coping in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

    I stayed home for Sandy. I wasn’t motivated by any heroic delusions about saving the house or battling the flood. I just thought it would be cool to hunker down and experience the Storm of the Century firsthand.

    I’ve been a journalist for 15 years, and adventure has always been my favorite subject. I’ve surfed in shark-infested waters, safaried with wild lions, flown stunt planes and sailed to Antarctica during a typhoon. Braving the fiercest things nature has to offer was my thing for a lot of my life, and I thought adding Storm Chaser to my resume was a natural fit. That is a mistake I won’t make again.

    I think the main thing that set Sandy apart from all my other adventures was that she hit home — my home. I once covered the Iditarod dog sled race, and was out on the trail, shooting pictures in neck-deep snow, where it was so cold that the moisture in my eyes kept freezing. Loved it! To me, that felt like an adventure. I was far from home, in an inaccessible place, doing things most people only read about. It was the coolest, not to mention the coldest.

    Sandy, in her way, was just as wild, but she came to my doorstep. Then she spilled over my doorstep and into my house. That’s an experience I never want to replicate. It’s thrilling to marvel at nature’s power when it’s tearing up a remote village. It’s quite a different feeling when it’s your charcoal grill sailing down the street at greater than highway speeds.

    The boxer Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth,” and that’s a nice recap of my bout with Sandy. I live in Point Lookout, the very eastern tip of Long Beach, and our mandatory evacuation orders came early and often. I could tell Sandy wasn’t going to blow over the way some storms have, so I shipped my wife and my little ones inland and geared up.


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I have visited Point Lookout since I was 15 months old.  My dad spent his summers at my Grandma Ledwith's and Aunt Kit's place since the 1930's. The home is still in the Staudt family. Such loving warm memories of family the ocean and wonderful meals together.  Your account refreshed my vision that  this precious home may be now " Floating Memory".  Though all was fine at the high end of town closer to the church, your experience was felt by so many of my cousins there. 

I hope you recover sooner than later and have support of family and friends. Is there someone in particular there that can use some hands on help? Let me know.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 | Report this

I read this story and it is a incredible way to describe the feeling. I live in Island Park, I also stayed behind thinking to myself well I would rather be here to do all I can to save my belongnings atleast the irreplaceable items. I have never experienced anyhting like this in my life have always seen it on television and it hurts to watch the devastation that others have went through not knowing exactly how they felt until now. It is the most humbleing life altering experience that anyone can go through. Ypu are completely rendered powerless when nature unleashes her fury.

For us we flooded that morning before about 3 feet in the streets, it went back down at low tide, however that evening the lights flickered on and off around 6:45 pm and then were out completely at 6:50 at that moment we grab some last minute items and put them up as high as possible and then the water started rushing in from all corners of the house within 10 minutes the water was up to my knees. My son started crying saying omg we are in trouble. I never feared for my life however my mind started racing " what to do next ? how high is it going to get? where will I lve? " questions that I could not answer. I had 5 feet of water in my house I watched from the 2nd floor as my shoes, my clothes, furniture etc just flowed throught he house in water. The next morning we woke to no more water in the house or streets, and began to clean up the remnants of my life and Sandy. It took 10 days to clean up and with no power for 6 weeks and the loss of my car it was difficlut to complete things once it got dark out. I still to this day do not have heat in my house other than electric baseboards heaters, and the work is not done as far as rebuilding.

Thank You for your incredible story

Friday, April 12, 2013 | Report this
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