East Meadow reflects on Sandy

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People who opened their doors to welcome other families were among the positive stories that emerged from Hurricane Sandy. And residents like Michael Gordon volunteered to help. The 29-year-old, who lives on Falcon Street, spent the days after the storm collecting supplies and delivering them to Long Beach and the Rockaways, two of the hardest-hit areas. Gordon made roughly 40 trips to the two locations. To this day, he said, he still thinks about those who are still struggling. “People are still picking up the pieces of their lives,” he said. “Living in hotels and waiting for disaster relief money to reach them. Our way of living near the coast has forever been changed.”

For Stephanie Inger, the prevailing memory is of her children helping others after the storm. Her Andrea Road home was packed with more than 70 boxes of supplies gathered by Sydney, 13, Joshua, 10, and their friend Gia Buscemi, 10. The three kids donated 2,000 pounds’ worth of aid to Island Harvest and other relief organizations, and learned a valuable life lesson along the way. “They realized that people always need help,” Inger said. “It’s not just a storm thing, it’s all year round.”

The first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy means many things to many people. But one undeniable fact, McKevitt said, was the strength that local residents showed while braving the darkness, and helping others in need. “It showed a lot of resiliency on behalf of the people on Long Island,” he said. “But we never want to have that tested again.”

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