Two days after Hurricane Sandy barreled through the area, walking down West Boulevard in Bay Park was truly like walking in a war zone. Some residents were putting almost everything they owned on the curb; others just sat stunned and shell-shocked, having just had months worth of recent repairs completed from damage that was caused by Tropical Storm Irene. Some were on the phone with their insurance companies while others marveled at the watermarks that came halfway up their houses, and then receded again, leaving the possessions in rubble. And the story is the same in most parts of Bay Park and around East Rockaway.
“The waste is under our houses and we don’t know what to do with it,” said neighbors Kathy Schwarting and Kathleen Evelly, who both were displaced since Tropical Storm Irene and have only been back in their homes since this spring, having had their homes rebuilt. The watermark from the storm was 42 inches high on the Schwarting home.
“Everyone had about the same,” said Schwarting. “We were just told to stay away from the brown water. I need to know what to do to clean this stuff up. We’re pumping and it’s going down the storm drain. They keep directing us to the fire department, but I don’t know what they can do.” Kathy’s husband, Bruce is the secretary for the Rockville Centre Fire Department.
On Rhame Avenue near Alice Court, the Bertini family and some friends pumped water out of their basement for two days, only to have it swell back up. They had about seven feet of water during the storm,” said Stephanie Bertini.”We’re doing the best we can. There’s nothing else we can do.”