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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Coming to grips with what was lost
Lawrence High School science teacher Alicia Dunn is frazzled but surviving
Courtesy Alicia Dunn
Hurricane Sandy’s damage forced Alicia Dunn and her family to throw out everything that was in their one-story Long Beach home.


Her job is to be organized. Daily lesson plans, exams throughout a marking period and knowing how her students are progressing were all part of Lawrence High School science teacher Alicia Dunn’s life for the past 30 years.
Then on Oct. 29, Hurricane Sandy knocked Dunn’s axis spinning as the so-called super storm damaged every room of her family’s one-story west end Long Beach house.
“Frazzled,” Dunn said, as she explained how she feels after 26 inches of water went through the home she has lived in for 15 years with her husband, 14-year-old son and two turtles, one dog and a bird. Dunn has loved in Long Beach for more than 30 years.
Now all that living is crammed into her in-laws’ home in Westchester. “The first high tide came in on Sunday,” Dunn said. “It came in on the dock at eight feet. My husband and I knew it was going to be a disaster. I teach marine biology and teach about hurricanes. The safest place to be is somewhere else watching it on TV.”
The science teacher in her observed the barometric pressure. “It was worse than the hurricane of ’38,” she said. “We didn’t want to lose vehicles, so we went to Westchester. We packed one week’s worth of clothing, important papers. We went Sunday afternoon, because we didn’t want to travel in the rain.”
Now a seven-mile commute to work is 40 miles. “It’s the Van Wyck, need I say more, and the Whitestone Bridge,” said Dunn, in explaining another reason she feels frazzled. “It’s starting your day with traffic; being tense.”

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