By Maddy Albert
Hurricane Sandy, which hit on October 29, impacted all on the east coast but some more than others. In Briarcliff, this storm affected us more than past hurricanes. School was canceled for a full week, and two-thirds of the town was powerless for much of that time. Although Briarcliff may have felt the burden of a lack of electricity and loss of trees, it should be acknowledged how relatively unscathed the town emerged from the storm, especially when compared to surrounding areas that were so harshly impacted.
According to the Long Island Press, Sandy was “estimated to rank [the] second costliest [superstorm] to Katrina.” As Sandy is being compared to a storm of such magnitude as Katrina, it is clear that Sandy was extremely destructive. It will cost the government $63 billion in economic loss and damage. On a lesser scale, this tragic storm caused many power outages around the tri-state area. In Connecticut, there were an estimated 65,000 power outages, New York, an estimated 2.2 million, and New Jersey, an estimated 2.7 million.
Long Island was hit hard by Sandy. It is believed that around 100,000 homes were damaged, leading to a ninety percent capacity in hotels compared to the average fifty-eight. In Massapequa, my grandparents were deeply affected. The day after the storm hit, flooding up to their porch trapped them in their house. Their basement flooded four feet high with water, destroying all of the precious photographs and mementos kept there. Both of their cars died as a result of the salt water flooding. My family drove a rental car to them until the water was drained out, and their power was restored two weeks later.
Clearly, in comparison with people in other areas, those that experienced a few days without power should consider themselves to be quite lucky. We should all be grateful to be safe and warm in our homes. Furthermore, we should help those still suffering from this disaster. From the Songs For Sandy benefit concert to the Todd Volleyball tournament to the BHS walk, Briarcliff has already begun events to help these victims. People can make a difference by participating in these events, doing research on other walks or fundraisers, or even starting one themselves. Tragedies like Sandy bring out a caring sense of community when we realize how blessed we are compared to those around us and begin to help others regain what they have lost.