When Sandy hit I was scared. We sat in our apartment, watching television just waiting for everything to go dark. I was sure our windows would burst through and wanted to tape them up. We slept with a box of matches and candles next to our bed when we finally went to bed and tried to get some sleep. Throughout the night the gusts of wind rattled our windows and shook the doors in their hinges, but when we opened our eyes and looked around nothing had changed. The wind took down a large branch in front of our apartment and leaves and twigs were scattered along the sidewalk and street but things were fine.
We turned on our TV and still had cable and we watched the round the clock coverage on the news. A day went by and another and we finally decided it was safe to leave our house. We rode our bikes around our neighborhood and witnessed many downed trees,crushing cars and homes, the sidewalks completely disheveled from the power of the tree’s roots. We rode through the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood where it was business as usual-nannies pushing their charges in fancy strollers, people shopping. We rode our bikes over the Brooklyn Bridge into lower Manhattan and it hit me.
There is no power in lower Manhattan-no street lights and cops directing traffic. The sound of pumps working to get water out of basements filled the air, the smell of gas is also in the air. We rode down the the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel where the water reached 12 foot high, a mile long from Manhattan to Brooklyn. And today we spent a few hours sorting food donations, making salad, and schlepping boxes of supplies into trucks on their way to the devastated areas of Long Island, the Rockaways, and Coney Island with Occupy Sandy Relief.
NYC IMG Marathon is still on. This is, in my opinion, a terrible decision made by Mayor Bloomberg. They’re operating generators to help out the marathon, yet many people are and have been without power since Monday. Please sign this petition asking that the IMG Marathon be postponed.
UPDATE 5:11 NBC4 is reporting that the Marathon is cancelled. No word on new date of if it’s completely cancelled.
67 people have died in the tri-state area and millions are still going to bed in the dark and cold with expected lows at the freezing point tonight.
The pictures today are my own. If you’re in the NYC area and able to help please do. Here are ways and places looking for help.
It’s been four days since Hurricane Sandy blew through, and Brooklyn is starting to mobilize again. Restaurants are re-opening, the marathon is still on (for now) and the MTA is hobbling along, with full (though slow) bus service restored and almost every train running on modified service (not, the G train, of course, which remains suspended).
That being said, it’s obvious that even though we’re moving forward, things are nowhere near back to normal. And with the weekend coming up (or perhaps, with your giant seven-day weekend now extended to nine days), here are some ways to start plugging in to the community. We’ll be updating this all day, so send any tips to @Brokelyn on twitter or firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Folks looking to help out in Red Hook, one of the first neighborhoods to get hit by the flood, have a number of opportunities that only seem to only grow more plentiful by the day. Many of the efforts have been spearheaded by the Red Hook Initiative, an organization dedicated to empowering communities to create their own social change. Located at 767 Hicks St, RHI is currently good on volunteers but is still looking for donations of pre-prepared food (including food for children), candles, utensils such as spoons and bowls, jugs of water, flashlights, batteries, power strips, toiletries, paper towels, and paper for printing fliers. UPDATE: RHI can currently use toiletries, toothpaste, batteries, toilet paper, soft blankets (fleece, not wool) and clothes. They can be be brought to 610 Henry till 3 PM or directly to the Miccio Center located at 110 W 9th Street.
-Help unload supplies at RHI and the Park Slope Armory starting at 8am today (Friday). This is expected to be a massive, massive effort.
-The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition will be cleaning up on November 3rd & 4th starting at 10am. Extra hands are welcome, especially if those hands are holding portable generators, long extension cords, or work lights. As many people as possible are needed for this effort, RSVP and/or send questions to email@example.com.
-Red Hook Recovers is also organizing resources according to what individuals need, what they have to give, and when they can volunteer.
-For those who want to help provide sustenance but have limited cooking bilities, hands will be needed to distribute free packaged meals and drinking water today at Coffey Park at 85 Richards Street in Red Hook 7:30am-12:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday 9am-1pm. Bring your own bag to carry food and water.
-Donations collection again today (Friday) for Rockaways at Dekalb & Fort Greene Park 1-3pm. Warm clothes, canned goods, towels.
-The Meat Hook in Williamsburg is collecting supplies to serve hot meals to those stranded in the Rockaways, some of whom haven’t eaten in days. They’re also facilitating folks to sign up for FEMA relief. Stop by their store at 100 Frost Street to drop off items listed here.
-Union Pool is looking for musicians, artists, and generally creatively-minded people to help put together a benefit for those in the Rockaways. Contact them with ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
-It may not be possible to stress enough how much the Rockaways need resources. El Puente, a community initiative dedicated to the power of self-determination, will be collecting donations today and tomorrow at their CHE headquarters in Williamsburg. Drop food and supplies off on Friday 10am-5pm at 289 Grand St, and Saturday 9:30am-11am at 211 South 4th St. Bring non-perishable food, soap, shampoo, lotion, toothpaste/toothbrushes, diapers, formula, baby wipes, warm clothing for people of all ages, and cleaning supplies (shovels, garbage bags, gloves, etc). If you’d like to help sort and box the donations, email email@example.com. Help raise funds for the families of Rockaway Park.
-The Corcoran is hosting a drive for kids displaced in two of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in the city, Breezy Point and the Rockaways. Clothes, diapers, and food can be dropped off at 125 7th Ave. Donations for kids can also be dropped at Steve Levin’s Office at 410 Atlantic Ave.
-American Legion Post 1404 at 209 Cross Bay Blvd is running out of food VERY quickly, and neither FEMA nor the Red Cross have arrived. If anyone can bring water, pre-cooked, quick heat,etc. food PLEASE do. (No electricity or running water.) If you can help, please come. They also need extra hands to sort clothes.
-If you’ve got toiletries, socks, underwear or sweatshirts, you can drop them off at Good Co. (10 Hope Street, Williamsburg), Pour House (7901 3rd Ave, Bay Ridge), Mullanes, (S. Elliot & Lafayette, Fort Greene) and at 118 Freeman St. b/t Manhattan & Franklin, Greenpoint
The UJA shared the following volunteer opportunity on their website:
Volunteers needed today to help with clean up and debris removal from Seagate, this was one of the hardest hit areas and needs the most help.
a lot of man power to get back up and running. It is cold out so please dress warm and bring a flash light (there is no power). If possible please bring water to give out to the seniors.Drivers and cars with gas are also needed. We need help running errands and getting supplies. If you can bring your car please do so and help our seniors get access to food, water and medication.Please feel free to just show up anytime before 3pm and look for Dena. If you have questions you may call Dena at 917-592-2456. The service is spotty so please only call if absolutely necessary and leave a message.