Remembering Hurricane Sandy 2012

NASA satellite photo of Hurricane Sandy at 1:45 p.m. ET, 575 miles south of New York City, on October 28, 2012.

I remember seeing the storm tracker predictive images on the news, days before the storm came up the east coast. So many predictive lines converging in a definite path, striking the Tri State during high tide. My home, on Seagirt Blvd in FarRockaway, NY within a half mile of the beach was certain to get at least 4 feet of water, as nearly all homes within the low lying ‘A’ area did.

I moved everything off the first floor and drove both our cars to high ground (with little to no trees around) and prepared for what was coming. On October 29th, at 11pm, about 4 feet of water was crashing up against the side of our home. When I went downstairs and into our single car garage to survey the damage, not a single drop of water came in our home. I was astounded! The next morning I was shocked to find a huge boat grounded between our house and the neighboring home.

I believe the Jewish communities of the surrounding areas lost at least a dozen Sifre Torah, still sitting in the Aron Hakodesh within the flooded shuls.

Torah scroll parchments unrolled to dry

Most people didn’t take Sandy seriously because the previous year’s storm, Irene, which was touted as a potential monster and still fresh in the minds of many, wasn’t all that different than an average rainy day.

The day after looked other worldly. A friend that lived not far from me, but closer to the ocean, his apartment filled floor to ceiling with sea water and fish and debris. People lost everything they had. A few days after the storm passed, I walked up to a person on the next block over that was crying and asked what was wrong, she responded that her entire livelihood, the family business was on the ground floor of her house…and that everything was destroyed and nobody saw this coming.

The oceanfront of The Rockaways was almost completely demolished by the Hurricane

I told Marci, I wish I would have been that crazy guy with a loud speaker going around warning people to prepare and to take this storm seriously days ahead of time. I didn’t, of course, because I didn’t want to be “that guy”.

I have that same feeling now.

So, even though I have been ardently against all the fear mongering and doomsday predictions since this pandemic started, and certainly because I am involved in building a network to catch a wave of potential Olim, I am, nevertheless, going to say something…

Start to prepare today for even the most far fetched circumstances of tomorrow.

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