Reflecting on Sandy

When I woke up one year ago today, on Oct. 30, 2012, I was shocked at what I saw.

Hurricane Sandy had ravaged my home area [the Jersey Shore] the night before, causing us to live without power throughout the night.

When I woke up, my family and I walked to the beach to see the destruction of Sandy. What I saw was surreal. Sandy had washed away years of memories and replaced them with broken pieces of boardwalk and sand piled everywhere.

As I traveled town to town, it was a similar story: thousands of homes flooded, power lines down everywhere and first responders rescuing hundreds of people who were stranded in their homes.

What I saw post-Sandy was much more than the sum of the destruction, but became defined by the thousands of volunteers who came to our aid and the countless selfless acts between neighbors.

 

One year later, and the area I call home is essentially back to “normal” as the boardwalks were rebuilt and we were open for summer.  But, much still remains as thousands still remain displaced, with some still living with no time frame to move back home.

As I reflect on the year since Sandy, I realize how strong we were as a community and as a state. Amidst the destruction, we banded together to help strangers and friends alike, forged new friendships and helped create our new sense of normalcy.

Today is a day of reflection to remember what happened one year ago. But it is also a turning stone in our recovery, telling us to not forget the past, but also forward to the future.

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About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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