It was 8 years year ago that my wife and I escaped our Moonachie home chest high in water carrying our two beagles on our shoulders. The look of shock on the faces of our scared and frightened neighbors that escaped the most horrific natural disaster of my lifetime along with us will never be forgotten and forever etched in my memory. It was an event that nightmares are made of.
As we all stayed close waiting for help to arrive, many of us not knowing each other’s name and at most maybe recalling nodding good morning to one another as we rushed off to work in previous mornings, would now be forever connected by mother nature’s infinite fury . There was no need to say anything. It was apparent by everyone’s sad, almost expressionless faces that we may never have anything or any place to return to.
As it turned out many of my neighbors have never come back home, the damage to their humble homes too devastating and the destruction much too overwhelming for them to return. I still wonder where some of them went and if they are they okay, something I may never know.
Hurricane Sandy was our wake-up call, a slap in the head by Mother Nature and her stern reminder about who is really in charge. No Doppler radar , iPhone, laptop,video game, Apps or text message could protect us on that horrific night and today no Madison Avenue or political pundits nifty catch phrases will bring us back.
My neighbors need still feel the aftermath and hopefully this 8 year anniversary will bring them the peace they deserve. We will never really ever be stronger than any hurricane or super storm. We are human, but time will tell if we have become smarter or more resilient than we were before Sandy slapped us around and had us down for the count on this day in October.
We need to finally make the commitment to face climate change, build smarter and except the fact that nature has put us on notice, live with her in harmony or face the awful consequences.