Hurricane Sandy – One Family’s Story of Devastation

NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite captured this visible image of Hurricane Sandy battering the U.S. East coast on Monday, October 29 at 9:10 a.m. EDT (13:10 UTC). Sandy’s center was about 310 miles south-southeast of New York City. Tropical Storm force winds are about 1,000 miles in diameter. Image Credit: NASA GOES Project

Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, sheer devastation has ripped through the Northeast.  The death toll, so far, is over 100, 2.5 million people are without power, lack of access to fuel has worsened the crisis, and people are desperate.  There are untold stories of suffering taking place, and Gini has written to us with an example of the sort of overwhelming loss many people are experiencing.

From the Kanavy family in Seaford, New York,

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your concern.  Yes, we took a hard hit.  In the 65 years I’ve lived here I have never nor could have ever imagined the magnitude of a storm such as this.  Every year we watch while the Media Circus has their day in the sun over dramatizing every storm and crying wolf. I knew this storm was big, but much more than I could have ever imagined. I had heard stories about the Hurricane of 1938.  This storm seemed to equal that. I sent the kids and Grandchildren away.  John and I decided to stay and prepare right up to the last minute. Tricia and John’s new bride, Jessica, also stayed to weather out the storm.

We had 18 hours of 60-90 MPH winds.  The incoming tidal surge came fast and furious.  Our feeble efforts to thwart the force of Mother Nature were meet with unimaginable force.  First John’s apartment flooded.  We sat together in the living room as the ocean size waves slammed into the house filling the down stairs.  Furniture racked back and forth with each wave surge, slamming beds, couches, and dressers through walls and ceilings and windows.

We evacuated the second floor for the third floor bedrooms when a 40 foot floating dock smashed through my sheds and into and through the downstairs playroom doors. Ocean waves washed in and up the stairs to our second floor kitchen and living room.  I looked out the bedroom window as 6-8 ft rollers smashed into the house driving floating docks into the house like a battering ram.  The house shook like it was coming apart.  We heard buzzing and the fire alarms went off as a fire started in the electrical circuit box. The fire was put out by the surge of the waves: we saw an electrical line jumping around with flames coming off the end flying around just outside the living room window.

At this point we realized there was nothing to do but wait for the storm to end.  The pounding stopped around 5AM at “Low Tide”, which was higher than a high tide.  The water started to come back in.  The stench of fuel oil was everywhere as everyone’s fuel tanks rolled over and leaked a sheen of oil over everything.

Long story short we all made it out alive.  We have pretty much lost everything.  My parents’ house took it just as hard. Both houses are unlivable and will be for some time if not forever.

So thank you for your concern. It means a lot at times like these.  We survived and life goes on.

The Kanavy Family

You can help the many people, like the Kanavy family, suffering with the wreckage of Hurricane Sandy, by donating to the Salvation Army here, Catholic Charities here, or Samaritan’s Purse here.


Thanks for sharing!