Recently I had the privilege to participate in the disaster relief effort in New Jersey and witness first hand the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. A good sized contingent from our church traveled up to East Brunswick, New Jersey and the Union Beach neighborhood. To the North we could see the Manhattan skyline. Looking South to these neighborhoods what we saw was simply overwhelming. Words cannot describe the staggering losses people have suffered. We worked to clear debris and remove drywall in homes damaged by the seawater surge. In some areas water was close to 6 feet above street level. Mold is a big problem, so we removed carpet and opened walls to allow the drying process to start. We saw lots homes that were damaged that had not even been helped yet. So many will be condemned due to mold and rot if they are not rescued soon.
It was heartwarming to speak to residents who were so appreciative of our help. I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it is for them to carry on. Homes and business have been lost, and they couldn't have been more kind and gracious to us. Tragedy often brings out the very best in people. That spirit was certainly on display in Union Beach.
Here are some photos that give some sense of the damage.
|Waiting for our assignments with the Manhattan Skyline on the horizon .|
|Islamic Relief USA was there as well.|
My camera reversed the lettering on his sweater!
They said they were the Smurfs, and we were the Bees.
|Tearing it up!|
|All that's left|
|Only the foundation and the rubble remain|
|High water mark is over my head!|