Desperation builds on Rockaways (Continuing Live Blog)

TimesLedger Newspapers
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Photo gallery

A police car drives down Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Photo by Christina Santucci
Volunteers from Occupy Wall Street dish out food by flashlight. Photo by Christina Santucci
Men walk across Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Photo by Christina Santucci
A fire tore through several blocks of stores on Beach 114th Street in Rockaway. Photo by Christina Santucci
Charmaine Felix stands outside her home on Beach 46th Street. Residents said a sewer pipe broke through the ground and flooded the streets. Photo by Christina Santucci
Ronald Adams shows the cracked concrete basement of his home in Rockaway. Photo by Christina Santucci
Matteel Welcome, 11, jumps over a puddle near Beach 46th Street. Photo by Christina Santucci
The boardwalk at Beach 36th Street is split in half. Photo by Christina Santucci
Eric Curtis shovels debris from a garage on Beach 32nd Street. Photo by Christina Santucci
A box of cleaning supplies was empty at a makeshift drive on Seagirt Boulevard. Photo by Christina Santucci
Michael Haywood surveys the contents of his flooded home. Photo by Christina Santucci
A walk signal hangs precariously from a poll on Seagirt Boulevard. Photo by Christina Santucci
A stereo lies in the street, which is covered in sand, at Beach 35th Street. Photo by Christina Santucci
A car is filled with debris on Beach 32nd Street. Photo by Christina Santucci
New York Cares volunteers hand over supplies to members of the National Guard. Photo by Christina Santucci
Sand is piled up in front of a Queens Library branch in Rockaway. Photo by Christina Santucci
A flag hangs outside homes in Rockaway. Photo by Christina Santucci
Ramon Hernandez waits for his phone to charge outside the Hammels Houses. Photo by Christina Santucci
A fire tore through several blocks of stores on Beach 114th Street in Rockaway. Photo by Christina Santucci
Predator the cat roams around Beach 32nd Street. Photo by Christina Santucci

As Rockaway residents struggled to clean their homes and belongings, find food and stay warm, frustration continued to mount Sunday during the sixth day the area was without power with no end in sight.

“I haven’t cried yet, but that’s coming, trust me. I’m still in shock right now,” said Michael Haywood, a career services director who lives in Far Rockaway, as he stood in the doorway of his flooded house on Seagirt Boulevard near Beach 27th Street.

Outside a makeshift clothing drive had been set up along the curb, and fellow Rockaway residents picked through coats, shoes, jeans and T-shirts. By 4 p.m., a box marked “Cleaning Supplies” had already been emptied.

Nearby on Beach 32nd Street, tenant Eric Curtis shoveled debris out of a garage as his landlord and a fellow tenant worked to pump water from several basements. Curtis said he and his girlfriend had been floating on top of an air mattress in his first-floor apartment when his neighbor and another man pushed open the front door to rescue them.

He said Far Rockaway needed more help.

“If it wasn’t for the homeowners and the people who live down here, this place would be worse than what it is now,” Curtis said. “We need some lights, we need some people to come up here and pick up this rubbish.”

Farther down on Beach 36th Street, Filipp and Nadia Maximenko navigated along the broken boardwalk to photograph where the famed walkway split in half. Streets near the beach were covered in a thick layer of sand and fire hydrants were half buried.

Near Beach 46th Street, Charmaine Felix and Ronald Adams bagged loads of garbage and pointed out a huge crack in the concrete of their flooded basement. Felix, who owns a computer shop near Beach 114th Street which burned down during Sandy, said she now sleeps under two duvets to stay warm.

Nearly every street was lined with piles of furniture, mattresses and other wrecked items in Rockaway. Several residents mentioned a 6 p.m. curfew in the area, with one man saying, “You don’t want to be around here after that anyway.”

On Beach 84th Street, outside the Hammel Houses, volunteers from New York Cares unloaded a truck of water and food brought in by the National Guard as Rockaway residents waited in line to charge their phones and other electronics.

And near Beach 114th Street – where several blocks of businesses were severely damaged by fire - volunteers from the Occupy Wall Street movement handed out platefuls of rice, vegetables and meat by flashlight as the sun set.

By 5:45 p.m., the area was plunged into darkness, punctuated by pockets of bright light from NYPD light towers. Residents and volunteers used flashlights and lights fitted to head wear to illuminate their paths through the blackened streets.

Haywood hoped to head into Midtown Manhattan for work Monday morning as a respite from his surroundings but was unsure how he would event get there.

“I feel so helpless. I’ve never felt like this a day in my life and I’m 55 years old,” he said. “And I understand there is another storm coming.”

Updated 5:01 pm, November 5, 2012
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

christina from astoria says:
thank you for this blog. i've been volunteering at a small church on beach 19 and cornaga ave in far rockaway. this community is in such dire need of assistance, of all kinds.

thankfully after a few days of helping to organize their relief efforts, i have duracell batteries delivering to 'my little church' and other churches in the area, hot food is finally arriving daily and the necessities are coming too. a baker in corona, spotlighted on a nightly news program has been delivering warm loaves of fresh baked bread.

we just may have gotten them on the map for regular delivery of supplies, but these people need more than that. they need to feel like they matter and shining prison lights down on them at dusk doesn't exactly do that!
Nov. 7, 2012, 9:22 pm
lOU from bAYSIDE says:
Had enough of Bloomberg Yet?
Nov. 8, 2012, 3:27 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!