Thursday, November 1, 2012

Guest Post from Breezy Point

For the last year I've been encouraging my friend and colleague, Mike, to write a blog about home restoration. He had bought a very run-down cottage in a beach community in Queens, Breezy Point and was totally restoring it. He worked on the foundation, the structure, the plumbing, put in a new electrical system and was just finishing the sheet rock when I went to visit two Sundays ago. The bathroom was just about finished and it was great, with white wainscotting, grey tiled floor and a cute sink and vanity with oak trim. I have become close to Mike's family and have found true friends. I was awed by Mike's work and could already visualize the backyard barbecues next summer. Eight days after my visit Hurricane Sandy arrived and devastation came to Breezy Point.

Mike sent a note out today and I asked if I could share it with all of you, who have been such steadfast supports to us in New York. He graciously agreed and I will also post several photos he took last night. They give a sense of the tremendous damage caused by the storm.

Mike writes:

Work is crazy. I can’t talk right now but it is comforting to know that I have such considerate and caring colleagues. These last few days have eerily remind me of 9/11.  It’s hard to believe the magnitude of this storm. I have been staying overnight at work since Sunday. Last night was the first time I could get to Breezy Point.  Very sad situation there.  It was a lovely little beach community where cars stop to let you cross the street and people you don’t know say hello to you.  It now looks like Hiroshima at the end of WWII.  In some spots, there are little signs that houses were once there.  Other houses are collapsed and others pulled from their foundations. Many homes that escaped an 11 foot tidal surge were later devoured by fire. 

The Little house that my son helped me restore still stands. The high water mark is almost as high as the top of my front door. The whole house filled with neck high water.  My decks and fences have been replaced by debris from some other poor neighbor’s home. I waded through 4 feet of water for at least the length of three city blocks to get to it.  The surge must have been tremendous.  Cars were tossed around like toys.  My refrigerator wound up in my living room.  The Kitchen Sink and cabinets came out and moved across the room. All the inside contents of the house are destroyed and strewn all about. Walls, flooring and wiring and even the kitchen has to be gutted.   Salvageable?  Maybe but there is much damage. 

Regardless, the shell of the house remains standing defiantly proud and the family is sad but well.    


Again, my thanks, blog buddies, for all of your support and prayers. 


Lorraine said...

wow... sending prayers, Mike!

Anonymous said...

My heart is so heavy for you, Mike. I appreciate you sharing with our dear Buttercup and us. Please know that you all remain in our prayers.

Theresa said...

My heart and prayers are with this family! I helped my Sister rebuild her home after a flood! Lots of work but so rewarding! May God give them strength to salvage what they can and look to a brighter day in their sweet beach community! BIG HUGS and continued prayers! (thank you Mike for sharing your heart with us)

Melinda said...

Sorry to hear that your friend's house is in shamble's.
Prayers and blessings are being went to him!

M :)

Barbara F. said...

We will get through this. Sending good strong positive energy to Mike and his family. And extra prayers. xo

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Sad sad state of affairs there. So much devastation it just breaks my heart. I will continue praying for all as they try to recover. Your friend was generous in sharing is story and so are you.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Prayers are being sent for Mike and the too many others in the same situation.

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Up all night again worrying about all of you and wishing that I could be there to help you guys.
Mike thank you for sharing your story with us through our sweet friend Buttercup.
Just tonight I had said a prayer for her wondering if she were okay and then after not sleeping I go to my site and she had taken the time to leave me a sweet comment.
Lifting up all of you in prayer.
We do care about what your going through and want so much to help.

Becky K. said...

So heartbreaking. I'm glad you shared the back story. It reminds me of the time when I was a child, that our church had built an addition. The congregation had done much of the work themselves but a heating contractor that last week made a mistake. We were to begin using it the following Sunday when it burned. The heartache, the mess, but the resilience is something quite amazing to behold.
I'm keeping your friends in my prayers. May they have peace in the midst of this terrible storm.

Maggid said...

Thank you for sharing this - Thank you for telling us all what it's like -

Is there anything i can do?

Sending you LOVE -

Susie said...

please tell Mike we are praying for him and his community, all in the damaged areas. It breaks my heart, he said it was like reliving 9/11. Be strong..this will take a long time to recover back to normal life. xoxo, Susie

Teacherfish said...

Would love to get together. One of the silver linings of this mess is spending time with neighbors. The family next door took me out for dim sum so we could try that place if you like.
Squished in like a sardine to the F train today so I could use my sister's heat and electricity. We are awaiting news of friends' Fire Island homes. It is going to be a busy summer next year.

Nellie said...

So sad to read.:( Sending my best to you, Mike.