New York (Special to PNS) On the day after the night Hurricane Sandy arrived here as a rambunctious guest, New York City and much of the surrounding Tri-State area were still recovering from the shock while beginning to assess damage.
Initial reports indicate that at least five Presbyterian churches in Manhattan suffered moderate to heavy damage. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance National Response Teams are response teams are headed to the presbyteries of New York City, Long Island, Elizabeth, New Brunswick and Monmouth.
Middlesex (N.J.) Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth Presbtery – pastored by General Assembly Moderator Neal Presa – lost its roof .
The Stony Point Center just north of New York City – one of the PC(USA)’s national conference centers – is making space available for hurricane victims who need a place to stay.
Sandy didn’t just ring doorbells and run away; she yanked the doorbells off the houses. In too many cases, she also yanked houses off their foundations, leaving them strewn in the middle of highways, byways and waterways, especially along the Jersey Shore.
In other cases, she simply huffed and puffed and blew the house down.
Or she burned them down.
On Breezy Point in the borough of Queens near Kennedy Airport, dawn revealed the skeletons and foundations of 111 burned-out homes, described as the City’s “worst disaster for concentrated destruction.”
On the Jersy Shore, nearly a dozen fires erupted in the early-morning hours in Mantoloking. The iconic amusement park in Seaside Heights was more in the sea than on the heights. In Atlantic City, even if you passed “Go” and collected your 200 dollars, you’d have a tough time landing on the legendary Boardwalk as huge sections of it have been washed away.
President Obama toured the Shore Wednesday afternoon with Gov. Chris Christie. If the president didn’t see them first-hand from his flyover in Marine One, he was certainly briefed about all the trees and boats and cars and downed power lines.
If the Jersey Shore’s troubadour, Bruce Springsteen, hadn’t written “My City of Ruins” for 9/11, he would most certainly have a reason to do so now.
Jim Nedelka, is a frequent contributor to the Presbyterian New Service, works for a major broadcast news organization in New York. A Ruling Elder, he is a member of New York’s Jan Hus Presbyterian Church and Neighborhood House.