Sandy Hits East Rockaway – My Home Town – Hard

The Class of 1963 has organized a ‘relief’ fund for the members of the class who were hardest hit and the leaders of our 50th  reunion ‘committee’ have graciously agreed to collect and disperse the money.

The Really LIttle Rascals

It’s a good bunch of people, my class of 1963.


I’m afraid to go back right now, but feel I must.  While growing up, my family lived in three homes.  I believe two are quite intact, but one I’m told had water up to or over the roof.


This was my father’s retirement home, which he dearly loved.  It was on the water, but inland on a tidal river, Mill River if memory serves, and no one here would ever think of flooding as a problem. My High School has extensive flood damage and will open in a couple of months.  It too was situate on Mill River.  And just across this Old Mill Stream sat my brother Bill’s home.  His home was higher so only his basement got wet.

My nephew Tom lost his home in Long Beach.

Another Johnson, nephew  Billy, operates a construction and landscaping business and he is of course very busy helping not only his dad (Bill) but many other folks on the Island (which is how Long Islander’s refer to Long Island, as in “out on the island”).  They were working 22 hours a day pumping out basements and making initial repairs. Bill has trucks and diesel-powered equipment but never ran out of fuel.  He sent each night a vehicle either west or north to locations where gas was plentiful and trucked it back to the Island.  His crews were able to work and his trucks continued to run.  Nice job.

My brother Gerry, a builder of magnificent Kauai, Hawaii homes, flew back for a few days to survey the damage and is evaluating a one year move to the Island.  He has experience with FEMA (remember Iniki?) and building and rebuilding homes, skills needed badly.

I’ve driven many times through the Battery and  the Lincoln Tunnels, and because I have a vivid imagination, had visions of flooding and me out-racing the surge.  I never once thought that these impossible day dreams would come true.  I feel badly for the man in NYC who stood at his post in a parking facility, protecting his charges, and paid dearly when the water filled the garage.  He was a New Yorker, Ghanaian by birth, a New Yorker by attitude.  Sandy will be around for a long, long time.

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3 Responses to “Sandy Hits East Rockaway – My Home Town – Hard”

  1. Ralph Says:

    Thanks Bob — very nicely written.

  2. Alan Brown Says:

    It is very hard to fathom the depth of loss and destruction this storm has caused. Losing your power for a few days is a minor inconvenience. Thanks for forwarding this Bob.

  3. Sandy Hits East Rockaway – My Home Town – Hard « Bob's Political Blog Says:

    […] Sandy Hits East Rockaway – My Home Town – Hard. […]

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