Take a ride through Gerritsen Beach Brooklyn – and you realize immediately this tight knit, blue-collar neighborhood is still struggling to recover from last fall’s direct hit by hurricane Sandy.
“It took a toll on us mentally and stuff. It took a toll. Believe me it did. All we did was cry every day. Everyday I walked in the streets and cried with my neighbors. Whoever I saw I hugged them and cried. For days”, Emily DiMatteo told Pix11.
It’s also painfully clear that residents like Jessica Jensen – who we first met back in December haven’t even begun to think about this year’s forecast of above active season.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – or NOAA — says this season could include up to six major hurricanes.
Adding to the anxiety – there is no way to tell where these storms will hit – and what path they will take within what’s sometimes referred to as a “cone of uncertainty”.
“No we’re not ready. Half of the people are still not going to be rebuilt by the hurricane season,” said Jenson.
Homes may not be rebuilt – but when the next evacuation order comes around, Chris Chiarmonte says he and his family will be ready for Mother Nature’s fury.
“One more like Sandy, or even half equivalent to sandy – and we’re in trouble,”, said Chiarmonte.
We can all learn from the past starting with the busy hurricane season of 2005, when several storms – including Dennis and Katrina — forever changed the lives of millions of people.
Those hurricanes were a wakeup call.
The question is, will 2013 be the year when not just residents of Gerritsen Beach – but all of our region’s flood prone neighborhoods — heed the warning of emergency officials when it’s time to evacuate.
“I’m gonna leave this time, a lot sooner than I left last time”, said Chiarmonte.