It happened on October 29, 2012. The sound of the wind coming from the darkness outside was deafening and then the power went out. They stayed in the basement of their home, praying that no trees fell on it. In the distance, the skies lit up as power transformers literally caught on fire and blew up around the neighborhood. They just wanted to fall asleep and have it all be over, but in racing minds were the “what ifs.” As in, how would they get out of there if they had to, how would anyone ever come to help them if they needed help? Sleep was not happening. Not for them in their dry home, certainly not for others who had evacuated their own homes, or worse, were fighting to stay alive as their homes filled with water or burned to the ground.
Morning came, and the weather calmed down, but people were only beginning to find out what had happened during the night. As the days and weeks unfolded, the images of what happened that fateful night began to appear, and many discovered that they had been so incredibly fortunate. Living without power was a mere inconvenience compared to having lost everything.
By now, you probably realize that I’m talking about Hurricane or “Superstorm” Sandy. In the beginning, I didn’t want to take photos of what had happened. I didn’t want to take photos of the grief that people were suffering. As time went by, however, I realized that I had to start documenting things the best way I could, through a camera.
There are several series of photographs here, ranging from just a few months after the storm, until just yesterday, October 15, 2013. I felt the need to mark the one year anniversary of Sandy and show that things are far from being back to normal. There are many people and businesses that were able to rebuild, but the word of the day isn’t “normal,” it’s “different.” For the many who aren’t back to different yet, there are houses being elevated, piles of debris being removed, and businesses still unable to open.
How does that old saying go? A picture is worth a thousand words?