Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: A Loss For Words


I sat down to write this in my warm clothes, inside my fully furnished suite, my laptop plugged in to charge, knowing that there are thousands upon thousands of others in the northeast that do not have this luxury at the moment. Yes, these things are a luxury. A home, electricity, and having food and warmth are things that many of us, including myself, unintentionally take for granted every single day. Unfortunately, it takes a catastrophe like Hurricane Sandy to devastate cities and lives all along the east coast of the U.S. for many of us to wake up and see the bigger picture.

Belt Parkway
The Belt Parkway in Brooklyn flooded from Sandy's wrath. | Photo by Catherine Kindschuh

While we students at BU were able to get out of classes for the day last Monday and naturally rejoiced, I never really thought about how bad the conditions were for everyone else south of us. Sandy made her presence known from Maryland all the way up to us here in Boston. Downtown and midtown Manhattan, Staten Island, and the coast of New Jersey are all virtually under water.

The storm has had a humbling effect on its survivors and those of us who witnessed it from afar, and it has brought about a lot of changing attitudes. People wonder, is this because of climate change? What will happen to all of the places destroyed–will things ever be the same there?

Sandy hit home for me personally like many others. I’m from Long Island, which saw a great deal of damage. The majority of my friends and family still don’t have power and they have to wait in line two to three hours to get gas (that’s if they can even find a station that has any, or if they don’t run out of gas waiting in line beforehand). Conditions are surreal to think about as I sit here, safe in Boston, but worried about everyone back home. Yet, as I worry about them, I know there are others that are much worse off, and I fully realize how fortunate I am.

Nothing can truly capture the detrimental conditions, ruin, and loss as well as pictures can. While where I’m from didn’t see as much devastation as many other areas, it still goes to show that countless communities were affected by Hurricane Sandy, and that the road of recovery will be a long one everywhere.

Tree fallen
Trees came down all along the Northeast from high winds seen from the storm.2 | Photo by Lori Ruggiero
Buildings were destroyed everywhere and this is just minimal damage compared to many places. | Photo by Lori Ruggiero

If there is any advice that we can all walk away with it’s this–remember how lucky you are. Not just when hardships such as Hurricane Sandy occur, but every day. Life can change fast and unexpectedly. Don’t remain apathetic. Empathize, be aware, and mostly, be thankful for what you have.

About Aria Ruggiero

Aria is a Junior in CAS studying Psychology. She enjoys writing and photographing for the Quad, as well as having an unhealthy obsession with guacamole, blazers, and the Yankees.

View all posts by Aria Ruggiero →

2 Comments on “Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: A Loss For Words”

  1. Aria, you are so right. We all need to be thankful for what we have and stop feeling like we don’t have enough. There are so many people who don’t even have what they NEED. And the sad fact is that for those who have lost EVERYTHING, life goes on as usual all around them. We need to cherish every day, love our neighbor, and stop dwelling on what we don’t have and instead start sharing all that we do have. There’s an old saying, “there’s no telling what tomorrow will bring.”

  2. The pictures are heartbreaking. NY and NJ got hit really hard. It’s good to see though so many people willing to help out by volunteering their time and money. In this politically divided time, it’s reassuring to know that Americans have each others’ backs when it really counts.

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