Posted on April 29, 2013
Yesterday, I visited the site where crews have already begun working on the Spectra Pipeline in Staten Island, NY. Richard Lynch, a Staten Island resident and environmental activist, gave me a bit of insight as to why the pipeline will be so destructive for this area:
“The site we visited yesterday is called the Old Place Creek wetlands and is owned by the International Speedway Corporation (ISC, NASCAR). It is about 700 acres (the size of Central Park) and contains many rare and endangered species of animals and birds. White-tail Deer, Coyotes, Red Fox, River Otters, Mute Swan, Bitterns, Moor hens, and any other species live on the site. A newly-discoverd species of frog has been found there and is critically-endangered. The maritime Oak Forest that grows there has found no other place and the clay bluffs they grow on were used by native Lenape people for thousands of years. The Spectra pipeline is being installed during the breeding season for migrating birds and likely is destroying many of their nests. Once buried, the pipeline right of way will be maintained as a mowed strip, permanently destroying the wetlands that are there now.”
Click here for more info on the Spectra Pipeline.
Posted on January 27, 2013
Photos from Hurricane Sandy aftermath in Staten Island yesterday. Almost three months have passed since the hurricane, yet many people are will not getting the help they need, and some are still without heat, running water, and/or electricity.
Click here to find out how you can help with Hurricane Sandy relief.
Posted on January 23, 2013
I have spent the last three months photographing Hurricane Sandy aftermath as much as I can. Below I posted one photo from each day I went out to cover it:
Click here to find out how you can help with Hurricane Sandy relief.
Posted on January 12, 2013
Posted on December 3, 2012
I have been following the cleanup of New Dorp Beach, Staten Island since about a week after Hurricane Sandy hit. I’ve seen this neighborhood transform since then. First there was piles of trash in the streets – people’s belongings that were ruined from the flooding – so much that you could barely walk down the street. The first piles of trash were cleaned up within a few days thanks to the hardworking department of sanitation workers and volunteers who came to help. Then people had time to sit back and assess the damage to their homes… after which many, if not most of them, began to gut their homes. Carpet, dry wall, insulation, everything is now being torn out of these homes due to flood damage and mold. Although power has been restored to the neighborhood and the street lights are back on, the homes now have to be inspected before power will be turned on to them, so many are still without power, heat, and hot water.
Many homes look like the one in this photo – just sitting there, missing portions of their walls, no furniture or personal belongings, and sections of dry wall torn out with other sections still in tact. What I’m getting at is that although there has been tons of cleanup done so far, this is just the beginning. New Dorp Beach, and many other neighborhoods hit hard by Sandy, will be cleaning up for months, if not years to come.
Below is a photo of one of the first homes I went into after hurricane Sandy. It was on a chilly day, and as Giles Clarke and I walked by, these kind folks invited us in to warm up by their wood burning stove. We graciously accepted their offer. These people who had lost everything on their first floor worked to get their wood stove up-and-running again, and then shared the warmth with us. Today, I returned to visit them and, yet again, warmed up by their fire. The kindness of the residents of New Dorp Beach, many of whom have lost basically everything, continues to inspire me.
And this is Eddie from New Dorp Beach. His home received major flood damage during hurricane Sandy when the water rose up 8 feet. Although FEMA reported that his neighbors received 8 feet of flooding, the inspector that came to his house reported that he only had 4 inches. The FEMA inspector also reported that he did not have any vehicles, even though there was a van and a motorcycle in his driveway, both of which no longer work because of the flood damage. He spoke out against this obvious discrimination, and now FEMA said they will be sending in another inspector to look at his home.
He had originally gone to a shelter for one night after the hurricane, but was disgusted by the conditions there, and instead choose to put blankets on the floor and sleep in his mold-covered home. In order to stay warm, he was using a wood burning stove, which caused his home to catch fire just a few days ago. This is just one story from one resident in New Dorp Beach, where many, many people are still extremely devastated after hurricane Sandy.
A family put a Christmas tree in a park on Cedar Grove Ave in New Dorp Beach. The sign next to is says, “Here stands our tree of hope. Our symbol of resolve and strength to breathe life back into our community once again. These ornaments represent each family member’s life line. Lets stand together as a community….. The Alvarez Family, Marc, Debbie, Jack, Dylan. Merry Christmas ♥”
I also spent time in Midland Beach, Staten Island, and below are photos from there:
Click here to find out how you can help with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Posted on November 12, 2012
Last Tuesday, two friends and I came across New Dorp, a neighborhood in Staten Island that was hit hard by hurricane Sandy. Several homes were completely destroyed and left in ruins, and many others received major flood damage. As I was walking through the streets, I couldn’t help but think that the area looked like a war zone. It was heartbreaking to see the residents starting to clean out their homes, as many of them lost basically everything they owned. Although, it was extremely heartwarming to learn that the Brooklyn-based Hallowed Sons motorcycle club had come in the day after the storm, and has been taking care of this neighborhood ever since. You can read more about that story here.
Since then, I have returned to New Dorp almost every day in order to follow the progress they’re making while cleaning up and salvaging what they can. The first couple of days I was there, garbage piled higher than me lined the streets, making them completely impassable. Now the sanitation workers have been picking up this garbage on a regular basis, although so many people are throwing their damaged belongings out that it’s impossible to keep up with it. I saw three Con Ed workers in the neighborhood this afternoon, and tonight I noticed that the street lamps on just one street are now lit up. Although the rest of the area is still without power, it’s nice to see that some progress is being made.
Below are some photos I took in New Dorp today: