Vermonter helps Sandy victims pick up piecesBy Christian Avard
Staff Writer | November 14,2012PHOTO PROVIDED
Relief workers pile up sand that washed into hundreds of Long Beach, N.Y., homes after Hurricane Sandy.BRATTLEBORO — Bonnie Dickey of Brattleboro is exhausted.
Two months ago she went to Baton Rouge, La., with the Vermont and New Hampshire Upper Valley Region Red Cross to assist Hurricane Isaac victims. On Sunday, she returned home from New York, her second assignment, where she helped residents on Long Island, N.Y., recover from Hurricane Sandy.
The superstorm swept through New Jersey, New York and Connecticut on Oct. 29, causing billions of dollars in damage across the Northeast. Dickey was one of nine Vermont and New Hampshire volunteers to travel to the devastated area.
Dickey said Isaac caused major flooding in the Mississippi Delta communities. But the devastation that Sandy left behind was much worse.
“The devastation was indescribable. New York residents want people to know that things haven’t ended just because it’s not on the evening news anymore. There’s still people without power, and in some cases people are struggling to get food,” she said.
In Louisiana, Dickey drove an emergency response vehicle and distributed food to American Red Cross shelters. This time, she was in charge of registration at a disaster relief shelter.
Stationed in Levittown, N.Y., Dickey was responsible for documenting arrivals, obtaining information and keeping track of numbers.
The shelter operated for two weeks and served an average of a 130 people per day, according to Dickey. Many were local residents but others came from as far as Yonkers, N.Y. The shelter also assisted a group of tourists from Kansas who were displaced by the hurricane while visiting the state.
By Sunday, power was restored to several Long Island communities. The American Red Cross ceased shelter operations but many people were without a place to stay.
Some were transferred to other shelters or found family members to stay with. Others went home, even though they lacked power.
Dickey took great pride in her work on Long Island. She took great pride in reuniting a daughter with her father at the shelter after she had not heard from him in days.
Prior to leaving, Dickey went to Long Beach to get a firsthand look at the devastation. She said she saw piles of sand, tires and various debris as far as her eye could see.
At one home, Dickey saw front-end loaders removing 7 feet of sand from a basement. At other homes she saw piles of discarded furniture, insulation and mattresses in the streets.
“You don’t get over it in a hurry. It was apocalyptic,” Dickey said. “We worked 12 to 14 hour days. It was so unbelievable.”
To donate to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts visit www.redcrossvtnhuv.org.
firstname.lastname@example.orgMORE IN Southern Vermont
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.