Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Natural Disasters

Seven years ago today the east coast was rocked by Hurricane Sandy.  I remember that day so clearly.  We had gone over to Mass at the Ursuline Provincialate to be greeted by our Provincial who asked us if we could move in for a few days to help out in case the employees could not get in.  After the initial shock passed we immediately said we just needed to go home and get our things for work.  As soon as Mass ended we headed home and packed up for what we thought would be a few days.  We began our tour of duty by making sure all the beds were made and that there were names on the doors so the sisters would know what room they would use.  Several sisters came from our convent across New Rochelle and those who lived near water also moved in.  We wound up staying for a week, school was closed so we really just remained safe with the sisters.  About three days after the storm hit we went home to check on our apartment since we were not there for the storm.  Once we got to our apartment we were greeted by the fact that there was no electricity or heat so we emptied the refrigerator, put away our work clothes and headed back to the convent where we stayed until the electricity was restored. 

Watching the news was nonstop and when I spoke to my sister I realized that the storm had taken her house.  She told me that, “Barnegat Bay met in my living room.”  As she said this she described the point at which they decided to abandon their house and seek higher ground—it was when a piece of siding landed in their front lawn.  A week later I visited her home to help with the gutting of it.  The water was just less than four feet high which meant that insurance would only pay for half of the walls to be replaced.  We ripped out carpets, took out furniture and cleaned out the refrigerators which still had water and minnows in the draws.  For the past seven years she has fought with FEMA, contractors, been robbed and after finally finishing her house she has sold it and moved to a smaller home away from the water.  Her story is very much like so many others, many of whom have still not completed repairs. 

Today we are praying for the people of California who are battling fires once again.  Two years ago we lost our Retreat Center in Santa Rosa, one of the sisters lost her home and her dog and many lives were turned upside down due to fires.  Let us continue to pray for all those who are in the path of natural disasters -- that all will be safe.

No comments:

Post a Comment