Nov. 3, 2022
By Shirley Bermejo
Just over 10 years ago on Oct. 29, sophomore Isabella Martinez was sheltering in her home in Lyndhurst with her mom and grandma when Hurricane Sandy hit. She said she felt prepared with canned food, flashlights and water, but since she lives by the Passaic River, her home was prone to flooding.
Martinez said her basement and garage were destroyed, with water reaching her knees.
“It took months to repair both, but we could not get back all the memories stored in the basement that were lost during the hurricane,” Martinez said.
Although Hurricane Sandy took place when she was six years old, she said it left her with a lasting fear of hurricanes.
“It’s crazy that it’s already been 10 years since Sandy, and I’m scared that another hurricane like Sandy will hit New Jersey. [However], now that I’m older, I can help prepare and withstand any potential damage that might happen,” Martinez said.
She said after hurricanes, people who are in a position to do so should donate to organizations that help hurricane victims repair their homes and fix any damage that occurred.
“Losing your house is horrible, and everyone should donate no matter how big or small the donation is,” Martinez said.
For those who experienced loss due to Hurricane Sandy, the recent destruction as a result of Hurricane Ian–which caused widespread damage across western Cuba and the southeast United States, especially the states of Florida and South Carolina–brought back painful memories.
Sophomore Alexia Marmorato was five years old when Hurricane Sandy hit, but like Martinez, she still remembers the homes it ruined.
“It is insane how quick[ly] ten years have gone by. When I am at my beach house in Brick Township, I always think back to when Hurricane Sandy first hit, especially when all the memories flood my brain,” Marmorato said.
“Losing your house is horrible, and everyone should donate no matter how big or small the donation is.”
She said she was devastated to see Hurricane Ian affecting families as Hurricane Sandy did for her family.
“It is truly so heartbreaking to see other people go through what my family did but way worse. I was grateful that my primary house was not damaged, and it was only my summer home,” Marmorato said.
Business & technology teacher Mrs. Jankowski said as a result of Hurricane Sandy, her shore house at Ortley Beach was severely flooded.
“Our house was damaged to the point where we had to replace everything. We had six feet of water in our house,” Jankowski said.
She said she offered assistance to other members of her community and received help from her family.
“We did not receive help for Sandy from the government. We as a family all came together. Friends fed and took people in that did not have electricity,” Jankowski said.
She said she loves the ocean but recognizes the risk of living by a big mass of water. Jankowski said she would evacuate if a hurricane were approaching.
“We still have the house. In spite of hurricanes, we still live there. It’s taking a chance,” Jankowski said. “I love living by the ocean, but it has to be respected. Water is a very strong force.”