More details on the devastation in Rockaway from Norm Scott

Here is a text message report from Norm Scott, an old teaching buddy and co-founder of the opposition caucus within the UFT teachers' union. Since retirement, Norm has published an online daily magazine of education stories critical of the corporate Standardistas.

Norm lives in Rockaway, Queens, New York City, an area devastated by the super hurricane. As you can read below, he considers himself lucky compared to neighbors. Even so, his terse description gives a picture of how bad the situation is for many New Yorkers.

His reference to "Sanit" is the city sanitation department, the "Garbagemen" (and women) one of the government services targeted for privatization by the plutocrats and their Tea Party minions (stupid and insensitive people).

As usual, it's everyday people (mostly working class) who are pitching in to help their neighbors. To see excellent videos of this, go to and look at Past Shows.

Update from Rockaway By Norm Scott, November 5, 2012

I've been getting lots of requests for info on how we're doing (much better than most) and tho have some cell serv phone bat runs down fast so I'm posting a short version tho I've been trying to keep a diary.

I've barely been off my block so only know of devastation as u get closer to beach thru stories.

Rockaway New York after Sandy hit.Had mountain of debris from basement and den covering 2 house lengths. Wonderful sanit guys sent here from Kew Gardens spent an hour loading truck as I tried to help best I could. Loads of volunteers coming by all day. One of neighbors sent a few over to help load truck. Big relief to clear that out. They are using Riis park lots to dump garbage so trucks get back quickly. Sanit has done amazing job.

For us - Lots of water and scary moments Mon nite as water rose an inch short of main floor. When we smelled smoke we thought we were done but it was from massive fires 4 blocks away. That was in add to breezy pt fires. Loads of stories but no time for details. We're doing ok and getting things done. No warmth or elect. Elect panel boxes were under water so have to be replaced even if power does come on. Using stove for some heat. Cousin Dan came from jersey w 10 gallons of gas last night so can use one of borrowed cars to get around. He also brought 2 giant subs so plenty to eat.

May try to get apt for a few months or go to florida in dec. Mostly cleaned up. Paid a company lots of dough but expect fld ins to cover. One car towed and one more to go.

Today will finish cleanup hopefully. Many neighbors had to leave esp older people. One gave us a check to pay cleanup crew.

Neighbor behind my house drowned in basement. We saw them take body out through my back window on tues nite. We both moved in at same time in Aug 79. His wife was pregnant at time. Didn't know him well. Saw daughter next day. In midst of this they have to clean up.

Hearing other stories of people going down to retrieve something and getting caught in surge. I actually did go down to den twice to get ice chest and a few things as water rose. So lucky.

Water reached top of basement and as it dries main floor hardwood floors may buckle. That will be fun to watch.

Basement and den - areas most damaged were a catastrophe before Sandy. Wife always said it would take an act of god to get me to clean them up. Now u can eat off basement floor tho I wouldn't advise it.

Damn phone bat running down. Gotta run. Cheers, Norm Scott Twitter: normscott1


November 8, 2012 at 3:13 AM

By: Susan Hickey

Storm Damage on Long Island

I have a daughter living on Long Island in Stony Brook. Her area still does not have power since Hurricane Sandy hit and they were not suppose to get it back for another week. Now with this latest storm, who knows when it will come back. Yesterday, she sent me a text that she could see her breath in the house she is living in and we tried to get her booked into a hotel. There was no room anywhere and besides she has no way of getting there. Red Cross is a joke. They have no shelters remotely close to where she is at for her to go. I am sitting here wishing there was something I could do but all I can do is worry.

November 8, 2012 at 3:43 AM

By: John Whitfield

Sierra Club NewJersey Statement

I know this is not a blog, but Susana your daughter will be okay. I remember in my societal drop out days I stood out by the Salt Flats outside Salt Lake City waiting (hitch hiking) for a ride in below zero weather(not dressed for it either)and recalled seeing my breathe like that, I thought I was going to freeze to death.

So you can be confident your daughter will survive the cold there.

Surely the Canadians will come to the rescue, just like the Mexicans were the first on the scene in New Orleans after Mitch hit.

Below is something I had shared with Dan knowing they have loved ones in New Jersey.

This was from the executive director of Sierra Club, Mike Brune

On Monday, climate disruption showed up on our doorsteps. For me and for many of you, it was personal. I grew up on the Jersey Shore, in Chadwick Beach, NJ. My uncle's house has been flooded. Neighbors houses have been found floating on the bay. The restaurant where I used to bus tables has burned. My parents - visiting us here in California - are unable to return home and still don't know the extent of the damage on their own home.

Hearing the reports of friends and family and everyone in the region is numbing. Just like reports of farmers impacted by the severe drought, and of families whose homes have burned in some of the worst wildfires on record. Climate disruption is here, and it's affecting all of us.

Sierra Club is cataloging our experiences to continue to push for leadership and policies to fight climate disruption.

Tell us how Sandy is affecting you and add your voice to the climate movement!

When I opened my email yesterday, I got a message from Sierra Club, New Jersey Chapter Director, Jeff Tittel describing what he's seeing in NJ right now:

"We have raw sewage in the streets... a 300,000 gallon oil tank burst into a river, superfund sites have washed away and towns are under water. Two children in Newark died from carbon monoxide poisoning from a portable generator. We know the effects of climate first hand..."

Stories like Jeff's make it clear that climate disruption is here. We need to hear your story, as well, to continue to push for leadership and policies that fight climate disruption. Tell us how Hurricane Sandy is affecting you.

The community where I grew up will never be the same, but it will come back. I want to see it come back stronger. In fact, I want to see all of America come back stronger. We'll surely see more extreme weather disasters but, they can't defeat us -- not if our leaders help rebuild our communities to use cleaner energy and stop polluting.

With our stories, we can show our leaders that climate disruption is undebatable. We can urge them to continue to build a clean energy economy and fight climate disruption.

Make sure our leaders understand: climate disruption is here. Make sure they know that now is the time to act. Share your story.

Thanks for all you do to protect our environment!

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