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 Democracynow.org 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.
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