Remembering hurricane Sandy one year later

Andrea Frost, Features Editor

On Oct. 25, 2012, Hurricane Sandy journeyed up the Northeast coast, decimating everything in it’s path. Westport was one of many towns that faced power outages and flooded buildings after the hurricane hit. While many have been able to recover, for others, the storm’s impact still remains one year later.

According to Nathan Luce ’15, as the storm passed through Westport, Luce’s backyard became a river and his basement a swimming pool as it flooded with two and a half feet of water. Although the water has been drained out, the impact still remains on his family as they lost many valuable items stored in their basement: baby clothes, old toys and books.

“It’s really hard because a lot of my childhood memories were destroyed in the storm, let alone the cost that it took to repair our yard and house,” Luce said.

While Luce’s basement and yard were cleaned up within six months of the storm, others, like Amy Liu ’15 and her family, still need to reconstruct damage on their homes due to Sandy.

“My house was so damaged from the storm, so my family decided that it would be better and easier to rebuild it,” Liu said. “While I’m excited to have a new house, it’s annoying that one year later my family is still facing problems from Sandy.”

Liu’s house, located near the beach, was flooded with over seven feet of water during the storm. The powerful rush from this water was able to push the foundation of the house up, leaving as Liu described, “a literal tree in my basement.”

Along with the many houses, downtown Westport was also flooded as the Saugatuck River overflowed onto Main Street. According to Aris Iqbal, the manager at Sunglass Hut, his store was flooded out 32 inches, destroying lots of merchandise. Due to the damage, Sunglass Hut was closed for six months after the hurricane and lost $350,000 in sale revenue he explained.

Iqbal said that stores such as Chicos and Kate Spade were also badly affected. In fact, Kate Spade had so much damage that it was unable to reopen.

While Sunglass Hut is no longer facing problems from the storm, Iqbal is worried that, if another hurricane hits due to the location, the damage to the store wouldn’t be different.

However among all the destruction done by Sandy, David’s Tea was among the few stores that escaped the storm without damage. Joseph Dejesus, a salesman at the store, explained that Sandy taught them a lot. They were lucky then, but that may not always be the case.

“We now have special procedures [involving] sandbagging and taping the window in case another hurricane hits,” Dejesus said. “Now we are much more prepared.”