I’m sure you’ve all seen the news coverage, read Facebook status updates, and looked at photos. A few days ago, Hurricane Sandy wipes out the East Coast; many seeing no effects aside from some rain, while others lost their clothing, cars, and some even their homes.
I always watch when these disasters happen and I never really have felt the effects, because Praise God, I’ve never been involved in one and I’ve never known anything affected directly… until now. Farrah Barkin, one of my sorority sisters in college who even though I haven’t seen in years, I still think of as one of my closest friends has been evacuated from her. Thankfully, she and her family have sought shelter with her brother away from the damage, but her mother is battling cancer and they have told they cannot return to their home in Long Beach, NY for at least 30 days. With just a handful of clothes, Farrah and her family await to hear more news on when they can return and what exactly they will be returning to. She already knows both her and her dad’s cars are ruined and what else… they don’t know.
Please read this letter Farrah wrote. My heart breaks for her and her family and everyone else involved. For those of you who want to help, please e-mail me. I am working on putting together a care package to send to Farrah and any amount small or large will help.
Dear Lovely Folks of Charlotte,
Let me first start by introducing myself. My name is Farrah Barkin and I am a resident of Long Beach, New York on Long Island. Yes, Long Beach- the place that you hear all over the news and the radio. Right now, even as I write this letter, I am grateful for the wonderful friend and sister I have found in Kelley. She truly is a blessing in disguise and I am filled with such joy to be able to share my story with you.
I’m sure you have watched the news about Hurricane Sandy but you really don’t know what it is like until you have lived through it. Ok- so lets start from the beginning. I promise you all that this story won’t be long or boring. I hate long and boring stories! Let me start by saying that my parents are not together anymore and my mom and I live in an apartment right near the water. My parents are wonderful friends though- so for that I am fortunate.
My dad, let me just say- is a complete moron and said we shouldn’t evacuate because he didn’t think the storm was going to be that bad. Heck- last year we had to evacuate for Hurricane Irene and Long Beach didn’t even loose power! Anyways, we decided to stay but I was so nervous because we live on the 2nd floor and was pretty close to the water.
My mom is also sick with bone cancer so I was scared that she might get sick from the toxins. On Monday night we lost power (like everyone else on Long Island) and we saw from the window that the street behind us was flooded. My dad and I went downstairs and our building was flooding like you have no idea. NO JOKE- it was exactly what you see when you watch titanic. In case you didn’t know- that’s my fav movie so of course I had to make a reference.
There are still a ton of people living in my building and everyone keeps saying titanic 2012. Yea- like this made me feel better. It was so gross- brown dirty water….yuck. My mom was scared not only that she would get sick- but thought that a tree was going to fly through the window. On Tuesday, my dad and I went outside and words can’t explain the devastation we saw. My car and my dads car is destroyed and long beach is completely ruined. To get out, my bro drove from Brooklyn to pick us up. My mom and I quickly gathered a few clothes, my mom’s medicine, and we left. My dad happens to live across the street with his gf and we had to try and get his two dogs out of the building. One dog is blind and it took my dad and I over an hour to just get her down the stairs since it was completely dark.
People are still living in Long Beach without running water, sewage problems and debris everywhere. It is so bad that the US Coast guard had to come and they are parading down the streets. We are not allowed to go back for at least 30 days. People in Long Beach lost everything and are living in shelters. This is just the beginning of what is going to be a very long journey for my family and me.
My mom got sick a few hours after arriving to my brothers but I’m lucky to say that she is better. I am 27 years old and have seriously lived through everything. I take care of my mom driving her to chemo, cooking, cleaning, and all her doc apt. On top of everything- I am pursuing a Masters in Business Administration and am happy to say I graduate in May with nearly 3.9 GPA. I’m hardworking but can also only do so much. I am asking for any donations that you and your family can make during this difficult time. My mom and I are living on the couch with a few items but people are still in Long Beach without anything. If you want to know how you can help – you can go to facebook and search for Long Beach, NY Hurricane Information. This page keeps everyone updated with the most relevant information. Words can’t explain how fortunate I am to have such an amazing sister in Kelley and am so lucky to be able to share my story with you all.
I live by my dad’s words of wisdom that helps me get through each day. He says
“ Go as far as you can see, once you get there you will know where to go next”
God Bless you all
For more information on how you can help Long Beach, go to the Facebook page here.