Tennessee Volunteer Aids Hurricane Sandy Survivors

Nov 8, 2012

Brentwood, Tennessee resident Connie Hasty reaches out to comfort a New Jersey homeowner who has just realized a box of cherished letters and cards were ruined by Hurricane Sandy flood waters.
Credit Pauline Rick, hopeforce.org

ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY (AP/WMOT) — The nor'easter that moved up the East Coast is being blamed for more than 200,000 additional power outages in the same areas that were hit by Superstorm Sandy.

More than 750,000 homes and businesses, mostly in New Jersey and New York, are in the dark. That's down from a peak of more than 8.5 million following Sandy.

Tennessee volunteer Connie Hasty is in Atlantic City, New Jersey this week to help with disaster recovery. She served Thursday morning in a working class neighborhood that saw massive flooding. She helped carry out a home owner’s furniture, furniture that’s been ruined by a toxic mixture of diesel oil, sewage, and salt water.

“He’s like, ‘If you take my couch, where am I going to sleep?’  So he’s been sleeping on this toxic couch for a week already. And so it’s tough because they don’t have any prospect of being able to replace what we’re taking out. They’re low income, mostly elderly people.”

Hasty is working with the Brentwood based disaster relief organization Hope Force. She’s served with the group in disasters all over the country. She says that until you’ve been through a disaster, you have no idea how stressful it can be.

“You know, sometimes the one, two – sometimes even three – punch that they get. Like the one lady, her daughter was pregnant and the stress sent her into labor. Now it turned out to be OK and they were fine, but it’s just one more thing.”

The nor'easter that blew through didn’t do as much damage as feared, but Hasty says her team did see some new flooding. She says storm survivors and recovery volunteers alike were happy to see some sunshine Thursday morning.