Devastation Across The Peninsula
First came the water then the fires. For those with access to our website, Hurricane Sandy has ravaged the Rockaway peninsula. Confirmed reports as of Thursday, November 1, include more than 80 homes destroyed by fire in Breezy Point as well as homes destroyed in Belle Harbor.
The longstanding Harbor Light restaurant located at Newport Avenue between Beach 129 and 130 Street as well as an additional row of homes surrounding the property have burnt to the ground as a result of fast moving fires that quickly spread from downed power lines. There are confirmed reports of a fire along Rockaway Beach Boulevard that started in the vicinity of the Social Security office near Beach 114 Street, burning several rows of stores and bungalows in the rear. The fire was recently put out after burning for nearly four days.
Reports of devastation across the peninsula are still coming in. Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder was upset about the lack of response to date in Rockaway.
“It seems like everyone wants to tour Rockaway, but no one comes with help,” he said on Thursday. “We need to get help here fast. It’s been one failure after another.”
The closest distribution center has been setup at Resorts World Casino in Ozone Park. That however, is inaccessible for residents who all lot their cars to water damage in the storm. Reports of an ad-hoc community center opening up at Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 113 Street is the first point at which residents can pick up and drop off supplies. In Far Rockaway officials from FEMA were expected on Thursday but so far, no help has arrived. National Guard is in Rockaway, but don’t appear to be doing much more than driving around.
There have only been a handful reports of looting in the area near the Hammel Houses where some stores within Rockaway Commons were compromised including Radio Shack and the liquor store across the street. Police contained the situation with limited additional damage to the properties.
You can continue to find us on Twitter @TheWaveNews for important storm-related updates regarding food, supplies and distribution centers. The Wave office is inoperable at this time. All updates will be provided on both this site and on Twitter.