More than 100 homes went up in flames in Breezy Point as the storm surges from Hurricane Sandy bore down on the city Monday night. In addition to that, hundreds of other homes suffered flooding damage or were swept off their foundations. Photographer Tod Seelie ventured out there yesterday to survey the damage around the area; click through to see his photos of the scene, and read some of his observations below:
- There was a police checkpoint to get in.
- The police were continuing to evacuate people from within Breezy Point, using large flatbed trucks to make it through the standing water.
- Aside from the area that burned, there was extensive damage to the houses facing the ocean. But it was erratic. Some houses (mostly older) had severe damage or were wiped away completely, but a house next door (usually new) seemed almost untouched.
- Even a few houses in from the beach there were sand mound deposits of 2 or 3 feet.
- Most of the people I saw and talked to were residents who had come back to survey the damage and collect belongings. A lot of them seemed stunned and dismayed. One guy I talked to asked for advice on how to get through an area. "It's just incredible, and sad," he said with a distant stare, after I told him what I could.
- In the area of the fire, firefighters were still on site battling smoldering piles among the houses.
- One of the most common things I encountered was someone walking around on their cell phone, reporting which houses had sustained damage and how much.
- There was also a line of cars that had burned at the far end of the bungalows.
And here's ABC video from the ground in the aftermath of the storm: