The night that Hurricane Sandy came ashore, the beachfront community of Breezy Point in Queens, New York was devastated by an uncontrolled fire that eventually engulfed 100 homes, burning them to their foundations. All that remained after the fire was a stone statue of the Virgin Mary, arms raised beseechingly in the middle of the apocalypse. The neighborhood was home to numerous police officers and firefighters, who watched helplessly as the storm whipped the fire from house to house.
Along the shore, other houses bore marks of a raging tidal surge that washed into homes and took huge pieces of people's lives as the waters returned to the sea.
The death toll now stands at 50 on the East Coast. In Manhattan alone, some two hundred thousand people are still without power. Towers that relay cell phone signals are beginning to lose their charge, meaning the blackout area could soon become totally cut off. The more we hear the stories, the more we begin to fathom the true dimensions of the storm. Hard to believe the affected states will manage to hold an election next week. But please don't get me started on those who are playing politics with this disaster (such as claiming Obama is trying to buy votes with emergency relief), or I might be tempted to share my own thoughts. I'm posting these photos because they made me stop and really take in the devastation. They helped me stay focused on the things that matter. I don't know anyone in Breezy Point, but I feel so humbled by my good fortune today. Hold your loved ones close.