Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hurricane Irene-OneWeek Later Aftermath- East Haven, Ct. 8/28/2011

Purple Royalty
by Mary Johnson

Although, I was in East Haven that Sunday night after Hurricane Irene hit, I was compelled NOT to go visit Cosey Beach Avenue because I knew what I would see would bother me.  I actually waited till Friday afternoon to go and visit.  

Friday when I arrived, there were people of the neighborhood walking around like they were still in  a state of shock from the damage that Hurricane Irene caused.  I parked and took out my camera.  As soon as I picked up my camera gear, I heard someone announcing on a megaphone that it was lunch time and the man asked everyone to please come to the booth that they set up to eat something.

 There were a lot people trying to clean up the mess that Irene had made.  Some of the houses, I wondered how anyone could even search in because of the extensive damage to them. The boards falling on them, exposed nails around, broken glass, etc.

As I walked along, I saw people and asked them how they were and if they needed anything.  Mostly everyone let me photograph their horror.  They looked very sad.  Some residents looked like they were staring into space.  I think you call it PTSD.  Post traumatic stress of seeing their houses, that most of them lived in for many years as a summer cottage, with many memories, just broken.

I was there for about one hour and decided to leave.  When I left and started driving away, I couldn't control my crying.  I feel so bad for them.

The following day, Saturday, I went back to revisit with my friend/photographer.  We arrived this time and had a hard time getting into the area, but was finally allowed to.  We spoke to many people.  Some wanted a conversation with other people.  I supposed they wanted to talk about it, like therapy.  It must be the healing process.  Some people were angry.  There are all stages of stress.  I would be angry also, that my memories were taken away with my house. 

We met a woman who started talking to us about when she was able to go back to look threw her things. All she really wanted was her mother's wedding picture.  She found it unharmed. 

Then we met purple royalty.  Purple royalty was an older woman, around 94 years old, who you can tell was a very nice dresser.  She sat in her chair with her family.  She had on the color purple.  That was her favorite color. She had helpers earlier that day come by to help clean out her things in her flattened house.  One of the helpers painted the door frame lying on the sand of the front of her house purple!  Her relative pointed out her purple pillow that was on her sofa

Define the color purple:
In the dictionary it means 
Mysterious-(this was the older woman and  I wanted to know more about the color purple)
Magic-(it seemed that she was able to keep her family focused and together)
High Ranking-(she was definitely the oldest and everyone congregated together around her)

If you can find it in your heart to help out the people of Cosey Beach Avenue, East Haven, please go to the town of East Haven website.

One thing that I was asked was to ask the public, if you know of some trusted, reputable contractor who would like to help volunteer. They need help to fix and clean up the houses because it's hard to go look for their processions without knowing how safe the houses are on Cosey Beach Avenue with all the damage they sustained. Please contact me via email or contact the East Haven Town Hall. There have been a lot of looters.  The looters come at night time and even come on boats to steal.  How can some people be soooo mean and cruel?

Note:  I am not a writer, so if you see anything that looks wrong, please contact me...( please be nice :)