Capturing the stories of Hurricane Sandy's survivors

Historians in the News
tags: NYT, oral history, Hofstra University, Hurricane Sandy, Mary Anne Trasciatti

For survivors of Hurricane Sandy in Long Beach, N.Y., the stories have become familiar by now, riveting in spite of — or perhaps because of — their similarities. Deciding not to evacuate, because Tropical Storm Irene was not so bad. Watching the water rise and rise and rise. Losing cars, basements, then more. Spending weeks at a relative’s home.

They are all variations on a theme of fear and suffering, of water and darkness, and Mary Anne Trasciatti wants to hear every one of them.

“In the aftermath, we were all walking around like zombies, and the moments when people seemed most connected and able to process what had happened was when we were telling each other about it,” said Dr. Trasciatti, a professor of rhetoric at Hofstra University who has lived in Long Beach since 2000. She has begun to collect oral histories of Hurricane Sandy’s impact on Long Beach, a project that may take as long as it will take some people in the barrier island city to rebuild their washed-out homes....

Read entire article at NYT

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