Originally published 03/18/2013
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.
Originally published 03/07/2013
A young mother worried that weeks of upheaval after superstorm Sandy would cause her baby daughter to feel insecure for a lifetime.A sixth-generation Island Park resident watched as water flooded his family home for the first time since it was built in 1930.A woman recently widowed, who moved to Long Beach to start a new life just two months before the storm, wondered if she had made a big mistake.One by one on a recent Saturday, they sat in a black chair in a coffee shop, across from Mary Anne Trasciatti, a Hofstra University professor whose mission is to stitch these disparate memories into an oral history of a coastal community caught in the path of a historic storm.Ms. Trasciatti's subject is her home on Long Island for the past 14 years: the barrier-island city of Long Beach, along with nearby communities such as Island Park. Floodwaters touched virtually every block in the area....